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How to make the most of your relationship with your mentor or mentee

As a small business owner, your relationships with your community and your peers are essential to your success. Your fellow business owners can provide much needed support and advice as you grow your small business. This is why many new entrepreneurs turn to a mentor who has already paved their own path. But, a successful mentorship takes effort. Here are some tips on how to have a successful mentor-mentee relationship.  

4 ways to make the most of your mentorship

1. Have open communication. A good mentor-mentee relationship has open and honest communication. As a mentee you should never be afraid to seek advice and honest feedback from your mentor. Mentors, part of healthy communication is the ability to listen. You are not there to lecture your mentee. Listen to their problems and give them thoughtful and relevant advice.

2. Learn to value expertise. When looking for a mentor find someone with expertise you don’t have so that they can help you fill any knowledge gaps you may have. And don’t feel like you can only have one mentor. You may want to have one mentor who advises your business plan, one who gives you financial advice, etc.

3. Know your goals. Before establishing a mentor-protégée relationship, you should have an idea of what you want from the relationship, otherwise your mentor may not know how best to help you. You should make sure you are picking a mentor who has the ability to fill the need. On the other side, mentors should make sure that you have the ability to fill your mentee’s needs before accepting a mentorship.

4. Understand this is a mutually beneficial relationship. Mentees are not the sole beneficiaries of mentorships. Mentors often get just as much out of the relationship, benefitting their own businesses. Engaging with mentees can help you develop critical communications and leadership skills and can expose you to fresh ideas and help you stay connected to new developments in your industry, ensuring your business stays relevant.

If you are a new or established small business owner looking to participate in a mentorship, you can check out SCORE.com to learn how to get started today.

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