It’s well known that in business, having a mentor is immeasurably helpful. When questioned about their professional accomplishments, you’ll find that most successful entrepreneurs credit at least one mentor. It’s the men and women who are able to take in the wisdom of others, use it, and when the time is right, pay it forward by becoming mentors themselves, who set themselves apart.

Mentoring takes different forms that are usually determined by characteristics the mentor and the protégé possess, and the circumstances of their association. All mentors are masters or leaders in their profession who share expertise with less experienced individuals. Advisor, tutor, sponsor, model and coach – these are just some of the roles performed by a mentor. These roles enable the mentor to guide, equip, and encourage someone who is preparing for a successful professional career. The accomplished mentor emphasizes different roles as the needs of the protégé change, so that the mentoring is adaptive.

Advantages to Having a Mentor

Trusted business advice: Your mentor really knows what they’re doing. They may have experienced the same situations in the past and have excellent advice on how to handle it. They’ll be able to deliver that advice in a direct, constructive way.

Better problem-solving: As much as you would like to think you can, you can’t think of everything! Many times when you are involved in a problem, you become too close to the situation. A mentor has the ability to step back and review it objectively because they aren’t emotionally or financially involved. In addition, two heads are always better than one. Your mentor may come up with ideas that are new and different. They’re there so you have someone with whom to bounce around ideas which results in better ideas.

Statistically earning more: According to one study, professionals who have used a mentor earn between $5,610 – $22,450 more annually than those who don’t. Also, those who have mentors have higher job satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

Let someone else make the mistakes and you learn from it: The fact is, for everything you need to learn, there’s somebody that already knows it. They have been there and done that and will share their hard-earned knowledge so you can avoid making the same mistakes that they, and many others in your position have made.

Are You Ready to be Taken Under Someone Else’s Wing?

Remember that the number one key thing you need to have in order to be ready for having a mentor is being open. You have to be open to the possibility that there are things you don’t know or that some of what you do know might be incorrect. You have to accept that there may be things wrong with your thinking.

In addition to openness, be honest about your current and long-term career goals, and how hard you are willing to work to achieve them. Then turn to those who best know you and your work. Earn their respect and trust so they will extend their personal capital to you with confidence and be your professional cheerleader.

What to Look For In a Mentor

A mentor can offer an opportunity to expand your center of influence network by referring you to their contacts or sharing their contacts with you. They can also recommend useful networking events for you to attend to make new connections. By expanding your network you are unlocking the potential to create connections with people who are able to help you give you access to opportunities, new ideas, or information to help you move up in your career.

Your mentor should be the person you aspire to be. They should have accomplished all the things you want in the future of your career, but don’t overlook someone who is different from you. We often feel most comfortable with people who are very much like us. But when looking for a mentor, don’t overlook someone who is different from you. A mentor should challenge you to think outside of the lines and who can give you fresh perspectives.

Don’t let geography or location get in the way of gaining a mentor. Distal mentoring is becoming increasingly important in our digital world, as mentors and protégés can connect by means of the Internet (email, Skype, Facetime) or phone. These opportunities enable mentoring across long distances.

Commercial Loan Broker Institute Mentoring Process

The Commercial Loan Broker Institute is committed to helping students even after they’ve completed the training course. With one mentoring program, your dedicated, personal coach will come to your city to help you with getting your business established and develop relationships with COIs. You and your mentor then will hold regular meetings to review your business plan, its execution, and your progress. Your coach is always available via phone, email, or video chat to answer any questions or troubleshoot challenging situations.

Don’t forget to pay it forward once you’re where you want to be. Realize the relationship will eventually end. If you’ve done a good job, the person you are mentoring will need to move on at some point. It’s all part of the cycle. It can be hard to let go, but feel good about seeing someone move on to bigger and better things – and another mentor.