Solopreneurs and Side Hustlers Definitely Need a Business MentorKathy Ennis, LittlePiggy30th Aug 2021
Does every business need a Business Mentor?
There’s a myth that there is lot of guesswork involved in starting your own business.
Is it true?
The breezy, slick stories we hear about famous entrepreneurs can make it seem as though success is something you achieve simply by working hard, then leaving the rest to fate.
But as someone who has started several businesses in the past – with varying degrees of success – I know there’s no substitute for planning and guidance.
I just wish I’d learned that lesson sooner!
One of the reasons I became a Business Mentor is because I know how it feels to start out with nothing but a big idea, a thirst for hard work, and a bucketload of passion.
More importantly, I also know from hard-won experience how to turn all that into a profitable business. It’s why I now spend my days working with fired-up solopreneurs and side-hustlers.
My mission is to provide them with the tools, methods, and support they need achieve the success they dreamed of when they made the brave, life-changing decision to go it alone.
I’ve made a bold statement with the title of this blog, saying that Solopreneurs and Side Hustlers need a Business Mentor. So let’s get down to some of the nitty-gritty
What Is a Business Mentor?
The origin of the word ‘Mentor’ comes from the ancient Greek poem, Odyssey. In the poem Homer uses the word Mentor to describe the person who guides the young Telemachus into adulthood.
Since then, the word Mentor has evolved to mean someone who uses their wisdom, experience, and knowledge to guide others.
But a Business Mentor should not be confused with a Mentor. A Mentor will use their knowledge and wisdom to guide you though the pitfalls of life.
The role of a Business Mentor is specific. They will use their knowledge, skills and experience in business to help you successfully implement business basics, business development and business growth.
They will enable you to avoid business pitfalls and mistakes because they have had their own business(es) previously (and are probably running a Solopreneur, business Mentoring business when they work with you!)
Let’s face it: if you had to choose a Mentor to help you start-up or scale-up your business, would you want someone who is supportive and knowledgeable or someone who is supportive, knowledgeable AND knows how to start, run and grow a business?
Business Mentor versus Business Coach: Similar, But Not the Same
While you may hear the terms ‘Coaching’ and ‘Mentoring’ used to mean one and the same thing, there is a key difference between the two:
- A Business Coach uses goal-setting and questioning techniques to help you develop your passions and ideas
- A Business Mentor uses their knowledge and experience to help you turn your passions and ideas into a profitable business
The difference is subtle, I know.
As a Business Mentor I use coaching techniques with my clients because questioning and goal setting are a key element in a successful business.
However, it isn’t always possible for a Business Coach to provide business mentoring, because they may never have started and run a successful business of their own.
So, a Business Mentor can Coach; but a Business Coach may not have the skills and experience to enable them to Mentor.
Why Do Solopreneurs and Side-Hustlers Need a Business Mentor?
I describe my mentoring approach as “a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”
Those things take on more importance when your business starts and ends with you, and even more besides, if it’s the first time you’ve ever set up a business on your own. Talking your ideas and concerns through with a Business Mentor who’s ready and willing to help can take the weight off your shoulders, and free up more of your precious time.
Here are some more benefits of working with a Business Mentor:
They will provide you with an ‘outside’ perspective
I describe this as the ‘helicopter approach’.
As a Business Mentor I want my clients to be successful; but it’s their business, I’m not part of it. This means I can take a long, hard look at the business in a very objective way.
As a solopreneurs and side-hustler, you have so much to do. It will be almost imporssible for you to step back and look at the big picture. You will always look at your business subjectively.
As a Business Mentor I provide objective insights, inspiring ideas you might not have thought about before, and help you identify exciting, new opportunities.
They will hold you accountable
You know those stubborn tasks you keep pushing to the bottom of your ‘To-Do list?
Well, a Business Mentor will help you get them done, once and for all.
I spend lots of time with my clients helping them set realistic and achievable actions. I bet your To-Do list is full of unrealistic and unachievable activities – which is why they keep being overlooked.
A Business mentor should also help you develop time management, prioritisation and delegation skills – so the right things get done at the right time by the right people (and those ‘people’ may not be you!)
They will save you time and money
The two commodities all Solopreneurs and Side Hustlers have the least of – time and money!
It may seem counter-intuitive, but although you pay for the expert support and guidance of a Business Mentor, working with one will actually save you both time and money.
A Business mentor will save you, as a Solopreneur or Side Hustler, from making costly mistakes while implementing financial management, time management and profit making activities in your business.
I always say to my clients that my experience stops them making the same costly mistakes I made when I started out.
I help them set up practical systems and processes that mean they can see where their time and money is best spent… so none of either is wasted.
They will support you through difficult times
Having your own business is never a life of champagne and roses.
Whatever type of business you’ve chosen to start, there will be plenty of challenges ahead.
On bad days (we all have these), you’ll question whether to keep going.
That’s when your Business Mentor will step in, with knowledgeable support, gentle guidance, and a listening ear that keeps you moving forwards.
They will widen your network
Any Business Mentor worth the name will network extensively, which means they’ll have a bulging list of contacts for just about every industry you can think of.
Not only will your mentor put you in touch with tried and tested ‘people-who-can’ to help with specific business areas, they can also recommend the best groups and events for you to meet more potential customers!
I Was Only Making Feeble Attempts. It Was Not the Cohesive Plan that Kathy Helped Create
I needed help to understand my business. I have no previous experience in this field and was really only making feeble attempts at it. It was not the cohesive plan that Kathy helped create. We outlined my business and how to approach my marketing. I now have more interest and engagement from the group people I want to sell to. I thought that was not possible. Now I actually enjoy doing it!
Uma Satkunam – Miss Teasmith
Working With a Business Mentor Is Your Shortcut to Success!
If you are a solopreneur, side-hustler or other single-person business you will always be at a disadvantage. There is only one of you, but there are a hundred jobs to do and a thousand decisions to make every day.
You have to do everything that a business that has ‘departments’ has to do… All by yourself!
With a Business Mentor in your corner cheering you on when things go right; helping you up when things go wrong and sharing their skills, knowledge and experience, how can you be anything but successful?
If you’re ready to take the plunge, check out my Monthly Mentoring.