In a post last week, I called on seasoned entrepreneurs to get involved with mentoring. Not surprisingly, I heard from several who are already doing it, confirming that they’d like to see more of their peers get involved and validating how much they learn about themselves and business by doing so. So guess who I’m calling on this week?
Those very same entrepreneurs.
I believe we’re at a point in our economy and society where a business owner simply cannot be content to stay at work all day, every day. Things are moving too fast — competition, technology, innovation, distribution, globalization, market preferences. Those who don’t get out of the office, despite the Internet, will be left behind.
Such entrepreneurs are masters of working *in* their business. They love the product or service they sell, enjoy getting their hands dirty, often micromanage their people and operations and keep important business relationships to themselves. If they get hit by the proverbial bus, the business will go “Poof!” overnight.
Do you know anyone like this?
An entrepreneur who isn’t involved with business organizations? Someone who doesn’t attend events or conferences? The friend who doesn’t invest in himself or herself? Maybe it’s the one who’s struggling to get back to profitability? Or the one who keeps having to let their people go?
So do you know anyone like that? If so, then I want you to pull that friend’s head out of the sand. After all, if you’re reading this right now, you’re probably not that person.
You’re probably better than him or her at working *on* your business, not just in it. You’re able to find time to be involved with the community. You probably have dedicated people who are terrific at running your business when you’re not there. You’re probably someone who is connected with local universities, joins organizations, regularly attends events, reads voraciously and seeks out new relationships. In the end, you’re probably someone who’s fairly successful.
And that’s partially due to the fact that you invest in lifelong learning, consciously or not. But your friend doesn’t. So here’s what you can do.
Buy a ticket for him to next week’s Crain’s Fast Fifty breakfast or a future learning event that you plan to attend. Send her a book as a gift, and then send another one next month. Introduce her to a few of your successful entrepreneur friends. Encourage your friend to mentor a young entrepreneur. Help him share his story by speaking in a class or writing a blog. Barrage him with the blogs and web sites you regularly read.
Take your friend under your wing and assume a mentor role. There’s no need to give them advice, tell them your story of success, or otherwise appear that they need to learn from you. Instead, just lead by example and do those things you do for yourself.
You have it in you so go do it. Pull their head out of the sand. Now!