Being a mentor does not only benefit the entrepreneur you are mentoring but can also be a big benefit to you as the mentor. Mentorship is a good opportunity to work with the brightest entrepreneurs working on some of the biggest problems in the world, and also a good opportunity to enrich your network.
In an earlier post, we have covered how to become a good startup business mentor. In this article, we are going to look at why you should become a startup mentor, from a mentor’s perspective.
8 reasons you should become a startup business mentor
- Mentorship is not a transaction, but a way to help people immediately without a specific expectation of benefit in return.
- If you mentor and mentor well, you get a substantive return that goes well beyond money. This return comes in the form of respect from the ecosystem. Mentor benefits include the feeling that comes from making a difference and enhanced self-esteem.
- For some, it’s an opportunity to return to their entrepreneurial roots and help someone develop and grow.
- You get to keep up to date with the latest cutting-edge ideas and technologies. You know that the world of new business startups is constantly changing. Mentoring gives you an inside edge on what’s happening.
- You get a first look at interesting companies to invest in as an angel. If you are an angel investor or planning to become one, why not work with the brightest founders and try to be right where the action is? Mentors can also learn more about new companies in areas where they lack knowledge. Things like how the startup goes to market, how new technologies are being used, and identifying potential companies to invest in.
- You can help shape and build the entrepreneurial community in your area. Not every place is Silicon Valley, but every place requires startups to fulfill certain needs and wants. If you live in a place where the startup ecosystem is nascent, you can be a first mover and offer your help to early-stage businesses in your community.
- The ability to further development of personal coaching and leadership skills, and growing larger personal and business networks. Mentors already have powerful networks. But working with startups enables them to grow their network across venture capitalists, academicians, industry experts, and high net worth individuals.
- You get to mingle with some of the brightest minds and often you also get sweat equity depending on the terms of the mentorship.
Done right, a mentor’s touch can make a difference in the entrepreneur’s life and business. It can be one of the most fulfilling endeavors a mentor can have.
Steve Jobs as a mentor
A lot of you may not know but one of the interesting stories of Steve Jobs that stands out is related to a time when there was a dispute with Google. Apple was suing Google for the relatedness of its Android product which looked and functioned like the iPhone. Basically, Apple accused Google of stealing the design and operation of the iPhone.
However, at the same time, Jobs was mentoring both Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Google. When Jobs was asked why, if he was suing Google, would he be mentoring its leadership? His response was that Silicon Valley is long known for its history of generous mentoring.
He pointed out that Bill Hewlett, one of the founders of Hewlett-Packard was a very generous mentor of his. So why not return the favor to another entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs by nature want to help others and pay it forward when they can.
Done right, a mentor’s touch can make a difference in the entrepreneur’s life and business.