Ask any successful business leader: Richard Branson, Jacqueline Gold, Jim Duffy "Did you have a mentor at any stage of your career?"
The answer will be a resounding "yes" and I can guarantee that they have all had more than one business mentor at different points of their career - finding that right person to help them at the right time.
The mentor you engage when you first set up in business will not be the same mentor you have in year five when you are going for growth and global expansion. Mentors come and go and will offer you the help, support and direction you need at any one point of your business career. Like any relationship in life, they come and go at the time you need them the most.
i have had three mentors to date, all very different, and all offering me the advice I needed at each pivotal stage of my career. I am not scared to ask for their help, or tap into their knowledge and creativity.
The mentor I am working with now in year 11 is so different to the lady I had on day one, who offered me hand holding and cups of coffee when I was unsure about marketing, branding even staffing. My mentor today is a high powered executive who puts me through my paces and makes me face my fears and focus on growth and strategy, never once allowing me to doubt my abilities. Anyone who thinks you reach a point where you don't need a mentor is fooling themselves. We can always grow and develop our skills in business - if not, you stand still and even worse, stop growing and moving forward.
As well as being mentored, I have also mentored many women in business over the years, offering my help to those that need it, pulling on what I have learned over the years and passing down to the next generation.
Being a mentor and having a mentor is all part and parcel of being a successful business person. Asking for help, giving back and nurturing new talent. As they say, you reap what you sow, so why not get out there and help another fledgling business leader grow their potential?