Essential Business Mentoring and Coaching. No.2

December 19, 2020 Published by Thomas Cullen

Working with a business mentor when starting your own business or developing a small business is an essential element for your business planning.

I would like to share with you some advice when you are starting your own business, secure the support and guidance of a mentor. This is a simple strategy that is far too often, overlooked but it can increase your start-up’s chances of success more than anything else.

You are well-advised when setting up or developing a business or project to secure the support of a mentor. It is beneficial to have a “battle-hardened” mentor to help guide you through the ups and downs you will face.

As your business takes shape and progresses through various stages it is inevitable that important decisions will need to be made. These decisions are often complex and sometimes it is important to get advice and support from independent sources. A good mentor can be invaluable to entrepreneurs, helping to give advice, new insights, and hold you accountable. Your mentor should bring a different perspective to the table, providing invaluable introductions, and can save you time, money, and heartache by providing you with tried and tested informational shortcuts.

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There are several different stages followed sequentially to help and guide a mentee to consider alternative ways for dealing with a challenging situation, or for tackling any situation where there may be several options… helping and guiding you in making decisions.

The first thing to do is to establish rapport and boundaries by way of the mentee answering a number of core questions so the mentor can prepare and help the mentee think through what they would like to gain from the mentoring. Some questions cover both personal and professional life. A mentor must use questions that they and the mentee are comfortable with and that fits the kind of mentoring session engaged in.


  • What issues would you like to discuss?
  • What outcomes would you like to achieve?
  • What would make the mentoring work for you?
  • What are the key challenges, opportunities, and risks you would like to discuss?

Mentoring works best when the mentor can:

  • Facilitate the right balance
  • Provide practical and mental preparation for a session
  • Facilitate a structured approach
  • Establish ‘where the mentee is at’
  • Then nurture learning
  • But the mentee stays in control

The way to achieve this is to provide:

  • Space to reflect outside of the normal routine
  • An opportunity where the mentee can share their agenda, interests, and goals
  • Offer support by listening, asking the right questions and drawing out the mentee’s own responses to their problems and issues

Balanced with:

  • Stimulation to help the mentee reflect in different or deeper ways, and to consider alternative perspectives
  • Challenge as well as suggests creative ideas, knowledge, success stories, models, tools, leading-edge thinking and wisdom
  • Provide a well-defined ‘take away’ that adds a value that is relevant

Thomas Cullen Founder and C.E.O,

Ireland and U.K.

“Keeping Business-Focused”

Looking forward to hearing from you, book a free introductory online mentoring session

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Copyright December 2019



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