You are going to invest time and money in engaging with a business adviser, how do you get the best out of the relationship?
We have many years of experience of helping our clients to achieve great things – here are six tips to getting the best out your relationship with your adviser:
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right” – Henry Ford.
You engaged with your mentor to bring a new perspective and new ideas into your business – you will need to listen well, and be open to new ideas.
For example, if you are the owner of a small business, you might think that you can’t compete on a bigger stage, but there are also advantages of being a small business – you are close to the market and flexible enough to respond quickly to the changes that you see.
The worst thing you can say to your adviser or to yourself is “I know”. During the relationship, your adviser will tell you things that you know already, but they may have a different perspective. As soon as you say “I know”, your brain stops listening, and you will miss something important.
Go into your mentor relationship with an open mind and positive intent – be like Bob the Builder – “Can we do it? – Yes we can!”
2. Make time
“Most people who fail in their dream fail not from lack of ability, but from lack of commitment” – Zig Ziglar
To maximise the benefits of a mentor relationship, you need to set some time aside to learn, and to work on yourself and your business. When we work with clients, we recommend that they set aside a minimum of 5 hours per week.
At this point, you may well be screaming “I haven’t got that much time!”, but your adviser can help you with that. We can help you to set your priorities for yourself and your business, identify your time burglars, and make sure that you spend your time on those things that are important, not necessarily urgent, but will add true value to your business in the long term.
When you grow a small business, often delegation is the most difficult thing to do, but if you learn to trust your team, communicate effectively with them, and give them guidelines on when to ask for help, they will surprise you with how much they can do.
Maybe you don’t have anyone to delegate to yet – the joy of the internet is that there are some very good people out there who can take those low value tasks that you hate off your hands, freeing you up to do the high value tasks that will make your business fly.
3. Keep your promises.
“Integrity is conforming reality to our words – in other words, keeping promises and fulfilling expectations” – Stephen Covey
On a simple, practical level, if you fail to do the things you promise your mentor that you will do, or deliver them late, you are going to waste time and money. Your mentor will ask you to do things that are going to benefit your business, and open you up to new opportunities – why wouldn’t you want to do them, and do them now?
Great leaders deliver on their promises. If the people around you see you make promises and deliver on them, you will provide proof to them that you can be trusted and they will be much more willing to follow you.
4. We are not going to be NICE to you.
“You are not going to enjoy every minute of the journey, but in the end it will be worthwhile” – Mohammed Ali.
You chose your business adviser because you have developed a great rapport with them. Don’t expect them to be nice to you all of the time. We say that when people are being nice to you, it is because “Nothing Inside me Cares Enough” to tell you the truth.
Your adviser needs to be able to speak to you openly and honestly about what they see in your business to be able to help you find the best solution. Sometimes this might be a bit uncomfortable, sometimes they will be exposing the things you already know but might be unwilling to deal with.
A good business adviser will bring a new perspective to your business, they will be objective, and honest with you, and work alongside you to overcome those challenges you might not have wanted to face up to.
5. Be honest and open with your adviser
“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people” – Spencer Johnson
Business owners are often naturally optimistic – we put a brave face on, we want our mentor / mentee relationships to succeed. To get the best out of this relationship, you need to share your dreams, be honest and open about your fears, and to remember there is no such thing as a daft question.
Above all else, if the relationship is not working, TELL THEM! Your mentor cannot put something right if they don’t know what’s wrong.
Sharing your concerns is really important too – we tell our clients that FEAR arises because False Expectations Appear Real. Your business adviser can help you to see those fears in context, to uncover and challenge your underlying assumptions, and help you put together plans to mitigate the risk.
6. Be brave
“Don’t be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again” – Richard Branson
Your mentor is going to ask you to take risks, and to try something new. Not everything is going to work, but by taking calculated risks, you can mitigate any losses, and learn from your failures so that your business has a strong and stable foundation for the future.
Your mentor will help you create a powerful vision for the future of your business, and for your future wealth, health, and happiness. They will help you discover your core values, and create a culture in your business that will enable you to succeed. If you have chosen your team wisely, they will be inspired by your vision, and eager to support you on your journey, but if there are any dissenters, you will need to stand up for what you believe in, bring conflict into the open, and take some difficult decisions. Your team will respect you even more if you take ownership, and be personally accountable for your actions.
What’s holding you back?
Every business owner needs someone to hold them to account – to challenge them and to drive them to achieve even greater things.
Sometimes it can be lonely being a business owner. A mentor will act as a sounding board, and use all of their knowledge and experience to point out the pitfalls and catch you before you fall.
Working with a business adviser will deliver a significant return on the investment of your time and money. Even though you may already be successful, your business adviser will help you to become a market leader in your field.
Mustard Advisers have a robust process, proven to deliver a significant return on investment for our clients. Why not visit our website to find out more about what we do, and the significant benefits our clients have had from working with us: www.mustardadvisers.com
For a free 90-minute business review to find out how we can help your business, call now on 02921 111 262 or email [email protected]