It takes a village to raise a business.
I have been a small business owner for the past five years. My key to success has been in knowing how to ask for help and investing in relationships and partnerships.
I have been extremely lucky to have several mentors over the years who have taught me valuable skills that schooling and taking courses fall short on. That totally personal touch. Having a mentor who has walked in your shoes and understands your challenges.
I really wouldn’t have gotten where I am if it weren’t for the amazing women I have met through my network. Since then I always try and make myself accessible to start ups that could use some advice and guidance. What I receive from doing this is far more than I give. I focus on helping startups in areas that I feel I can make a difference. I choose mentee’s who are working on a business idea that I feel passionate about. Currently, I am working the founder of HerVolution -a nonprofit organization working on access to innovative education and employment services to girls and young women in STEM.
Often times mentor relationships might be based on a barter system – where both the mentor and men-tee gain benefits from the arrangement. Currently I am being mentored by the co-founder of WiseMouth Media , Athena Taddei
We have worked out a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Often times though a mentorship relationship can start where you help and expect nothing in return.
Here are a ways to be a helpful mentor:
- Be accessible, consistent and reliable
- Don’t make the decision for the owners
- Give pros/cons from your own experience
- Make key introductions (this is my favourite)
- Give owners encouragement but be honest about the reality you see.
- Encourage measurable action plans and ensure accountability. Both parties need to be accountable.
Interested in learning more about mentorship?
This year’s Women in Biz Conference, from Passion-to-Profit: Smart Growth Strategies, brings together some of North America’s top female entrepreneurs to talk about how they built their empires and provide real world skills for women interested in turning their passions into profit.
Women who attend the conference will have the opportunity to participate in an interactive mentorship-matching program. “Gaining experience and knowledge through a mentor can help you identify your path to success.” Nancy Harris, Sage North America senior vice president and general manager, Canada, says. “Being a mentor to an entrepreneur or small business owner is a tremendous way to give back to the community as a whole.”
Conference attendees will also hear from Profit magazine’s Top Female Entrepreneur in 2012 and 2013, Kelsey Ramsden who will provide an overview of the struggle to balance life and business ambitions. The day will be packed with informative and powerful sessions including learning how to start a podcast for business with Biz Talk Radio’s Anastasia Valentine and understanding how to build a movement and community with Second Firsts author Christina Rasmussen. The day will be capped off with a TELUS Business sponsored Connection Reception, to give attendees the chance to meet, mingle and connect with each other.
About the Passion to Profit Conference
Passion to Profit is an affordable opportunity for women entrepreneurs to grow their networks and find the support and training they need. October 20, 2014 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel – Vancouver, BC. 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. $200 registration fee for non-members and includes 1 year membership.
About Women in Biz Network
Women in Biz Network is one of Canada’s fastest growing national organizations of over 18,000 social influencers dedicated to professional & entrepreneurial development for women. With in-person locations in Toronto and Vancouver, we empower our community by providing online business content, events, business services and powerful connections for our members.
Connect with Women in Biz Network
Twitter: @WomenBizNetwork #WIBN #PassiontoProfit