Mentors are individuals who form a vital and trusted bond with a mentee.
The mentor is the catalyst, empowering and supporting the entrepreneur with priceless wisdom and knowledge that only years of success and challenges could otherwise provide. A mentor can quite literally mean the difference between success and failure, knowing where to concentrate ones energy, which is pivotal to a promising and thriving business. In this day and age, particularly with ever-increasing media avenues and financial obstacles, the right mentor can prove to be an essential ally.
Steve Hochfeld (Hochfeld Grains (Pty) Ltd. and TMS Training Services (Pty) Ltd.), an ORT JET mentor, notes:
“I never had a real mentor and in retrospect, that was a major disadvantage. I had very little guidance in my business life and so had to apply logical thinking, but also got it wrong many times, when a mentor could have helped me avoid those mistakes. The feedback that I have had from my mentees is that they find it extremely helpful to be able to discuss their problems with an objective third party,”
As pointed out by contributing writer to Forbes, Brian Rashid (CEO and creator of “A Life in Shorts,” a modern day branding, digital media, and communications company, as well as having been a speechwriter in Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Administration), “trying to do great things is difficult. Trying to do them alone is, more often than not, impossible.”
Brian notes that there are a few main characters that those who choose to mentor naturally fall into:
• The Challenger, an individual who asks questions about why your comfort zone is the way it is, until it no longer exists.
• The Cheerleader, an individual who persistently boosts your self-esteem and confidence until you feel brave enough to stop over your own boundaries.
• The Coach, a veteran who uses his/her wisdom to provide the knowledge you need to innovate – or overcome the same adversity they did.
Brian makes the following astute considerations regarding having mentors:
1) You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone
2) Learn how to accept and give feedback
3) Having a mentor as a confidant reduces stress
Having a mentor has great and far-reaching benefits for both the mentor and the mentee. As mentioned by Ian Janet (Coaching and Mentoring for High Performance), the Sheldon Cohen ORT JET Mentor of the Year 2017, “I’ve been involved with ORT JET for many, many years and it’s been an absolute pleasure and privilege being involved with an organisation where we can work one-on-one, or in groups, with people … I enjoy working one-on-one because of the impact you can have on a person’s life, especially at ORT JET, where most of the businesses are individuals. Working one-on-one, you are not only helping the business and the impact that the business has on the economy and on everyone else, but the person as well … and the impact that has on the world…It [ORT JET] is an incredible organisation. It’s a great privilege to be involved,”