The Green Sheet Online Edition
May 10, 2010 • Issue 10:05:01
Get on track with a business mentor
||We make a living by what we get;|
we make a life by what we give.
- Winston Churchill
When it comes to striving for business goals, some of us need a stronger push than others. As ISOs and merchant level salespeople, many of you created a business plan, wrote down your goals, set up shop and then quickly became very busy, perhaps even too busy to regularly review your goals.
This is understandable because a career as a payment professional typically entails becoming a business owner who not only closes sales but also makes sure the phones are working, the copier is supplied with paper, the bills are paid and so on.
And the more your business grows, the greater your responsibilities become.
Before long, those wonderful goals you wrote down in your business plan might seem like a distant memory. If you feel overwhelmed sometimes, that's normal; however, if you lose sight of your goals, your business could eventually fail.
If it's been a while since you've revisited your written goals, don't panic. A business mentor can help you get on track.
Now, a mentor won't take your place as a business owner or do any work for you. A mentor will be like a friend, but one who provides objectivity, not opportunities to socialize.
A mentor can help you reach goals and see the path to success clearly as you continue to do the work required of you day to day.
Benefits of having a mentor
Here are a number of reasons to have a mentor:
- Mentoring gives you one-on-one business counseling when you need it (and sometimes when you don't feel you need it but really do).
- A mentor can view your business from a different perspective. While you're busy handling operations, managing employees and keeping up with paperwork, your mentor can provide creative ideas and help you organize your time and implement steps to improve the business.
- A mentor can also help you avoid pitfalls because he or she has gone before you and knows what obstacles lie ahead for a business owner.
This kind of guidance is priceless in the business world.
How to choose a mentor
First, locate candidates for the job:
- Research the top business owners in the payments industry. You might find someone who owns a business similar to yours but is working a different market segment or region and is not in direct competition with you.
- Ask friends and relatives if they know of someone who might be able to mentor you.
- Seek resources online if you frequent the Web or if you own an Internet-based business.
Next, set up short interviews with promising candidates. And keep the following in mind while making a decision:
The right mentor can guide you through the painstaking, but fruitful, process of building your business. So smile, take a breath: with the right mentor, your goals are within reach.
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