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A case for being a business mentor or finding one.

Employees and entrepreneurs are two very different breeds of people.

There are exceptions of course.  Employees who see an opportunity will often become entrepreneurs.  After a person takes that leap of faith and begins their own business however, the risks and rewards not seen as an employee are now visible and experienced. 

Entrepreneurs put everything on the line to make their business succeed.  They throw in their heart and soul, mortgage their homes, put their social life on hold, work long hours (which in a family situation usually means the other parent must be home for the kids), often miss valued time watching their children grow, and skip taking pay for themselves until revenue ramps.  That can take years.  They risk losing their homes, their marriage, relationships and post-secondary education opportunities for their kids.  They risk everything.

Although we are in 2020, and mental health awareness is at an all-time high; people are encouraged to participate in “Let’s talk” days, and be more open about their struggles, the story is different to the entrepreneur.  Would you invest in, give a large contract to or refer someone you thought might not follow through because they might sink to depression?  Fearing looking emotionally unstable to their employees, customers, patients or clients, entrepreneurs often hide behind a mask of “Business is great” when in fact they are on an intense and unpredictable roller-coaster.

What keeps entrepreneurs up at night varies depending on the stage of their business, but many themes endure throughout the life of their operation: Do I need to hire for the large contract I’m trying to land?  Will I be able to keep everyone if I can’t maintain this pace?  How do I deal with the employee conflicts I see brewing?  What if I can’t meet payroll because my debtors aren’t paying quickly?  Do I expand?  Should I close some locations and focus on the strong ones?  Of course, in 2020 there are the pandemic complications on top of all the others (and I haven’t named them all here, I know).

A business coach or mentor can be a powerful ally as one goes through the various stages of business.  What do you think?  Would you welcome a mentor?  Would you be one?  Someone who is going through what you’ve been through would welcome perspective, encouragement, contacts you may have, solution suggestions, or just an ear when they need to blow off steam or celebrate success.  As my very successful business friend in Saskatoon says, “Julie, it’s pretty lonely at the top.”

The psychological price of entrepreneurship is discussed in this excellent article from Inc.com Magazine, worth the 10 minute read - https://www.inc.com/magazine/201309/jessica-bruder/psychological-price-of-entrepreneurship.html.   Has anyone compiled a sociological study comparing entrepreneurs who have been mentored through the years versus those who go it alone?  

Your local service club (Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis) or BNI Chapter offer informal mentoring relationships you could participate in.


At Podium Prosperity Group we are privileged to work with business owners with a strong sense of community, legacy and responsibility. They know their real legacy is not the money they accumulate, but the value their business brings to their family, their employees and their community. They give back because they care. It helps them grow and to strengthen the community and the small businesses they mentor.

If this is how you run your business, reach out to explore how you can build more of that into your business model through our ICL Process. If this is how you want to start running your business, it is time to meet our team and associates.

Choose to be part of a supportive community of mentors.


  
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Submitted by Julie Muir - Founder and President of Podium Prosperity Group.  Julie has an honours B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, holds the Professional Financial Advisor (PFA) designation and has been an entrepreneur for over 30 years.

This article is provided for information purposes only. Although the content is believed to be reliable when posted, Podium Prosperity Group cannot guarantee this information is current, accurate or complete and does not assume any liability. The information is not intended to provide any insurance, financial, legal, accounting or taxation advice and should not under any circumstances be relied upon without consultation about your specific situation. The information is subject to modification and updating from time to time without notice. 


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