Mentors provide startups an advantage, and there’s proof. According to stats reported by the Startup Genome Project, startups are seven times more likely to raise investment money and three-and-a-half times more likely to grow user numbers for their products and services if they have helpful mentors.
However, other aspects of the process aren’t so clear-cut: How do these mentors help entrepreneurs? What qualities make a mentor successful? And why is mentoring such a valuable tool?
We’ve found the following articles invaluable (and even inspirational) as we’ve worked toward educating ourselves and others about the benefits of a good mentor.
“7 Reasons You Need A Mentor For Entrepreneurial Success”
Overview: From their encouragement when things don’t go as planned to introductions within their network, Entrepreneur breaks down the seven most important reasons why every entrepreneur needs a mentor.
Key Quote: “Your chances of success in life and in business can be amplified by having the right mentor.”
“The 3 Mentors You Need To Become A More Effective Entrepreneur”
Overview: Forbes presents the three mentors you should have in your corner to make sure you’re most effective in the complex world of entrepreneurship.
Key Quote: “No matter what industry you operate in, whether you’re leading a nonprofit or a tech startup, find a mentor – or a group of them – who will invest in you and help you achieve your goals of making an impact as you learn to live and lead effectively.”
“Mentoring Is For Entrepreneurs Too”
Overview: The founder of Kansas City’s Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program shares observations he’s gleaned about giving and accepting advice, establishing why mentoring helps entrepreneurs succeed.
Key Quotes: “Seek advice from multiple mentors”; “Peers make terrific mentors”; “Enable the advice-seeker to come to his or her own decision.”
“The Mentor Manifesto”
Overview: The founder of TechStars codified his philosophy about being a great mentor into a concise list of bullet points.
Key Quotes: “Know what you don’t know. Say I don’t know when you don’t know. ‘I don’t know’ is preferable to bravado”; “Hold information in confidence”; “Have empathy. Remember that startups are hard.”
Overview: This Harvard Business Review article debunks common myths about mentoring and provides some salient case studies, giving a complete picture of why mentoring matters.
Key Quote: “[Don’t] assume that because you are successful or experienced in your field that you don’t need a mentor.”
“The Value of a Business Mentor”
Overview: This article spells out exactly why and how entrepreneurs benefit from finding a mentor.
Key Quote: “A true mentoring relationship also works in both directions—they learn about new ideas from you just as you learn timeless wisdom from them.”
“When Should You Listen to Your Startup Mentor?”
Overview: Startups.co sheds light on how to gauge when you should listen to your mentors, and when you should follow your gut.
Key Quote: “There are a lot of well-meaning people who are mentors or advisors who can be helpful on the surface, but you have to make sure you understand what their motivations are.”
Looking for a mentor? Apply now for JumpStart’s Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program and connect with our growing network of mentors, including founders and presidents of Fortune 500 companies, venture capitalists and leaders of nationally celebrated tech startups.