Entrepreneurship involves quite a bit of risk taking. In fact, risk is within the very definition of it.
When you step into the unknown and take risks you will, likely, fail – several times over. That’s not to scare you, but to share proper perspective. As the co-founder of PushFar, my third business venture, I know about failure.
Failure can come in all shapes and sizes. Naturally, not all business failures are terminal. Failure within business is often seen as the collapse of a company. That is the extremity of failure. However, it’s the smaller failings and mistakes which are often the more valuable to an entrepreneur.
This might sound crazy but it’s the failures I have faced which have taught me far more than the successes.
Now, failing is never something you should strive to achieve – obviously! However, when they happen it’s important not to beat yourself up or live in regret but instead take that failure and use it to your advantage moving forward.
A lesson in failure
When I launched my first venture I was naiver than I am now. I thought that a healthy marketing budget and spend with the right agencies would guarantee traction, coverage, brand awareness and ultimately business success.
Having spoken with our investors too, one of whom is a very successful businessman in their own right, we decided collectively that the investment of £15,000 ($20,000) on a PR agency was critical to our success. The PR agency pitched well. The slides showed us the coverage they had previously secured with some big international and national press publications. We signed the contract and we spent that money.
It resulted in minimal coverage for us and ultimately, we could attribute less than 100 newly registered users. That equates to spending £150 ($200) per free user sign-up! Failure.
How failure relates to mentorship
You might wonder how my failures as an entrepreneur relate to mentorship. Believe it or not, they have a lot more relativity than you may imagine.
As I mentioned earlier, the failures I have experienced so far in my startup and entrepreneurial journey, have helped me to make wiser decisions in new business ventures. I learn more daily. This learning and understanding helps my business to succeed and grow the right way.
Sure, I still make mistakes, but the failures of the past have reduced them significantly. Having a mentor can further reduce the risk of mistakes and failures. Why? Because the failures of others can teach us just as much as the failures we experience ourselves. And it’s certainly not just in the startup world where mentorship and failure come into play. However, as an entrepreneur you will be treading on new ground every day, so it becomes even more critical to have the support of a mentor.
Becoming a mentor
If you have been in business for more than six months, I think that more than entitles you to be able to offer help and support to other new entrepreneurs in the form of mentorship.
It doesn’t take up too much time either. When you offer your services as a mentor, you can set the expectations. Even if it’s just a half hour Skype call once a month – it’s certainly going to be of benefit to someone out there.
Being a mentor does not have to be hard work, in fact, it can be both incredibly rewarding and empowering.
Ed Johnson is co-founder and CEO of PushFar, a mentoring platform aimed at helping individuals and companies to make the most of career progression and mentoring. Ed’s experience in digital marketing and online business development has seen him reach millions of individuals in the UK and worldwide. Prior to founding PushFar, Ed has worked on digital campaigns for the likes of Zoopla, HSBC, Vodafone and many more. If you are interested in finding out more about mentoring and becoming a mentor or being mentored by others, be sure to register your interest for PushFar’s mentoring platform here.