Why You Should Have a Mentor and How to Find One

The noun Mentor is defined as “an experienced and trusted advisor” according to the dictionary. Simple as that. Many young entrepreneurs are filled with the motivation to take on their business ideas, but without the knowledge and experience to do that, it’s likely they will encounter a few roadblocks getting started.

For example, one UVU entrepreneur discovered a much cheaper way to replace batteries in hybrid cars. Nobody else was doing this, and this student was eager to start his business hitting the ground running. This student decided to talk to his mentor however, and and realized something that he had completely overlooked, something that could have stopped his business before it even got off the ground. Although this student’s idea was a great one, his mentor pointed out that he should do some research to find out how many hybrid cars are in the area and how many are old enough to need their battery replaced. This student then realized that he hadn’t even considered to find the size of his market. If he were to have started his business to realize that nobody actually needed his product, everything he had worked for would have been for nothing!

Mentors have quite a bit of experience under their belt and probably know a lot more than you do about given topics, therefore they probably have great insights to share with young entrepreneurs to get them past each obstacle in the pathway to starting a business.

Hopefully the benefit is obvious to having someone to bounce ideas off and get good critical feedback from, but one thing that may not be as obvious is HOW to get a mentor. If you are a college student, it’s likely that you might not know someone that you trust and is experienced with entrepreneurship/business/etc who is willing to help you out. No need to worry because the UVU Entrepreneurship program offers students a ton of resources!

One of these resources, called Speed Mentoring, is a way to meet several mentors and find out who is best able to help you with your specific needs. This event is set up similar to speed dating; each student has five minutes to talk with a mentor until the time is up and they move on to the next mentor. Once you have talked with all of the mentors you can connect with the people you felt would be a good mentor match for you and your business. These Speed Mentoring events happen almost every month with specific industry focuses including general business, accounting, entrepreneurship and more.