Ben Beveridge, Inspiring Excellence Inc., Vernon, BC, Futurpreneur Canada Mentor,

The most important thing a mentor can provide is real experience. Finding someone that has been through what you are going through is of incalculable value.

The mentor that has gone through the challenge you are facing can tell you what worked and what didn’t, what succeeded or failed, what they tried, what they didn’t, and why– but more importantly they can tell how it felt to go through it.

The emotional impact of the challenges you face as an entrepreneur is rarely discussed, but can often be the single greatest factor in whether you come through it successfully or not. Do you feel overwhelmed? Do small problems become seemingly insurmountable? Can you discern whether a specific problem is as big as you think it is? Do you feel like you are going through this alone? Do you feel like the people around you don’t really understand what you’re going through?

Find a mentor that has faced the challenges that you are facing. Whether they have faced them and won, or faced them and failed, there are things you can learn from what happened, how they dealt with it, and most important, how they balanced how they felt while they were going through it.

Too often as business owners, entrepreneurs, and start-up teams, we rely far too heavily on theory, third-hand knowledge, outside opinion, and criticism. Someone who has never faced your challenge cannot tell you what it’s like to go through it. Find the mentor with first-hand knowledge and you will be best equipped to face the emotional aspects of your business with confidence, and focus.

There is no substitute for real experience.

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