Isolation Sucks! Why you need a Mentor and How to Be One Too! + a Few Stats

When I started my business I had a few good ideas. A hunch. My intuition whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

No business plan at the time because I wasn’t sure I was fully committed to developing the business in the first place. I was testing out entrepreneurship.

How did I test it out? 

I hosted a few events and waited to see what sort of response I got. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Women wanted authentic networking opportunities with education and advice thrown in. They wanted to hear many perspectives. Most importantly they wanted to ensure they weren’t alone. A little validation and a second opinion. Someone to talk to. Not relatives or well-meaning friends asking “So are you making any money yet?”… “Is that your full time job”, “Your so brave, I couldn’t do take such a big risk… what if you lose your shirt”…
As my business expanded I sought the advice of many mentors. I made sure that my mentorship “ask” was not overwhelming and win-win to the mentor in some way. Over the years I have had some fantastic mentors who helped me. Even sponsors who went the extra step and introduced me to the right people to land business. Kathy Buckworth, Roger Pierce, Barbara Jones, Erica Ehm, Doris Chung and countless other women have mentored me over the years. I am so lucky. If you don’t ask you shall never receive. You just need to know how to ask or join a group or association who will ask for you (WIBN Can help!).
It was important that I educated my community on how to give feedback and ask for support without taking over. If someone asks for your advice as a mentor your job is to guide them. Don’t be a bull in a china shop. Most women hate being told what to do. LISTEN FIRST. Ask questions and be curious. Draw out what your mentee likely already knows deep inside.

Eventually, my incorporated company expanded into a full-fledged business. First with free events, then sponsored events, followed by paid events, and finally paid conferences – at one point we even had cars on display inside our conference I created. I would look around while I was working during those conferences and pinch myself occasionally.  I would reflect with wonder – “I CREATED THAT!” I would say to myself.  Scared old me did that????

We launched a membership association live at our first conference. It was surreal.

In 2016 after much reflection as to what truly helped me build my business I had an idea.

I decided I wanted to provide a new service to WIBN members. Mentorship matching and a monthly meeting of members and mentors. Support on overdrive!

Why Mentorship?
2012 survey showed that 63 percent of women have never had a formal mentor. The reason? Most women feel uncomfortable asking for mentorship. Women represent 52% of post-secondary graduates, but we are not asking for the guidance which is vital to our career growth!

Read more about Why Mentorship Matters and Access Resources Below: 
  • 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs
  • Small businesses that receive mentoring are 20% more likely to experience growth than those that don’t (source: the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative)
  • Despite these encouraging statistics, surprising evidence has emerged recently that suggests 42% of small-businesses owners have never consulted a mentor (source: Moore & Smalley accountancy survey)
  • Harvard Business Review study which finds that employees who are mentored make more money than those who are not.
  • Mentees are more satisfied with their jobs, more committed to their careers and more willing to mentor others.
  • 2012 survey showed that 63 percent of women have never had a formal mentor. The reason? Most women feel uncomfortable asking for mentorship. Women represent 52% of college students, but we are not asking for the guidance which is vital to our career growth!
  • 71% of Canadian women indicated that they would like to start their own business and 83% of them said having access to role models or mentors would be important to their success…. Read More Here
  • Articles and Tips  on Mentorship
  • Additional Programs Entrepreneurial Mentorship Programs in Canada for Women
  • Take the Pledge to Mentor a Women in Canada

 Quotes on the importance of having a Mentor

  • “As they say, advice is cheap, but mentorship is worth its weight in gold.”
  • “Seek advice from multiple mentors”
  • Know what you don’t know. Say I don’t know when you don’t know. ‘I don’t know’ is preferable to bravado”
  • “A true mentoring relationship also works in both directions—they learn about new ideas from you just as you learn timeless wisdom from them.”
  • “Be sure to set your sights on someone who could be a good role model, someone who has the skills and personality that match your chemistry.”
  • “If you come off as someone who knows everything—or thinks you do—many people will back away. If you want to learn, be willing to consider ideas that may not match your expectations or opinions.”
  • “[Don’t] assume that because you are successful or experienced in your field that you don’t need a mentor.”

Bottom line ladies – if you are struggling and sitting at home talking to yourself and second-guessing your decisions get a mentor.  You will thank me later.

There are lots of mentorship opportunities. Formal and informal. Look at associations and google mentorship. Also, find out how WIBN Can help.

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