Copyright 2006 www.eliasg.com
We live in a cynical age. All of us tend to look for “the catch” and consider “caveat emptor” a personal motto. There is no clearer example of this cynical tendency than the popular expression, “those who can’t do, teach.” We tend to doubt the expertise of others in order to defend ourselves against disappointment. We allow our cynicism to push us toward self-help and do-it-yourself activity instead of gaining insight from others. That perspective has reached the home business world, as many view mentoring and teaching offers with a suspicious eye.
That position is understandable. There are, after all, more than a few rotten apples in the instruction and mentoring business. However, those occasional problems do not de-justify seeking expert assistance. Having the right teacher, especially with respect to home business operation, can be the difference between success and failure.
Let us look at why having a quality teacher or mentor can make a positive difference as you seek to grow your own successful home business.
First, having instruction allows you to shorten the learning curve considerably. You are able to short-circuit the usual route of trial and error. A trustworthy advisor can point out potentially damaging pitfalls and provide you with the means by which to avoid them. You can learn tricks of the trade that were discovered through firsthand experience by a veteran home business operator instead of being forced to personally experience the hassles and headaches that inspired them.
Second, quality teaching can provide you with something every entrepreneur needs: an ear. If you have an idea or are interested in trying something different or new, having a mentor available gives you a chance to discuss the concept and to improve your technique before “going live.” It is amazing how many potentially great ideas go unused simply because the thinker was not sure whether it was a good idea. A mentor provides one with an opportunity to discuss, modify and carefully hone new plans for maximum success.
Third, good mentoring gives you an advantage over the competition. Many people are stuck in the cynical mindset and are hell-bent on doing everything themselves. As they slowly move along the learning curve, experiencing setbacks that would have been avoidable with some quality coaching, you can shoot to the front of the line. Having a solid instructor is a good idea to begin with, but when you think of its value in terms of competitors who lack the advantage, its power becomes even clearer.
Does this mean it is time to throw all caution to the wind and embrace the first teaching offer you see? Of course not. Instead, you should redirect your cynical streak into strong critical thinking. Approach the matter smartly, do your homework, and investigate offers carefully. If you are willing to keep an open mind regarding mentorship for your home business endeavor, you can use your suspicions to help you find a great teacher–instead of leaving you to fend for yourself.