5 Reasons Why You Need a Business Mentor Having a business mentor can be an invaluable tool for success.

By Richard Maize

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the first bits of advice given to a new real-estate agent is to find a solid mentor. Much like any new job, studying the materials and applying them in real life are two very different things. Fortunately for many, the internet provides us with endless blogs, videos and podcasts to help us on our journey. Where this information can often fail us, however, is in its inability to help us during more unique hardships or introduce us to valuable connections.

Maybe you have a phenomenal idea, but you have no clue which steps to take to see it come to fruition. Or perhaps you've studied everything you're supposed to do but have no idea what to do when you hit a roadblock. Having a mentor can help you figure out what will work best for your career in either scenario and many others as well. Here's how.

1. Mentors help you see the overall picture

Seasoned mentors have experienced firsthand what you're going through, and they've already lived several possible outcomes. They can help you step back and see the overall picture, especially when you're obsessing over the most minute details. Since they've already "been there" and "done that," mentors can help you reach a goal in less time, as they've already taken the steps that led them to achieve their success.

Someone who has successfully set up and launched one or more businesses has already taken the wrong turns, experienced setbacks and found solutions. So, while you may have trouble seeing past a roadblock, a mentor can step in and show you the way around it. In addition, he or she can offer unbiased advice and make predictions based on his or her many experiences in the industry.

Related: Looking for a Mentor? The 7 Best Places to Start.

2. They provide opportunities and valuable connections

Your mentor has met a plethora of entrepreneurs on the road to success and can make introductions when the time is right. It can take decades to find the right connections, and your mentor can help you connect with people you probably wouldn't have access to otherwise.

Additionally, your mentor can show you opportunities you may not be aware of, and he or she can help you connect the dots that are currently out of your reach.

3. They keep you in business longer

According to Salesforce, the average lifespan of a startup is just 20 months. While there are several reasons startups fail, your mentor has seen it all and can help you see potential problems before they arise. Your mentor has made the expensive mistakes that can thwart growth, and he or she has found the solutions that helped put him or her back on track. Your mentor is there for you to bounce ideas off of and can offer you valuable advice on whether or not to pursue an idea or trash it — and why. Having a mentor handy to advise you on various transactions can help you save the money you'll need to keep yourself afloat during difficult times and fund your other great ideas in the future.

Your mentor can also point out when you need to rest. He or she has likely burned the candle at both ends many, many times and knows how devastating it can be to your business goals when you burn yourself out entirely.

Related: 6 Factors You Must Consider When Choosing a Mentor

4. They offer reassurance and inspiration

We all need a little reassurance now and then, and your mentor is the perfect person to offer you that bit of validation you're seeking. Research shows that quality mentorship has a positive impact on young entrepreneurs. Through his or her own experiences, your mentor has shared the same fears and insecurities as you, and he or she can reassure you when you need it most.

It's essential to find a mentor whom you wish to emulate, as he or she can provide you with endless inspiration to keep pushing yourself. Mentors have done or are doing what you so wish to accomplish, and they are there to guide you along your journey. They are living proof that what you want is achievable, and you have the invaluable opportunity to listen and adhere to their pearls of wisdom.

5. They give you invaluable advice without a price tag

A rookie mistake would be confusing a mentor with a consultant, the latter of which typically comes with a hefty price tag. The right mentor is not looking to help you succeed at his or her own financial gain. Instead, a mentor's only goal is to see you do well by learning from his or her own mistakes and wins.

Your business mentor should be driven by a desire to watch you grow professionally and personally, and his or her reward is seeing your budding business succeed. Your mentor's advice and guidance are invaluable — even though it won't cost you a dime.

Related: 4 Benefits of Finding a Mentor

Richard Maize

Financial and Investment Consultant

Richard Maize is a real-estate entrepreneur who has built a well-respected reputation for making astute business investments. Before the age of 30, Maize had already accumulated 1,000 apartment units, and he now owns property in 20 states. Additionally, Maize invests in TV and film and philanthropy.

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