I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again about the value of having a mentor. That’s because… this actually is really, really important! Personally, I am a big believer in having a few business mentors and what some have described as having your own Personal Board of Directors. More the merrier, right?!
As a female entrepreneur, it’s even more critical that you have a few people in your corner that have your back. There are days when you are going to hit a roadblock and will need someone to bounce some ideas off of to help you get back on track. There are days you’ll need some brutal truth in order to see things the way they are and help steer you in the right direction. And there are days you will question everything and need someone to remind you that YOU CAN DO THIS!
You may already have people like this and/or you just haven’t realized it yet (consider yourself a lucky one!). And if you don’t already have people like this in your corner, don’t worry! You can begin to build this mini board for yourself. You’ll to start by first identifying what you need.
Here are my recommendations:
This person encourages you because they know you are more than capable of success, even when you start to doubt yourself. They are typically a knowledgeable veteran, leaning on their own experience and level of expertise to help you navigate challenging situations but also know when to step back and let you navigate yourself (with just some encouraging words or advice). This person plays the role of a coach. They help you hone your skills, think big, innovate and keep focused on your long term vision. Their your trusted confidant.
Yes, it is equally important not to hear “Yes” all the time. This is someone you need who will ask the tough questions and push you out of your comfort zone. This person speaks from experience, has high expectations and is likely to tell it the way it is. Despite how much you may not always love the constructive feedback… this is someone you trust and respect and will help keep you accountable and constantly growing.
This is your go-to-person when you are having a bad day or need a little confidence boost! They have the ability to boost your self-esteem and remind you how amazing you are (because it’s true!). They are empathetic and friendly. They may not have experience in your field, but when it comes to needing a pick-me-up… it’s not necessary. They can help put a smile on your face and feel brave again – ready to take on the world. And that’s all that matters!
So do you have these people in your corner? If you’re wondering why so many, consider the fact that it takes a village to raise a child, so similarly, it should take a village to build a company. I mean, your company is sort of like your baby, right?!
If you don’t already have a few trusted advisers, now’s the time to start building your own personal panel of promoters. Start by first knowing that you own and drive your success. Once you own this responsibility, then second, you should identify your top development or growth needs (personal and/or for your business). Third, once you know what / who you need… you can begin to leverage opportunities around you to seek mentors. Utilize both your personal and professional networks. And don’t be shy to reach out to women (or men) you admire – even if you don’t already know them!
Also, keep in mind that mentoring can be informal or formal and short term or long term. It’s just important that you are clear about needs and also invest in building the relationship over time.
And when you’re also ready, or in the future, reach out and mentor others. Since empowered women, empower women!
Lisa Val Verde
COO + COO / Master of Rhyme and Reason
Lisa is Flauk’s chief #ladyboss of marketing strategy, head conductor of optimizing business operations, and lead positivity guru. She brings her experience as a global marketing pro to craft the fine details of how Flauk operates and presents itself to the big wide world.