Are you interested in becoming a GEM Mentor?
What makes a good Mentor?
GEM is always looking for good Mentors to help advice and mentor our startups. Good mentors are genuinely invested in the success of the businesses they help and do it to pass on their knowledge – not because it will make them a profit or gets them ahead.
How can you help a Mentee?
Giving back to the business world by encouraging entrepreneurs to build their own success stories can be one of the most rewarding experiences there is, and this should always be the key motivation behind giving up time and effort to mentoring someone starting up. Always be mindful of how you felt when you were starting up. Here are some of things we look for in a Mentor:
– Make time for your mentees – not just GoToMeetings, emails and calls, but face-to-face chats and meetings. This is how relationships are forged and where the most productive ideas and decisions will come from.
– Be enthusiastic towards the business idea – believe in it! Knowing that someone unconnected with you thinks your business is a fantastic idea can be an amazing business boost.
– Manage expectations. Make sure you clearly outline the support you’re willing to give, so you don’t disappoint a mentee who thinks that mentoring means you will essentially be acting as a co-founder, or that you can get their product into Walmart at the drop of a hat.
– Reach out to your own connections seeing how you can help your mentee outside your meetings – even a simple introduction email that takes 5 minutes to write can be a huge opportunity to your mentee.
– Share your experiences and insights. Tell your own story and identify with the mentee – it can be really encouraging.
– Provide guidance with constructive feedback, even if you have to lay it down harshly but fairly. The knowledge and perspective you’re able to pass on is incredibly useful and even though hearing something bad is difficult it’s better than beating around the bush and not giving the entrepreneur the opportunity to improve on a key weakness.
– Keep the momentum – maintain the motivation and focus, stay enthusiastic, and check in with your mentee often.
It’s not you – it’s me
Mentoring can also have amazing benefits for the mentor, so don’t take the view that you’re giving away your time and knowledge and that they should be grateful. It can put you in touch with some really exciting businesses that you might go on to have lasting professional relationships with. It keeps your finger on the pulse of what’s going on and alerts you to new trends. More than anything, mentoring can reconnect you with why you started your own business, reminding you of the sheer joy of starting up.
Always remember that mentoring is a two-way street – a mentee and a mentor need to work together if they’re going to have a productive and useful business relationship.
IF YOU’RE INTERESTED, PLEASE APPLY HERE: