Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 143
MENTORING & COACHING
JAMES'S TAKE ON MENTORING
IT'S WELL WORTH FINDING SOMEONE WITH THE EXPERIENCE TO HELP YOU,
SAYS JAMES - AND YOU MAY FIND THAT PERSON VERY CLOSE TO HOME
Mentoring is becoming more
going through. Someone twice your age
accessible and recognised within the
with 20 years' corporate experience won't
mentor won't remove all the obstacles
It is important to remember that a
entrepreneurial circle these days. That's
necessarily be able to immediately recognise
your business faces. But they can
because people are finally starting to
your struggles. If possible, look for someone
certainly show you a better route
understand the impact a mentor can
of a similar age who has taken a similar
to get where you need to go.
have on an aspiring entrepreneur.
path and can help you avoid the mistakes
Mentoring shouldn't be seen as
Starting up is a long process full of
they made. Finding a mentor you relate
a panacea. It's a means by which
highs and lows. I have failed many times
to and who shares your same passions
entrepreneurs can make better decisions
in business, and each failure taught
is essential. Without these similarities
at those crucial moments in the life of a
me a valuable lesson and allowed me
you're just wasting each other's time.
business. The experience is a constant
to hone my knowledge. My mistakes
Secondly, look for someone who
learning process. Everyone needs a
and missteps set me on the right path
knows your sector inside out. Only if they
and gave me the grounding I needed
have expert knowledge of your chosen
to succeed. Now the most important
sector can they point you in the right
of the government-backed Start Up
thing is to share those lessons of failure
direction and allow you to make the most
Loans Company, I was in the privileged
with entrepreneurs and people running
of the mentor/mentee relationship.
position of being able to pass some
SMEs in order to steer them away from
Thirdly, you want to take advantage
helping hand, no matter who you are.
In my previous role as chairman
of my knowledge to some incredible
the same pitfalls - and that's why I'm
of everything your mentor has to offer,
entrepreneurs. With my experience as
always championing mentoring.
so it's extremely useful to work with
a passionate entrepreneur, being able
somebody who can open some doors for
to share my knowledge with the next
a great, rewarding experience -
you. Someone with important contacts
generation of entrepreneurs is important
as is explaining how my father
could help you progress faster.
to me. What's the point in possessing
Sharing my own journey is always
acted as my mentor and helped
And don't forget, your perfect mentor
it if I'm not using it to help others?
sculpt my future success. So, what
could be anybody. Sometimes you just need
makes the perfect mentor?
to take a look around you - your mentor
sharing wisdom you'll never forget. For
Firstly, I advise anybody seeking
Mentors can guide and nurture you,
could be a parent, brother, sister, friend,
me, my father's one-liner - "Observe the
a mentor to look for somebody who
cousin, colleague, competitor... the list goes
masses and do the opposite" - is advice
can really understand what you're
on! Don't underestimate your options.
that still resonates with me today.