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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Wising up about smart phone security

News

Industry Update

Google introduces mobile wallet, PayPal sues

Tester proposes cutting debit fee study time

Feds move to halt VeriFone purchase of Hypercom

Trade Association News

Features

GS Advisory Board:
Views on regulation and registration - Part 2

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Florida investigates prepaid card industry

Is the hybrid card an asset builder?

Views

A slice of ETA 2011

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Become the go-to expert on merchant services

Bill Pirtle
MPCT Publishing Co.

How to use email marketing to boost leads

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

Oh, what the right mentor could do for you

Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

Acquiring merchants - at what cost?

Jeffrey I. Shavitz
Charge Card Systems Inc.

A view from abroad

Donna Sesto Neary
Payvision

Company Profile

Kahuna ATM Solutions

New Products

A payment gateway plug-in for QuickBooks

SyncPay
Network Merchants Inc.

Inspiration

Retrain your brain

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 13, 2011  •  Issue 11:06:01

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Oh, what the right mentor could do for you

By Vicki M. Daughdrill

Growing a business can be a daunting and harrowing experience - one that requires courage, stamina, resourcefulness and mental toughness. Many new business owners have the requisite qualities, but they are so eager to launch their new ventures they overlook the importance of selecting a support network of advisers - including accountants, lawyers, consultants and marketing experts - to help navigate the waters of today's competitive business environment.

One of the best ways to ensure your business will thrive is to work with a good mentor. The right mentor brings industry expertise, a network of colleagues and resources to assist in overcoming pitfalls and achieving personal goals, as well as knowledge and experience on how to handle particular situations. The right mentor can save you time, money, frustration and embarrassment.

What exactly is a mentor? According to Wikipedia, a mentor is "a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, usually a more experienced person." The term "mentor" derives from a famous teacher of that name in Greek mythology. Mentoring relationships have flourished in the United States since the early 1970s. The student of a mentor is called a protégé.

Mentoring involves a personal relationship in which a seasoned professional helps develop a less experienced person. The objective is for the accomplished person to convey to the up-and-comer the knowledge and support needed for professional growth and development. The relationship is confidential, and the parties work closely together, usually face-to-face, over an extended period.

Characteristics of a strong mentor

Selecting the right mentor for you is a process that deserves your full attention. Make sure you choose a person you feel comfortable with and who has exhibited expertise in his or her field.

What are the characteristics of a good mentor? A mentor exhibits:

Tips for mentor selection

Creating a relationship with someone you trust to help you meet your goals can be a challenge. Here are some tips on how you can locate and develop a mentor.

Remember, neither the mentor nor the protégé is locked in to a long-term arrangement. The times, terms, areas of communication, etc., can and will change over time as the needs of both parties change.

Mentoring versus coaching

Is there a difference between a mentor and a coach? Yes!

In my last article, "Coach your way to a stronger organization," The Green Sheet, April 11, 2011, issue 11:04:01, I identified coaching as "a method of personal development or human resource development ... an excellent way to attain a certain work behavior that will improve leadership, employee accountability, teamwork, sales communication, goal setting, strategic planning and more."

A coach has an established agenda directed at reinforcing or changing specific skills, behaviors or performance; mentoring focuses on developing the person by providing support for the individual's growth and maturity as well as personal career development.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "My chief want in life is someone who shall make me do what I can." Will a mentor help you do what you can? Yes, and hopefully these tips will help you establish a successful, satisfying long-term relationship with a mentor who can help you be the best you can possibly be.

Vicki M. Daughdrill is the Managing Member of Small Business Resources LLC, a management consulting company. Email her at vickid@netdoor.com or call her at 601-310-3594.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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