The mentor-mentee relationship is about more than just learning from a more experienced, seasoned business professional. When done correctly, both parties can reap incredible rewards and discover new opportunities. These trusted relationships can lead to new business introductions and even new business ventures for both the mentor and the student. In this episode of Onward Nation, encore guest and “Original Shark” on Shark Tank Kevin Harrington discusses the broad benefits that make these relationships so rewarding, he discusses how to find and how to use a mentor effectively to get the most out of the relationship, and he shares stories of his own experiences both as a mentee and as a mentor to others.
Before you can learn how to use a mentor effectively, you have to find the right mentor that fits your business and its needs. As Kevin explained during the interview, the best way to find the ideal mentor is to explore your existing relationships with the lawyers, accountants, and other professionals you’re already working with. Your professional network knows your business and your values and can potentially connect you with a great mentor who would be a good fit for your business and its current challenges. As Kevin suggested, ask yourself who you write checks to and start mining those relationships.
Once you’ve formed a relationship with a mentor (or as a mentor with a new mentee), be clear and upfront about your expectations. As the mentee, it’s your job to prove to your mentor that you are their best, most attentive student. Respect the wisdom your mentor is willing to share, and take action based on their recommendations. If you “don’t have time” to follow their guidance, why should they spend the time mentoring you? Learning how to use a mentor effectively is about listening, communicating, and then following through. If you put in the effort, the rewards both you and your mentor will discover may surprise you.
As an “Original Shark” on the hit TV show Shark Tank, the creator of the infomercial, pioneer of the “As Seen on TV” brand, and co-founding board member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization, Kevin Harrington has pushed past all the questions and excuses to repeatedly enjoy 100X success. His legendary work behind the scenes of business ventures has produced more than $5 billion in global sales, the launch of more than 500 products, and the making of dozens of millionaires. He’s launched massively successful products like The Food Saver, Ginsu Knives, The Great Wok of China, The Flying Lure, and many more. He has worked with amazing celebrities turned entrepreneurs including, like Billy Mays, Tony Little, Jack LaLanne, and George Foreman to name a few. Kevin’s been called the Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur and the Entrepreneur Answer Man, because he knows the challenges unique to start-ups and has a special passion for helping entrepreneurs succeed.