Studies have shown that more than 70 percent of small businesses with owners who receive mentoring survive for five years or more, yet only 30 percent of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are using mentors. That’s why Futurpreneur Canada mentor and Account Manager at TD Commercial Banking, Jarrod Pettipas feels it’s important to give back to the business community and share his wealth of knowledge with young entrepreneurs.

Jarrod has entrepreneurship in his blood. His father was an entrepreneur, and for a long time he hoped he would follow in his footsteps. Although he took a different route, he still gets to work with entrepreneurs every day across various industries and at different stages of launch and growth. When the opportunity presented itself to become a mentor at Futurpreneur Canada, he knew this was his opportunity to pay it forward, especially after seeing the impact mentoring can have on young entrepreneurs’ success.

We chatted with Jarrod and asked him why he decided to become a mentor and the biggest challenges he has faced with mentoring.

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

Volunteering is important, both for the benefit of the communities we live in, and for our own benefit as well. It exposes you to people and situations that you might not see in your day to day job or family life, and makes you a better person because of it. I’ve always had an interest in helping young people succeed. I’ve volunteered with Junior Achievement for 10 years, and I guess I remember being young and unsure about what the future held. If I can help someone else through that period of their life, that’s a pretty great feeling.

Do you have any experience being mentored yourself?

Of course! I’ve had both formal and informal mentoring relationships throughout my life and my career. There’s always room for improvement. We can always become a better person or learn something new, no matter what stage of your career you’re in.

What has been the biggest challenge of mentoring and how did you overcome it?

Time. It’s always time. Work life balance is a challenge on its own, without mixing in volunteering. It’s really important to set time expectations up front, and make sure you can live up to the commitment. To overcome this and make sure I make the most of my time I do the following:

  • Schedule meetings well in advance
  • Setting meeting length and stick to it
  • Have an agenda and send it out the day before the meeting

Do you have any tips on how to maintain a successful and valuable mentoring relationship?

Mentoring is a unique relationship. You’re not the person’s manager, you’re not the persons coach, and you can’t tell them what to do. You just have to provide them with information and share your own personal experience and expertise, and help them come to a decision themselves. If I had to define mentoring I would say it’s helping to empower someone to make their own decisions.

Why would you encourage others to mentor?

It’s a great way to give back to your community. We all need to do something. If you have some business expertise, and enjoy helping people succeed, it’s the perfect fit.

Jarrod is currently mentoring Michael Loder of Biolantic Services Inc., a St. John’s based business that provides repairs and maintenance on medical devices. When asked what has been the most valuable part this mentoring relationship up to this point, Michael shared the following: “Jarrod helps keep everything in perspective. If we are having a slow week, he helps to keep us motivated and to focus on the positive. This keeps us moving forward. It is always good to have someone in your corner that has seen the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.”

If you’d like to pay it forward and become a business mentor with Futurpreneur Canada, click here

Written By: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Creation Coordinator, Futurpreneur Canada

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