Eight qualities that make for a good mentor (Inc)

By Young Enterpreneur Council 

No one achieves success all on their own. Many of today’s most prominent business leaders can point back to a mentor who helped guide them during the formative years of their careers. Mentors are an invaluable source of motivation and wisdom for any budding professional. These individuals can act as your guide through uncertainty and difficult career situations, and as your cheerleader when you begin to realize your goals. To help young professionals who are seeking mentorship, we asked a group of entrepreneurs what qualities all great mentors have in common. Reflecting on their own experiences, here’s what they say you should look for as you choose your mentor. 

They have vision

When Piyush Jain, CEO of SIMpalm, began his entrepreneurial journey, he learned many skills from his mentor. However, what stood out most to Jain was his mentor’s vision for the future. “He was able to project the next five to 10 years for himself and the business and follow through,” says Jain. “Vision is where all the execution becomes fruitful.” 

They express positivity

It’s natural to sometimes feel like you’re “behind” in your career or want to be in a better place, says Jared Atchison, co-founder of WPForms. When you start negatively comparing yourself to others, your ideal mentor should counter that with a positive outlook. “A good mentor expresses positivity to ease those doubts and reassures you that, with enough dedication and work, you can be exactly where you want to be,” Atchison says. 

They ask the right questions. 

A great mentor doesn’t necessarily know all of the solutions to your problems, says Rachel Beider, CEO of PRESS Modern Massage. They do, however, ask the right questions to help you understand more about the challenges you face. “When dealing with a recent crisis, my business coach helped me out of my anxious headspace by asking me bigger picture questions that put me in a more strategic mindset,” Beider explains. “Change the questions, change the outcome.” 

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