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The Entrepreneur: Business Mentors

Posted on July 12, 2012

Just in case you hadn't noticed, today's entrepreneur often seems to be wired up differently to the rest of the working population. Most notably, they possess an inherit ability to evaluate problems differently and to come up with innovative solutions. Some claim to be afflicted by this; often likening it to a curse which keeps waking them up in the middle of the night with another eureka moment. However, the reality of this 'gift' can also lead to disaster if it is not channelled correctly. The danger for entrepreneurs is they may actually become busy fools!

How do you become a busy fool?

Well, this is caused by 2 related factors:

1. Implement ALL your ideas. In the mind of the entrepreneur, ALL their ideas have EQUAL merit so therefore all of them should be implemented. With so many projects on the go at the same time, the business is simply overloaded with changes and none of these changes end up delivering an effective solution;

2. Working to the quick fix. There is always a huge risk that solutions devised are to local problems.  These quick fixes do not allow anyone to take the necessary time and identify the underlying causes, or review the bigger picture. This often results in the entrepreneur wasting time fixing the wrong problems and possibly making the situation worse.

Avoid being a busy fool!

One of the most common reasons for becoming a busy fool is often the imbalance within the management team. Many entrepreneurs surround themselves with "doers" in order to give their business capacity to implement all of their great ideas.  However, as alluded to above this may create more problems as the changes themselves could end up conflicting and ultimately hindering overall progress.It is becoming more typical for entrepreneurs to turn towards business mentors in order to shape their ideas into a complimentary structure and filter out any that may harm the currently successful areas of the business. The mentors offer guidance through their intuition and elevate the intellectual horsepower of the management team. One of the biggest challenges faced by many entrepreneurs is recognising and appreciating the need to surround themselves with greater business experience. Only then are they in a position to take ideas from paper to the boardroom, and eventually to market. When drafted in, a business mentor will assess the structure within the company and identify any areas with the team that need attention.

In essence, there are 2 overriding requirements for a successful management team  - skill and glue. Skill often comes from basic intelligence and experience which delivers intuitive and often innovative solutions. To gauge this, many entrepreneurs may use a checklist similar to one listed below:

  • Sector skills/experience - this helps to identify opportunities and mistakes previously made by others in the sector.
  • General management skills/experience of building and growth successful growth businesses.
  • Financial Skills - to monitor the issues that need changing and to control the implementation of those changes to maximise their effectiveness.

But of course none of this is able to work if the glue is not there to hold a team together. This "glue" is the enthusiasm and passion of the entrepreneur, enabling the entrepreneur to maximise the strengths of the individual team members. An entrepreneur should be looking to harness individual abilities and enable them to achieve the strategic direction he or she is looking for.


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