So, you’ve got the creative flair, the pitch/project/brand all good to go - but how do you improve and get all of those business ideas off the ground?
Allow us to recommend recruiting a few mentors to help along the journey and elevate your artistic game. They could support upcoming projects and improve the likelihood of future successes with a wide range of knowledge and fresh ideas.
Here’s some tips and tricks to help get your head around the concept of mentorships. You’ll want to buckle in for this one - there may be some surprising facts and often overlooked information hidden in there. We learn something new every day, eh?
What is a mentorship?
Defining what a mentorship actually means is a tricky business and you’ll probably get a different response depending on who’s answering.
Loosely, a mentor is simply somebody who’s a great listener, gives sound advice and perhaps even an expert within the field you’re interested in. They’ll help to approach problems in new ways, give insight into what to expect as you continue to pursue a certain industry, and even provide additional resources and contacts to help improve your networking skills.
Wherever you are in your professional journey, mentors are a must have - and they don’t need to be the flashiest and most famous person in the world either. A mentor could be a teacher at school, an auntie with her own business, your cousin the tech expert, your dad’s mate who designs websites or anyone willing to give back, share their experiences and teach you what they know.
The important thing is to find a group of people a bit older with varying life experiences. You’ll want someone who’s invested in the creative ideas of the business or brand and wants to see success, but will still be honest and not just a ‘yes’ man.
Check out this TEDxTalk.
Why should I use a mentor?
Okay, so I get that listening to teachers or family members about your business or creative ideas may not be the most appealing idea ever. Often we want to run away with our vision and dismiss other ideas, especially if they’re critical of what we’ve already built.
It’s important to remember, however, that many people have been very successful through strong mentorship programs and being open minded to new ideas and feedback. Listening to more experienced veterans can allow you to evolve and better understand specific, relevant creative industries.
Did you know that Steve Jobs once mentored Mark Zuckerberg all the way back in the early noughties, for example? Hopefully he wasn’t responsible for teaching Mark how to smile though.
Support can help most of us keep grounded and self-aware too. Avoiding getting lost in the chaos that comes with building a brand or business is vital, even if it means just listening to your favourite teacher or relative. They’ll tell it straight when you’re messing up - and that’s super important.
Watch this TEDxTalk for more info!
How should I be engaging with my mentors?
Congratulations! You’ve pinned someone down to be a mentor, but what’s the best way to interact with them?
It’s personal preference how often you chat together and keep in contact, but we’d recommend meeting up in person or via video chat at least once a month. That way you can have a candid conversation about company progress and concerns as they change and, let’s be honest, we all know exactly how to use Zoom these days.
Schedule in a regular date and make it a healthy habit. Consider having more than one mentor - four or five will allow for a great breadth of advice and opinions if you’re lucky enough to be able to recruit that many.
Remember that a relationship with mentors should be two way. Always be willing to listen to grievances in much the same way as they do, and help them with their art or ideas if they’re keen. Make sure the setup helps all those involved as you’re more likely to keep the connection going for longer - and it’ll help networking prospects in the future.
What do you think? Would you be eager to recruit a mentor to assist in getting career ambitions rolling?