Welcome to the WWCF Business Mentoring Program
This is an amazing opportunity for successful business people and growing businesses to get together and empower each other. As a Business Owner you will have a great competitive advantage through the assistance of your successful, professional, business mentor. As a Business Mentor you will have the ability to share all your accumulated wisdom and see it empower other businesses to grow and prosper making the Wellington- Waterloo community a more economically sound place to live and do business.
The more committed you are to the process the more you will enjoy it and benefit from it.
“Every person I’ve ever known or read about who has achieved his or her dreams in any area of life has had at least one mentor in that particular area… The fact is that you need a mentor in any area of your life in which you want to achieve significant success. Mentors will not only enable you to achieve extraordinary success, they will help you achieve it far more quickly than you would ever be able to without their help.” Mentored by a Millionaire, Steven K. Scott
Mentoring is designed to enable others and create opportunities. Our business mentors care about the development of our rural businesses. Mentoring helps us to think and see things differently. We become more open minded, effective and successful in our businesses. The business owner must be open to change and willing to learn in order to create an exchange of ideas that will empower the business and inspire innovation.
Mentoring Program Goals
o We strive to assist small business owners with developing their talents and skills to succeed in today‟s competitive environment
o We provide guidance and support to nurture growth and foster innovation
o We assist with strategic planning, identifying areas of challenge and finding solutions
o We encourage the entrepreneurial spirit through motivation and inspiration
o We believe in the learning partnership – that mentor and business owner will both learn and grow through this process
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” John Crosby
Our Mentors will possess two key abilities: the ability to actively listen, and the ability to counsel…to help someone see a situation from all sides, consider options and decide for themselves the best direction. Our Mentors will possess the qualities of empathy, flexibility, humour, openness and solution-based thinking.
Our Business Owners will be people looking to grow their business, improve themselves and their knowledge base to achieve success on their own terms. Business owners will possess an attitude of lifelong learning, with a willingness and eagerness to learn, ready to grow and stretch, identify their goals, and implement the things necessary to reach those goals. They will become more innovative, effective, efficient, creative, competitive and profitable as a result of their involvement in the Mentoring partnership.
o Both partners (Business Owner and Mentor) are equally committed to the success of the relationship and learning outcomes.
o Both partners will gain and grow from the experience. Each has something to teach, and something to learn, from the other.
o The Business Owner will be “in the driver‟s seat” in terms of driving the content. The topics for the one-on-one sessions are to be initiated by the Business Owner, based on his/her business needs, challenges and learning requirements. It is the Business Owner’s initiative that will drive the success of the relationship and outcomes, and it is the Business Owner, not the Mentor, who is responsible and accountable for that success.
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
What is the Role of a Mentor?
o A mentor is a guide or teacher
o Mentors have several years of practical experience and business success
o They work with a business owner to assist them in growing and developing their business
o The mentor provides support by drawing on their own knowledge and expertise
o They have a strong desire to make a difference and give back to the local community
o They want to pass along some „lessons learned‟.
o Mentors empower and encourage other business owners in a supportive and non-judgmental way
o Mentors are willing to donate their time, talent and abilities to help strengthen our business community
o Mentors have a desire to learn and grow in their ability to relate and communicate with others
How Does Mentoring Work?
o A business mentor facilitates the development of you and your business by sharing known resources, expertise, skills, values and proficiencies.
o A mentor can bring an objective perspective to business issues and aid in the decision making process.
o Mentoring is completely confidential and dedicated to supporting and growing your business.
o When meeting with your mentor, have an open mind, and see how new ideas can help move your business forward.
o Plan on meeting with your mentor on a regular basis, not just when you hit a crisis.
o The business owner takes responsibility to initiate meetings and follow through on the ideas generated.
Who Would Benefit From A Mentor?
o Business owners, who have a strong desire to build their business, realize goals and be successful.
o People who are open to exploring ideas on managing challenges, optimizing their business, and planning for growth
WWCF Mentoring Program Process:
Our business mentoring program is designed to be flexible and enjoyable for both parties. The process to get involved is very simple:
o A business expresses interest, and reviews our potential mentors.
o The business owner discusses their needs and interests with the program coordinator.
o The program coordinator finds them a mentor that seems to match their needs.
o The selected mentor contacts the business owner to set up the initial meeting.
o The business owner and the mentor begin to develop their relationship and work towards transforming the business.
o The program is flexible and works to meet the scheduling needs of the owner and the mentor. Regular meetings, particularly in the beginning, will solidify the mentoring relationship and the growth of the business.
o The business owner must take control of the process and be empowered to take responsibility for the business growth.
o The mentor may need to encourage the process as business owners often get caught in crisis management and don‟t set aside time to plan and redirect.
o The mentor asks questions, makes suggestions and redirects if necessary but the business owner will always make the final decision.
o Listen carefully and actively and then ask good probing questions.
o Be punctual, stay on time and commit 100% to every meeting
o Demonstrate mutual respect and be tactfully honest
o Recognize and acknowledge improvements, no matter how small
o Be genuinely attentive, caring and interested
o Set SMART goals and realistic expectations of the mentoring partnership
o Be patient, success takes time.
o Be open minded – No attitudes of “my mind‟s made up, don‟t bother me with facts”.
o Don‟t try to force your values, attitudes or beliefs on each other.
o Realize that there is more than just one answer.
o Don‟t allow sessions to be “gripe” sessions: be solution, not problem, focused.
o Take notes you will not remember everything.
o Realize that relationships take time, and there is a logical period of time required to adjust to each other‟s styles, expectations, manner and preferred working style. Take the time to get to know each other.
Business Owner Tips
o Ask for help. Don‟t be shy. Your Mentor has already said they want to help you.
o “Be there”. Be “in the moment”. Turn off your cell phone, Blackberry and avoid interruptions. Be completely focused on the meeting, and don‟t let your thoughts wander.
o Write down any questions, issues, challenges or perplexing problems as they come to you, to bring to your mentoring session. Remember, “writing makes it real”, and forgetting happens fast!
o Evaluate everything you do.
o Strive to listen actively and ask thoughtful questions, rather than feel compelled to provide “the answer”. Help your business owner consider and discover many potential “answers”.
o Empathize, without getting caught up in the problem. Your willingness to empathize and try to understand, even if you‟ve never experienced the same problem, will provide much needed support to your business owner.
o “Know thyself”. Know your own limitations, and understand that you‟re providing support, and guidance, not therapy or mental health counseling. Be supportive, but understand and convey the boundaries to your business owner. Know when to refer.
o Pass on copies of articles of interest, and identify books and resources that will benefit your Mentee.
o Evaluate everything you do.
Mentoring Partnership Goal Sheet
Top 3 goals to achieve with my Mentor: 1. 2. 3. I will know I have succeeded in achieving my goals when: 1. 2. 3. “If you don’t keep score, how do you know if you’re winning or losing?” Anonymous