You’re in this for the long haul. You’ve set your sights on business goals that extend into the future. You also are already aware that there will be challenges and difficulties all along your journey. Are you fully prepared to meet them head-on? Having a long-lasting relationship with a mentor (or mentors) can be the key to continued growth and success over time. 

High achievers throughout history have always had a mentor: someone with experience and wisdom that is there to help guide them when navigating all the pitfalls of their professional life. Those that truly excelled made sure they kept that relationship intact. 

Here are two of the many reasons why long-lasting relationships with mentors offer continued growth:

Uncovering Buried Treasure in You

There is no one like you, and no one else can do what you do quite in the same way that you do it. Whether you offer products or services, your own unique flair is what will make you stand out from the crowd. Sometimes it can be hard to uncover what is special within yourself. A mentor can help you to find that buried treasure. 

As you grow and mature in both life and business, your skills and talents will become stronger and richer as you gain wisdom and experience. Your long-term mentor knows you well and can help you rethink how you do things and conceptualize making use of your growth and maturity. This will ensure that you are making the most of all that you have learned over time. 

Providing You With Honest Feedback

Many of us find it very difficult to receive feedback, even when it’s given in a way that is neither insulting nor patronizing. Perceiving feedback improperly can cause us to react to any feedback either as a challenge or an insult. 

A long-term mentor is there to give you criticism throughout your journey, and it won’t always be fluffy and positive. As a smart business owner, you understand that it’s important to know when you’re doing things that will negatively impact your operation. So when your mentor tells you the truth, be thankful! They are with you on this journey to help, no matter what that may feel like at the moment. If you are positioned to be receptive, your mentor will be more than willing to stay with you over the long haul, since they can see that you are invested in enhancing your personal and professional growth. That means even when the truth is hard to hear.

One of my own favorite sayings is this one: “Don’t get offended; get better.” You cannot grow and mature if you aren’t willing to look at things objectively and do the hard work. 

I’m AnnaVija McClain. I am a small business owner myself, and I am also very committed to giving back to the business community through mentor relationships, providing internships, creating resources and services, and public speaking. I have spoken to thousands of people at conferences, colleges, and companies to help others achieve greater clarity so that they can in turn increase their own impact through business growth and personal fulfillment. 

Oh, and one last thing. Yes – I have mentors!