5 qualities your mentor should have

5 qualities your mentor should have

Unlike your friends, mentors are typically more removed from you and your business, so they tend to be more comfortable delivering bad or critical news and advice. Most friends will only tell you what you want to hear

How do you find the right mentor? Set your sights on someone who is a good role model, someone who has the experience, skills and personality that match your chemistry.

Here are five qualities of a great mentor:


Most entrepreneurs have lots of ideas. Some can be put into practice easily, but others will be off-the-wall and need refinement to implement. A good mentor will have some knowledge and some perspective on almost every business subject, which compounds their effectiveness.


Entrepreneurs tend to be driven by the crisis of the moment. As such, it is easy to neglect the real priorities of growing the business. Sharing of your goals with your mentor means that if you don’t complete them, you have a credible voice to remind you and help get you back on the right track.


A successful business never stands still. You need a constant stream of ideas for scaling and expanding, with a realistic understanding of the costs and resources required. Then there’s the exit strategy, which needs planning, connections and forethought.


When you need to find investors, equipment and legal or accounting advice, your mentor has the contacts and knows where to find the must-have information. More importantly, a mentor tells you what you need to do to build and maintain your own list of contacts.


A mentor knows what to look for, and sees what your customers see. It’s natural to become so immersed in your business that you forget to step back and look in from the outside. It’s like living next to the railroad tracks — after a while, you don’t hear the trains.

Does your mentor have these 5 vital qualities?

Adapted from an article by Martin Zwilling

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