Boomer Business Start-Up Strategy #5

Get a Mentor

Historically, a young man was mentored by his dad in the family business, while a young lady worked closely alongside her mother.  Today, while secular values have changed, the need for mentorship has not.  We can all benefit from skilled, accomplished Mentors.

Since 2008, I have taken my 25 years of experience and applied it to mentoring Boomers internationally.  Having seen first-hand the trepidation of new business owners in my field; Real Estate Investing, I have become an even stronger advocate of mentorship.  As I mentioned in a former article, fear of the unknown can be paralyzing.  With a Mentor, fears can easily be allayed since he/she has likely been there before.  There are consistently awkward moments in business and without someone with real-world experience behind us, we can quickly assume that we’re on the wrong track, losing days, even weeks of time trying to figure out our next move.

Today, the word “mentor” is getting used a lot and I am a little uncomfortable with some who claim to qualify as such.  For example, in my industry, we often see young men in their early 30s claiming to be “Real Estate Gurus.”  What the h@*%!!!  This is ludicrous as these kids can hardly qualify as seasoned professionals, especially when most of them have merely had a few-year-run in an UP market (during the “bubble).  Truthfully, it takes seasoning in all kinds of markets and includes learning some humility from encountering a few losses along the way.

One thing about youth is the tendency to be a little reckless.  With age and experience we learn to slow down and do it right the FIRST time.  Sound familiar?  Therefore, look for a little grey hair on your Mentor.  It will serve you well.

Next is the motivation of your Mentor.  In bygone times our dear parent might have been our Mentor and they were driven by love. I do not recommend “Mentors” who get paid up front without any vested interest in the success of their protégés.  I recommend looking for a program that is structured around some type of joint venture in which the Mentor makes a small percentage when you succeed.  It’s naturally more motivating.

I heartily promote mentorship for most Entrepreneurs.  Shop around, though.  Make sure they are good listeners and teachers.  Experience alone doesn’t cut it.  They must convey information in a manner that is easily digested and applied.  Once you have your due diligence and choose the Mentor you trust, prepare yourself to follow directions closely as you apply what you’re taught.

C.J Lauria

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