Written by Suzi Dafnis, CEO of The Australian Businesswomen’s Network
A common trait of most female entrepreneurs is an inspiring mentor standing firmly in their corner which has made a big impact on their success.
Starting up a business with only a vision to go by is daunting for most. The sheer commitment it takes to bridge the gap between a vision and its actualisation is enough to make one give up before they’ve even started. That is why mentors are crucial to the process: they offer not only the mental impetus to take the leap, but also provide the practical measures and skills to ensure continued success.
Annie Crawford, founder of Can Too and a 2013 Australian Businesswomen Network (ABN) Hall of Fame inductee, says having a mentor with whom she can bounce ideas off was invaluable for her personal and professional development.
“I lacked the confidence to deal with some of the tough issues that arise in business… A mentor can bring a different perspective and lots of experience to help you get your own thoughts in order,” said Crawford.
Another 2013 ABN Hall of Fame inductee, Naomi Simson, founder of RedBalloon, found inspiration in entrepreneur Verne Harnish as well as her mother, who taught her “to have the guts to speak up.” Her induction into the Hall of Fame has given her the opportunity to give back to the community.
“Mentors have played a large role in my life, and as such I have made the commitment to be a mentor for others: to empower people to do great work, not let them down and to embody our RedBalloon value of integrity – doing what we say we are going to do,” said Simson.
Here are five ways a mentor can help your business:
1. Learning culture for your life. By seeking out mentors you are seeking out opportunities for growth and development.
2. Support and advice. A mentor can help guide you through the stages of starting, managing and growing a business. They can help you to solve problems and be a good sounding board.
3. Formal Mentoring. This can assist you with goal setting and finding a clear career path. You will gain a clear view of the future which leads to better performance and career goals. It can also provide accountability.
4. Inspiration and perspective. Spending time with a mentor you admire can help to inspire you. You can also benefit from their experience.
5. Networks. Mentors can opens doors for you, put you in front of key influential people and expand your networks.
About the Author
Suzi Dafnis is the CEO of the Australian Businesswomen’s Network. She is passionate about helping women succeed in business. It is her aim to create opportunities for female business owners to learn and connect in ways that are easily accessible.