The MicroMentor platform provides a place for entrepreneurs and volunteer business mentors to create profiles describing their strengths and interests. Entrepreneurs and mentors read each others profiles and then reach out through our messaging platform to start a conversation. These conversations can become long-term mentoring relationships.
What is Business Mentoring?
Business mentoring is a process in which experienced entrepreneurs and business professionals provide council, advice and support to emerging entrepreneurs in a structured relationship. This can take a variety of forms, ranging from helping to organize ideas and providing encouragement to resolving specific technical issues.
What Are the Rules of the Road?
On MicroMentor all mentoring relationships should possess the following qualities:
- Mutual respect, trust and honesty
- A sincere and voluntary interest in business growth
- Clear expectations and well communicated goals
- An agreed-upon timeframe for meetings and a plan for concluding the relationship
- Patience and an open mind
Equally, on MicroMentor, relationships should not possess:
- Solicitation of any kind
- Financial exchange
- Disclosure of confidential information
- Delivery of advice or information that one is unqualified to give
- Unrealistic expectations about what the other party is able to contribute, including deliverables, time commitment and overall timeframe
General Best Practices
Some mentoring principles apply to everyone in the community - mentors and mentees included. Mentoring works best as a collaborative learning partnership, where both parties work on an even ground toward a shared goal. These articles cover the basics of mentoring.
Your First Conversation
The "getting to know you" phase is the most critical stage of the relationship, so don't rush it. Building a trusting relationship requires sufficient time and dedicated effort.
Mentoring Relationships at a Distance
MicroMentor allows people to connect from all over the world. It can be challenging to build a relationship without the benefit of meeting each other in person. That said, distance mentoring can be both fun and productive.
The Qualities of Good Mentoring Relationships
Mentoring requires a proactive approach and an open mind, especially in the beginning of the relationship. It is not complicated, but it requires emotional intelligence. Work on cultivating the following qualities for a successful mentoring relationship.
MicroMentor is an intentional community of committed entrepreneurs and experienced mentors. To make the most out of MicroMentor, entrepreneurs should put their best foot forward, be prepared to answer tough questions, and take the time needed to follow through on advice given by mentors.
The Essential Steps to Connect and Succeed with a Mentor
1. Make Sure You Are Ready for a Mentor
Getting enthusiasm and buy-in from others is crucial for the success of your business. It’s also critical for your first meeting with your mentor. You want your new mentor to be as excited about your business as you are and confident in its potential for success.
2. Clarify Your Goals
Establishing clear goals is key for helping you discover what you want to achieve out of your new mentoring relationship. It’s a critical step in defining your work with your new mentor and mapping out your efforts moving forward.
3. Share Your Vision and Needs
Your profile shows potential matches who you are, as a business and as an entrepreneur. When writing your profile, think about where you are in your business, and where you would like to be.
4. Reach Out to Mentors
Once you’ve created a strong MicroMentor profile that describes your business and business needs, then it’s time to connect with a mentor.
5. Make the Most of Your Time with Your Mentor
Once you’ve connected with a mentor, it’s time to have a two-way conversation and start working on your business issues. Contributing to the conversation requires listening, understanding, and putting learnings into practice.