Why You Need a Sensei

It’s hard to believe, but there might be someone out there who understands your business, in some ways, better than you do.

That’s not to say you aren’t an excellent business owner. You work hard and take great pride in what you do. But it’s probably difficult to find reliable employees, hard to keep up with the bills and hard to grow the business, because you can barely keep up with all the hats you have to wear every day.

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to work 10 to 12 hours every day, but could get the same or better results? Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a vacation and feel confident that your business is running like a well-oiled machine?

This is exactly why you need a mentor. You do not have to operate alone and always be “guessing” whether you are making the right decision. A mentor is someone who will listen to you, advise you, guide you and support you. A mentor is a trustworthy, successful business person who has already been there, done that.

Mastering the Nitty-Gritty

Mentors don’t take over your business; rather, they look at it from the outside and help you make it better. If you want to learn more, grow more and feel more confident in your decisions, then you need a mentor’s guidance.

There are several ways a mentor can help: for example, learning to read financials. Most people are intelligent enough to get the basics, but to really understand what each line means and why it’s important, there’s nothing like learning from someone who’s been interpreting those kinds of documents for years.

Creating strategic plans, identifying strengths and weaknesses, developing more efficient procedures—these are all examples of how a mentor can help you run a better, more profitable business.

A Trusted Confidant

A mentor also can become a source for you to be honest about the good, bad and ugly of your business. Let’s face it, entrepreneurs are a different breed, and most family members and friends just don’t get it. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an adviser to provide constructive, realistic feedback? Mentors help you understand what you really need to make your business flourish.

Entrepreneurs in Kansas City are fortunate to have some of the most amazing and successful company owners in their own backyard. And many of those business leaders are eager to share their expertise. Not taking advantage of these resources would be a shame.

There are several ways to find a mentor. First, simply look around. Whom do you know and respect as a successful business owner? Reach out, and ask if they would be interested in mentoring you.

Or, contact an organization that specializes in this kind of support. Kansas City is home to several mentoring organizations, including the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program and SCORE. The local small business centers are great resources, as are the Kauffman Foundation and the BlochSchool at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Remember, you do not have to feel frustrated or overwhelmed every single day in your business. Having a mentor can change not only your business, but your life.