January is a time for fresh starts and resolutions, and often these new endeavors would benefit greatly from some expert guidance. That’s why the first month of the year is a perfect fit for celebrating mentorship.
While “Mentor Month" is mostly about youth mentorship, master mentors coach thousands of entrepreneurs each year. When experienced professionals give back and invest time in mentoring, they directly impact the future of entrepreneurship by helping the next generation of startup and small business leaders add more value to their businesses, communities, and cities around the US.
Benefit of Mentoring
Mentees are much more likely to have successful businesses than those who do not have any guidance. These businesses then help the local economy by hiring employees. Recent figures show that small businesses employ over 57% of the entire US workforce, and the US Small Business Administration says that between 60-80% of new jobs created are with small businesses. Small businesses are what carries not only the local economy, but the US economy as a whole.
The United States Small Business Association Office of Advocacy shows that there were 28 million small businesses in the U.S. in 2011, which means small businesses outnumbered corporations 1162 to 1. As the backbone of the national economy, small businesses provide tax revenue which then funds schools, roads, and many government services.
True metrics around the effects of mentoring are difficult to measure, but the fingerprints of great mentors are often clearly visible in the growth of individual leaders, new businesses, and communities. When an individual has a successful business, this jumpstarts the local economy in many different areas. Even Coca Cola, Apple Computer, and many other large corporations started as small businesses.
Mentoring leads to intentional growth -- often more than you ever will achieve on your own. With a mentor, you have accountability, outside perspective and guidance. If you want to grow intentionally, a mentor is not optional, but rather a requirement. And in many situations, those who are mentored become mentors themselves. This creates a continuous cycle that feeds on itself, cultivating pride in helping future generations be more successful and better equipped for the challenges that come their way.
Have you had a mentor? What has the process been like for you?