This year, Joe starts planting carrots on his farm. He can’t wait to harvest them because he knows how much they’ll improve his financial situation.
Then the harvest season kicks in. But when he starts digging up the carrots, the horror that greets him is too much to bear.
The yield from his farm is absolutely miserable. The carrots are too small to afford any profit. And worse, they can only sustain his family for a week.
Let’s look at another scenario:
5 kilometres away, Kip is reaping big from his carrots. Before, he expected to harvest 8-10 bags of carrots.
Now, he’s staring at 16 bags and he can’t help but utter a small prayer of thanksgiving.
When a neighbour asks him what his secret is, he gives a simple but powerful answer:
“I got assistance from a carrot farmer who yields 3X more every year from his farm. I didn’t want to gamble with my yield this time. It’s the best return of investment I have ever experienced.”
So what differentiates the two farmers?
It’s simple, Kip had a mentor who showed him the little known secrets of successful carrot farming.
It cost Kip money to acquire this knowledge, but like he said, “It’s the best return of investment I have ever experienced.”
As a young entrepreneur, you have two choices:
I don’t know about you, but the second choice looks like a good deal to me.
The first option is more like a gamble. If your business works, you’ve hit the jackpot. But if it doesn’t, you’re more likely to quit pursuing your business.
This is because of the time investment needed with option 1. You have to wait and see if your first strategy will work or not.
If not, you start over with another tactic, and if it fails then the cycle continues.
That’s why mentorship is a time saver. A more knowledgeable person can tell you that strategy A won’t work.
Instead, she advises you with another strategy, which maybe was your strategy D.
So you skip strategies A through C, and when you try your luck with D, it works perfectly.
With time, you perfect strategy D, which ends up generating other ideas you wouldn’t have thought of before.
That’s the power of mentorship: it saves time, and it can make you an idea generator.
So, how does mentorship manifest itself? Through:
There are financial costs involved, but the amount of time you’ll save is worth the investment.
And you can use that saved time to grow your business.
I believe in the rapid execution of your idea into a business. However, guesswork makes this belief impossible.
If you have to guess every step of your business, what happens when you stop guessing?
Will your business die?
Will it take care of itself?
Guessing is a dangerous game to play with your business. Every idea you have is a gamble.
If you use one of the methods I had mentioned earlier, chances are you’ll find an entrepreneur in a similar position you’re in now.
Instead of guessing your next move, you heed the advice of that entrepreneur.
You discover what he/she did next that brought a significant change to their business.
And the best part, you try and adopt those strategies to your business. Maybe you had thought of those moves but overlooked them. Or maybe you didn’t even know they exist.
Sometimes his/her advice may conflict with your ego:
The only way you can know for sure is when you try both ways.
What do I mean?
If you try some of their strategies on your business, and then they work, you have your humility to thank for.
If sticking to your guns actually helps your business, thank the heavens for your stubbornness. But you better not be guessing your next moves.
My take: if possible, banish guesswork from your business. It will thank you for that.
Imagine yourself trying strategy F for your business. Strategies A through E have failed to shine a light into your business. You’ve tried them over and over again but to no avail.
How does this scenario make you feel?
I’m guessing it’s the feeling of hopelessness.
Then desperation comes in.
Once desperation sets in, you try every tactic under the sun, and when each fails, you feel like quitting.
The mental torture is too much to bear. Your self-drive and self-confidence take a steep nose-dive.
Now, imagine this cool mentor who comes knocking at your door.
When you answer it, she introduces herself and says that she wants to help your business.
She presents her ideas, and you realize that you have the same ideas as well. In fact, they are your strategies B & E.
But you had them figured out all wrong. The way she presents those same ideas actually make more sense than yours.
And the best part, she explains how those transformed ideas can generate boatloads of profit for your business.
Then something sparks to life in you. You realize that your ideas weren’t pathetic, it’s how you presented them to your business that was the problem.
Your self-confidence jumps from 0 to 300kph.
Being an entrepreneur, the self-doubt that batters your confidence is usually overwhelming.
But when you read your role-model’s struggles, you find out that they aren’t different from yours. In fact, he/she was in a worse situation than you are in right now.
You empathize with their struggle to success, and this makes you say this awesome cliché, “if he/she struggled and made it, I can definitely make it too.”
Find that mentor you relate to, because your self-drive depends on it.
You are in business to add value to people’s lives. Not to make money. Although a priority, it’s not the sole reason why your business exists.
Through the various books I’ve read, not one mentioned money as the number one motivator.
It’s the value your product/service adds to the client. It’s how you nurture and engage with him/her that counts.
On another note, as an entrepreneur, you need to learn skills. Fast. And mentorship makes this process a little less tedious.
I’ve learnt these from books and online courses. I don’t think I would have learnt them on my own.
While gaining these skills, you discover how important they are to your business.
Before, I would never have thought of the importance of graphic design. But now, it plays a crucial role in my blog. The same with the others.
Find out which skills you need to take your business to the next level. They may change how you view your biz.
Mentorship offers convenience. It reduces risk and nearly eliminates any doubts you have about yourself.
I think it’s high time you find yourself a mentor.
Just remember Kip’s words:
It’s the best return of investment I have ever experienced.