Seeking a Business Mentor for Your Web Development Startup: Pros & Cons

I was recently given an opportunity to be quoted on a top 100 Tech Blog, and the question posed was: What are the pros and cons of seeking a mentor for your business?

BTW, I do work for Web Design Las Vegas, so contact me if you need anything.

Pros of Mentorship

Tailored Feedback

You might be the master of your domain, but most new entrepreneurs are fairly clueless about how to get customers and keep them happy.  These types of things you can’t learn in a book; you have to have experienced it or be guided by someone that has.  This is where a more experienced mentor comes in.  You can shortcut a lot of the pain by having an experienced mentor show you the ropes.  There’s a huge difference between book learning, and actually having someone assess your operations and give tailored feedback.

Networking

You get access to networking that you normally wouldn’t have on your own.  If you choose your mentors wisely, they will have connections vastly superior to yours.  You can shortcut your way into an ecosystem by being tied to this mentor.  For example, many of the entrepreneurs in the Las Vegas Downtown Project, have shortcutted their way into meeting with Tony Hsieh and the rest of the local tech investors.

Cons of Mentorship

Loss of Authority

In a mentor-student relationship, the mentor takes on the role of master.  There is a certain level of authority that you give up by becoming a willful follower.  Without the relationship, you may be more on an equal level, but once you take on the role of student, your authority can be seen to drop below that of the master.  This loss of authority can be short-term, or could last for the life of the relationship and beyond.  Additionally, in the eyes of others, it can be hard to position yourself as an expert when they know you are taking guidance from a superior teacher.

Keep Family (and Friends) Out of It

In my experience, it can be detrimental to a personal relationship when you ask a close friend or family member to become your mentor.  There is a definite authority shift that occurs when you become the student, and they the master.  This could erode your perceived authority and reputation in the eyes of the mentor, which is a recipe for relationship disaster.

Furthermore, if you use their guidance (or ignore it) and things don’t go as planned, one or both parties may end up laying blame upon the other.  It’s a lot harder to cut ties with a business associate than with a family member or lifelong family friend.  If a nasty split occurs, the ripple effects can extend to other family and friends as well.In short, do not seek mentorship from family members or friends.

BizSiteNow.com LLC
3171 W POST RD
LAS VEGAS NV 89118-3859
(702)723-8094
info@bizsitenow.com
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