Continuing from yesterday's post, here's a short list of things to keep in mind when working with a mentor. Now that you're taking the time to focus, let's do things the right way.

If you decide to work with a mentoring organization, ensure there is a formal mentor/protégé structure in place.

If you are working with an individual you will need to work together to establish a mutually beneficial structured relationship.

The following are some tips to remember about mentoring:

  • Be organized, prepared and consistent. No one wants to waste their time. Time is precious.
  • Plan your mentoring sessions in advance. These could be as simple as having a one-on-one consultation or lunch meeting once a month to discuss where you are against your business goals, how best to tackle business obstacles, getting advice on business processes or regulatory requirements that you don’t understand, and so on.
  • Casual one-on-one sessions are good, but also have more structured sessions that address different aspects of starting, running, managing and growing your business.
  • Take notes, own action items and review progress against these in your next session.
  • Be respectful of your mentor’s time. Use their insight and apply as you best see fit.
  • And last but not least, be thankful and communicative about the value they bring. This is about being in a mutually beneficial relationship, after all.

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