How do I find a good mentor?
I would like to start my own company but I'm scared off by the sheer complexity of the task, having to set up management and accounting systems and cutting through all the red tape that it might entail. Reading the stories of successful business people, they talk of mentors that have guided them early in their careers. Did you have any such mentors? And do you have recommendations on how to find experienced business people willing to take the time to give advice; are there any mentoring networks etc?
I've had mentors and advisers all my life. I think they are the most important people for any young business owner or entrepreneur to have in their corner.
Most entrepreneurs possess a skill that they can build a business around, but they often fall down because they find themselves trying to do everything. You have no idea how many cafe owners I know who wake up at 4am to serve coffee to their customers and stay awake until midnight trying to balance their books.
There are so many people like you who are either worried about starting a business or drowning in their present one because they try to do everything themselves. I know, because we work with owners to assist them with funding, structure, protection and overall management so they can focus on the running and growing of their business.
I've always worked like this within my own companies - I look for people who possess knowledge and skills that can add value and enhance my business. I learnt that from my mentors, the people who asked me the tough questions and forced me to think about things differently.
The same goes for you. Starting a business isn't easy but aligning yourself with the best advice will put you on the right track.
Mark Bouris is executive chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a wealth management company and small business adviser. His advice here is intended as guidance only.
Email questions for Mark Bouris to Larissa Ham at firstname.lastname@example.org