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Mentorships: The Ultimate Networking Tool

Much more than advisors, mentors can help you learn the ropes and locate prospects, too.

This story appears in the September 2001 issue of

Whether you're learning how to write a business plan orsimply honing your management skills, it's always a good ideato consult a mentor before and after start-up. And while mentoringhas been going on since the Middle Ages, most mentorship now goesbeyond basic training and counseling. Mentors are recommendingentrepreneurs to clients, setting up booths for them at trade showsand giving them access to sales teams.

"If one of your needs is to market yourself, you can getmentoring help [for] that," says Dr. Linda Phillips-Jones, apsychologist and mentoring consultant with The MentoringGroup, a Grass Valley, California, mentoring firm. "Yourmentoring network will market and sell you to their friends. Havinga mentor is a great self-marketing tool."

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