Archive for February, 2012
Do you need a Business Coach or a Mentor to help you go to the next level? Successful business women often have both. I have had several mentors throughout my career and of course I have a Coach. It is not and either /or it is a both/and. You can learn more about coaching here http://jeancaton.net/coaching/ Let’s take a look at the role of a mentor.
Who needs a mentor? If you want to be successful you do. Aspiring entrepreneurs, successful businesswomen, those just starting out, and anyone who wants to be a career confident woman or man can benefit from having mentors.
Successful women frequently credit a mentor with helping them advance in their career. In a poll by CareerWomen.com 64% of the respondents indicated they have a formal or informal mentor.
Chances are we all have had a mentoring relationship of some type. Many of us are mentors to others. I am fortunate to have identified mentors throughout my career who have generously shared with me business contacts, resources, tools, and tips that have enhanced my clinical, corporate and entrepreneurial success. My transition from a career of over 20 year in big business to owner of a small business was supported by numerous mentors.
How Does a Mentor Help:
From the Greek Classics to the modern business world – the description of Mentor, a character in Homer’s Odyssey, from which we derive the term mentor, provides insight into the mentoring relationship. Homer’s character Mentor is a person of deep trust, a wise old man, and an elder who instills knowledge and guides one to find the answers he seeks. In the modern world, a mentor does essentially the same thing. A mentor can provide advice, facilitate networking with key contacts, accelerate progress on the learning curve, help you navigate the organization’s culture, guide decision-making, and be a source of feedback and motivation. Perhaps some of the most beneficial roles of a mentor are to empower, inspire, and believe in you and your success potential. More about selecting and working with a mentor in a future post.
The mythical Glass Ceiling has been smashed over and over by smart, capable women in business and politics. Yet many women I meet still perceive an unfair advantage in their climb to the top. Other women who are self-employed seem to struggle for the results they want and deserve – even though they are the boss! So what is the solution ?
The most successful women I know have mastered these three business skills:
1. They are confident, effective communicators
2. They build a wide variety of relationships with business colleagues and client prospects
3. They feel the fear and take the necessary action anyway!
I call these three behaviors the Golden Triangle. When business women (and men) master these three skills their success in business skyrockets! And so does the treasure in their bank account!
I Want to Start My Own Business
A lot of people say “I want to start my own business.’ They are attracted to the glamorized idea about what that means…freedom, flexibility, be your own boss, make a lot of money. But what does it really mean to start your own business?
Do you have the right stuff and the right reasons to start your own business? Is being self-employed right for you or are you better off going the employee route? There is no assessment or road map that can provide a definitive answer to these questions.
Here are a few questions to help you explore in more detail, what you mean when you say “I want to start my own business.”
- What is your reason for starting a business?
- Describe the business you want to start? Be very specific.
- Who do you want to work with? What kind of people? Describe them in detail so you will know them when you see them. (Target Market )
- What specific niche will you market to ? (Ideal Client: A specific section of the larger target market )
- What is the Problem, Need, Want, or Desire (PNWD) that your ideal clients have – that your business will provide the solution for?
- Where will you find these people and how will you let them know that you have the solution to their PNWD ?
- What will you sell them? ( Product/Services)
- How much do you want to earn from your business?
- How many services or products, at what price, will you have to sell to earn that amount of money?
- What does a day in the life of a person running this business look like ? How closely does this lifestyle match your skills and strengths; your life plan?
1. What are your top five personal strengths?
2. How would you describe your personality:
3. On a scale of 1 (least) to 7 (most) rate your preference for the following:
- Coaching, Counseling, other client interaction services
- Business administration and management
- Speaking to groups
- Creating tools and materials to use in your business
- Networking to meet new clients or business partners
- Teaching ( in person or via teleclass or webinar)
- Marketing your business
- Asking clients to working with you and pay you what you are worth
- Working with a lot of solitude
- Engaging with others when I work
What is the one “day in the life” of a self-employed entrepreneur you would
What did you discover by completing this worksheet? What steps do you need to take to further prepare you to start a business? What is your immediate next step?
These questions are often very difficult to answer in the early stages of starting a business. “But I don’t know” is a common answer. What will you do to help you clarify the answers?
Answering all the questions and putting all the pieces together can be tough. Books, seminars, and websites can be helpful but in reality they are only a superficial roadmap. You are left on your own to implement all you learn.
Email me for a complimentary, no obligation business strategy session to what you discovered and to explore the next steps on your path to your business.
Good luck! Being elf-employed (an entrepreneur) can be a very rewarding way to earn a living.
I used to hate Networking. After all I am an evidenced based Introvert!! I had it all wrong. I thought it was all about me ! No wonder I got such a poor response.
I thought it was about selling myself. Wrong again.
Now that I have learned what effective Networking is all about – building relationships, collaboration and helping others – it has changed my entire attitude and approach!
I even developed a free report on the topic: The Ten Commandments of Effective Networking…Why Passing out Your Business Card is NOT one of them!
Whether you are an entrepreneur, Business Woman working in an organization, or are in transition, networking is a skill to hone. A warm network is a valuable business asset.