Monday, 21 October 2013

Mentorship and its Advantages

We grew up under the supervision of our parents and teachers. We always had someone to teach us the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. We always had someone to turn to in times of need. Now that we have grown up, our parents and teachers have let us go. They have given us the liberty to think and make decisions on our own. We appreciate the freedom for sure but there are times even in adulthood when we need some sustenance, some encouragement, and some advice to make the right decisions.

Enter Mentors.
Definition of Mentorship
Mentorship is a positive relationship between a highly experienced person and a person who is looking to gain experience. Mentorship is about guidance, advice, and support.

Advantages of Mentorship
The mentor helps the mentee walk on the right track by providing expert counsel, tips, and assistance. A mentor, in short, can be defined as a teacher or a wise counsellor.

Ø  Guidance: Mentors have a lot of working experience, which means that they are aware of the environment into which you have just entered. Excellent mentors know what to expect, how to overcome challenges, and how to avoid mistakes. They use that experience to guide their mentees in the right direction. They say that lessons are best learnt from first-hand experience but in business today, when times are stringently tough, you can’t afford to make mistakes and then learn from them. Mentors will guide you and help you so that your inexperience does not stymie your business growth.

Ø  Support: Starting off on your own is a huge step. You know the gravity of it because you are facing the challenge. People around you may not realize that. For many people, what others do seems like a piece of cake. This is where the lack of support can bother you. Not being able to find someone who understands your position, your insecurity, and your fears of starting anew can be discouraging. Mentors will help fill that gap by providing you a shoulder. They will hear you out and offer compassion so that you know that there is someone who understands your situation.

Ø  Advice: During tough times and when you have to take decisions, you may feel pressurized because you are not sure what to do. You may feel uncertain because you don’t know whom to trust and what action to take. There are a number of aspects in business in which you will feel the need to turn to an expert and take advice so that you head in the right path. Mentors will help exactly with that. Right from setting realistic goals to executing those goals, mentors will advice you wisely at every step as and when you need it.

Ø  Life Teachings: Along with helping you on the professional front, mentors understand the person you are and help you evolve as an individual. Support and   motivation are extremely important not just professionally but also personally. You may feel the lack of motivation when things go wrong or sometimes you just want to talk to someone who understands you. During such times, you have the mentor to turn to who you trust and who is around not just to tell you where you went wrong and how to make amends, but is there to also show you all the right things that you have done, giving you a much needed encouragement and a pat at the back too!

Mentorship Programs for Employees
Just like you feel the need for guidance, direction and a word of encouragement at times, your employees may need that too. Of course, they may have peers and family to share with but unless they are in the same working field, understanding the problem is difficult. When employees are not at peace, their work gets affected. Understanding and addressing this need of your team can save a lot of hard times. And this is exactly why many businesses have started mentorship programs for employees. Workplace mentorship has been proven to boost productivity of employees through positive reinforcement.

Mentorship cannot be taught or learnt, it is a discipline that ripens only with experience. Every good mentor has loads of experience to back himself and he speaks from what life taught him over the course of many years. This doesn’t mean that one doesn’t trip and stumble with a mentor around; Mentorship more importantly helps you to learn from an experience, recover faster and move on. Every mentor-mentee relationship will be unique depending on business objectives, individual preferences and styles; but the goal is always one: to share a common vision and work towards building a success story.

Sanjay Prasad
Entrepreneur & Mentor 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Shredding Your Start Up – The Way to Emergence

In the many years that I have spent as an Entrepreneur and the years I have spent Mentoring various start up’s the one factor that I see that most hinders the emergence of a start up is “doing away with the mindset of a start up” which primarily means shredding one’s start up and moving on to becoming an Emerging Enterprise.

The fear of doing away with this mindset and coming out of one’s cocoon is something I see most Entrepreneur’s hesitant to do. For some it is fear of that bold step of leaving an incubation programme, for some to re-think and re-examine their business, for some to branch out to new markets and explore new avenues of growth, for some to completely reengineer what they felt would be the next Big Thing and for some just the fear of doing it on one’s own.

It is a common issue for many new businesses that they just cannot come out of that image and mindset of being a startup and thus the biggest hurdle for a startup to take itself to the next phase of growth is the very fact that it is a startup!

If you are a startup that has been running for six months to one year, it is high time now that you should stop calling yourself a startup and shred that start up mindset.

It is now time for you think about taking your business to its next levels. When we start up we tend to accept, with gratitude, all assignments that come our way. But reaching the next levels calls for reviewing and renewing your goals and your work style so far and adopt a more focused approach towards running your business.

Once you have shred that mindset it is a good time to review what you have done and renew the goals that you had set for yourself. Take a hard deep look at the business plan (if you had made one) that you made and compare how you fared against what you had proposed and then readjust and realign taking into account where you stand today vis-à-vis what the market wants and demands. 

So go on Shred Your Start Up & Emerge!!!