many of us, starting a business in retirement is a first. Fresh out of
employment in the corporate sector, we know tons about the machinations of a large
to the test, however, we find we know very little about the steps to starting a small
business or the legislation around start-ups.
can spend time fathoming it out yourself, Google being a great asset. But if
you are in your 60s, time is probably not a commodity you want to squander. You
will save a lot of time – and after all, in your own business time is money – if you make use of the
services of a mentor.
What Is a Mentor?
mentor is someone who knows more than you do in a specific field, who has
usually walked the road ahead of you, taken the knocks and learned the lessons,
and is in a good position to guide you.
is not a factor, in case you were wondering where you would find somebody older
than you, though the EQ and maturity often come with age.
important factor is that they have more experience than you and more knowledge
in terms of starting a small business. In this case, it is advisable to work
with someone who has previously started one or more small businesses.
can be a short-term relationship that lasts until you have set up your business,
or it can continue for years, the mentor acting as a sounding board.
my own business, I work with an ‘accountability buddy’ who is currently walking
a similar path to me. Together we set goals, and she holds me accountable to
achieving them – and vice versa. In a way, she is a mentor.
the years, a mentoring relationship will turn into one of simply listening and
keeping you on track.
Where Does This Fit in with Coaching?
often overlaps with coaching, a topic
I mentioned in a previous article. For example, a mentor will also help you
to focus your thoughts with an objective or goal and they will hold you accountable
for achieving your goal.
big difference is that the mentor has walked this route before and is in a
position to give you some guidance and advice. A coach will ask you the right
questions to help you find the solutions yourself but may not have walked the
mentors come from a position of wanting to ‘give back’, or to use their
experience and wisdom to contribute to the growth of subsequent generations. Mentoring
is also a good way of ensuring the flow of good business practice is continued.
What Are the Qualities of a Good Mentor?
- Acts as a sounding board and is
not constantly telling you how they did
- Is a good listener.
- Has the ability to guide you to
find the answers yourself, rather than telling you how to do it.
- Can contribute different
viewpoints, advice, and knowledge from their own experience.
- Has the EQ to understand when
you would learn more through failure and can hold the space for your learning
a life coach working
with people approaching retirement, I have already retired, I have read
extensively around the topic, and written a book on retirement, so I tend to
wear both hats – coach and mentor. I, therefore, call myself a Mentor/Coach.
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