Mentor in entrepreneurship: More than a friend
Recently, along with the trend of entrepreneurship is creating strong attraction for the community, concepts like Mentor, Mentee, Coach also emerged.
Many of us know that Mentor is important to Mark Zuckerberg is Steve Jobs. It is from the tips and inspirations of Steve Jobs and Mark that “eastbound” (go east) and change the important orientation of Facebook.
We wonder why Mentoring is so important in starting a business? The story starts from an easy-to-see but hard-to-pass truth: Starting a business is a lonely and disorienting process.
Who is Mentor?
There are many different ways to understand Mentoring in everyday life and in entrepreneurship, so it is impossible to distinguish Mentor with Consultant (consultant), or Coach (coach) if only using simple definition. Currently Mentoring cannot find equivalent words in Vietnamese, so we would like to use the original word.
Mentor is a person who provides direction, opportunity introduction, and support for successful entrepreneurs. But if you only define it like that without looking at the process of producing those results, then it is missing.
More than a friend, an advisor, Mentor listens to your concerns about business problems, giving you advice from their experiences and expertise.
Unlike Coach – who supervises your work, shows you the skills, provides the knowledge needed to solve practical problems of your business, sticking with you in a technical way is Mentoring a whole too submit to learn, cultivate relationships and serious awareness about building that relationship.
Why do startups need Mentor?
In the early stages of starting a business, the question you often ask yourself is whether to quit your current job to start a business? How to make sure that the path I am going is right?
You need someone to share your troubled thoughts in your head. You don’t need a counselor to tell you which direction you should take, but need someone to ask questions to help you figure out which direction is good, that’s when you need a Mentor.
In the next steps of entrepreneurship, the problems of business start to arise – from the ability to sell, to resolve complaints about sales, capital, and group conflicts … – hindering the development of Your startup, that’s when you need a Mentor
Even if the business has flourished, the permanent question in how you will go forward is to grow stronger, more sustainable or more useful to life. Such disorientations are also when you need a Mentor.
Starting a business that needs Mentor because you really need someone with you to orientate, keep the fire of enthusiasm, a friend who never judges when you make a mistake, a person just asks a question to help you redirect yourself his life and career.
What is a good Mentor?
Clearly, between Mentor and Mentee (Mentor-assisted people) is a faith-based and persistent relationship. Therefore, both sides need an understanding to have appropriate behaviors.
For Mentee, don’t expect Mentor to be the one who solves the whole problem for you and meets your unreasonable needs. Mentorship is not paternity, not really friends, not colleagues or superiors. Mentor and Mentee are equal so don’t expect Mentor to tell you what to do, and how.
Whether Mentor is right or wrong, being a Mentee can help you learn to listen to others. Ask a lot of questions after thinking carefully. The more you invest in questions, the more serious you are in this relationship.
The meaning of having Mentor is also that you will have a person who seriously follows your commitments. Talking to Ted Nuyen, founder of SME Mentoring Network, we shared with him, according to his observation, the biggest waste when starting a business is time.
When there is no boss, no supervisor, startup entrepreneurs often lack discipline with themselves, going astray. By having a Mentor, you should seriously take what you commit.
On Mentor’s side, Zuckerberg has three tips:
Share the excitement of learning something new and fun that will spread.
This is understandable because it is also the time when you bring something new to others’ lives, and a way that many Mentors choose to create new motivations for themselves and bring value to the community.
Believe that just by spending a bit of your time sharing experiences, it can open up a new horizon for another person.
Becoming a Mentor is a way to return what life has given us. Many people changed their lives because they met Mentor at the right time.
Both Mentor and Mentee gained something during this exchange.
You can clearly see that this is a voluntary exchange process, so, according to the principle of reciprocity, not only Mentee benefits from this relationship, but Mentor also learns to perfect listening skills. and ask helpful questions to listeners.
It is not necessary to become successful Mentor
So far in Vietnam, the number of successful entrepreneurs, who have a great influence on the community, has not been much. The idea that being truly successful or having to have time to become a Mentor is wrong. Entrepreneur community has not really understood the role of Mentorship is also a barrier to the development of Mentoring in Vietnam.
Sponsored by the US Embassy, in 2011, SME Mentoring Network was born and is the most successful project on Mentoring so far with a voluntary and 1: 1 approach. A Mentor can have multiple Mentees and at least two parties meet once a month to ensure mutual exchange and updates.
Nearly five years of growth and development, SME Mentoring Network has truly developed a network of Mentors who aspire to contribute to a radical change in entrepreneurship thinking.
Everyone who comes to SME Mentoring Network is a personal story, but all are built on trust, respect and sustainable values. In November 2015, this network began to expand to Hanoi with the hope of bringing practical knowledge to startups.
According to Nguyen Dang Tuan Minh (Source: Tia Sang)