If you’re trying to start a company in high school, chances are you don’t have too much entrepreneurial experience. Luckily, getting a mentor can be the perfect solution for this. Aside from guiding you with knowledge from their own experiences, a mentor can provide you with resources and connections that would otherwise be out of your reach. If you want to have a real shot at a successful business while in high school, a mentor might be just what you need.
How a Mentor Can Help You
When launching a business in high school, many try to go in alone. As tempting as this might be, getting someone older and wiser to help you can be valuable. At the most basic level, a mentor can give you their honest feedback on your ideas and plans. We often have something called “confirmation bias” for our own ideas; that is, rather than evaluating our ideas realistically, we only look for evidence that supports them so we can carry on with executing them. Having an unattached and independent mind to review your proposals helps to ensure that they’re good ideas in the real world, not just in your mind.
Along with honest feedback, a business mentor can connect a high school student to otherwise unreachable opportunities and resources. From their professional life, a mentor likely knows plenty of business people who could be of use to you. This could be anyone from a supplier to a colleague who’s willing to teach you about marketing and funding. Your mentor can introduce you to these people and get you access to them that you wouldn’t have alone. Further, both your mentor and their connections can help to answer your questions and solve your challenges. Although you don’t necessarily want them to run the business for you, an experienced mentor can offer intelligent solutions for any problems that you’re facing.
Where to Find a Mentor
Finding and recruiting a mentor for your business is easier than you might think, especially as a high school student. Many business people want to give back to the community, and helping a student launch a company is the perfect chance for them to do so. If you reach out to a potential mentor with respect and enthusiasm, chances are they’ll be interested in helping you.
Although a valuable mentor could come from almost anywhere, there are a few places you can look if you don’t already have someone specific in mind. First, think of adults in your community who you look up to. Options could be teachers, extracurricular leaders, coaches, and more. You can also ask your parents if they have any friends or colleagues that they think could be a good mentor for you.
A mentor could also be someone you had no connection to beforehand. If there’s any networking, speaking, or business events near you, consider going to them. Other attendees will likely be interested that someone of your age is attending, and the conversations that result from this could help you to meet a potential mentor. At a smaller event, you have even more options. If any of the speakers interest you, you could approach them, start a conversation, and get their contact information.
If you can’t make it to physical events, you can also find a mentor by reaching out to people online. Messaging individuals directly on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Venzur makes this easy. Or if you’d prefer, sending an email is always a good and professional option. Since you’d be reaching out to these people without an introduction from a mutual friend and without meeting them in person, it would be harder to get their interest than with other methods, but it’s definitely still possible to find a mentor with this approach. If the interaction shows your honesty, respect, and enthusiasm, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in mentoring you.
Get a Mentor and Start Your Business Today
Once you find a potential mentor and get them to help guide you, the sky’s the limit for your business. The chances of your company succeeding are much higher when you have someone offering you their wisdom. And regardless of how the venture goes, you’ll learn so much more from it with a mentor on board. If you’re ready to launch your business, a mentor and the Venzur community are your keys to success.