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When Bad Time Follows, A True Mentor Understands, Supports & Guides!

The role of a mentor does not limit itself to only the happy phases, but also at times when failure is at its peak.

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A True Mentor Always Supports

The recent expansion of the Startup industry, with major pitfalls following the booming success has posed a serious question on the validity of having a good mentor to guide young minds through the exigent demands of the startup journey.

The role of a mentor does not limit itself to only the happy phases, but also at times when failure is at its peak and all possibilities have been tried and tested, but avail no result.

How does someone stay positive in that? Should a mentor understand the underlying principle of mentoring and take the onus of standing by in rough tides and handhold the mentee throughout?

A Mentor Is Your Support System

We say, yes, a mentor is a guide, a support system, a friend, a knight in shining armor and much more. They support a business idea, suggests remedies, inject growth policies, help in analysis of the business model, shortcuts, strategies e.t.c. and are there when the startup fails to perform up to the said benchmarks.

The need of a mentor in the murkier phase of the startup journey is more as compared to that in the stable phases. The process of dealing with failure is disconcerting and can affect an entrepreneur’s confidence level and abilities. In this hour, a mentor provides mental, emotional support to the mentee and rationalizes the concept of failure.

When an entrepreneur goes through the turmoil of making difficult business decisions then a mentor can help them to decide wisely and choose the right path with a calculative mindset.

Failure does not mean end of the world and mentors can make you believe that given their elaborate experience in the field. They can be your trust boards, secret keepers and problem solvers in the times when no remedy works and all strategies fail. The depressing phase of failure can be converted to an opportunity if the mentor understands the reason behind and successfully explains it to the entrepreneur.

Failure Is Not The End!

When negativity engulfs the mind of a failed startup owner, then a mentor can clear the clouds of uncertainty and bring back the motivation needed to think ahead. There are endless ways a mentor can be the guiding light and a solid support system and their advices are priceless.

A sea knows how to balance out its water, it has tides low and high that take away the sand and then deposit it back. The same way a mentor knows when the business can be profitable and when to hold back, they now when to invest or raise funding and when to keep the spending low. They understand that good times do not stay forever and prepare you for the worst, present the real picture, forecast the scenario and study market trends.

Right from the start if entrepreneurs know that there will be ups and down in the startup circle, then they would be well prepared for future. Failure would not come to them as a shock and they would try their level best to take it with an opportunistic stride.

The mentor can influence the opinions of the mentee about themselves and help a great deal when the startup fails. They can assist in rebranding, re-marketing, fund raising, investing when the mentee cannot think clearly and deal with the failure with an optimistic attitude.

The famous Iron Lady of Pakistan, Muniba Manzari, said in one of her speeches,

“Failure is an option, but giving up is not.”

A Positive Outlook Makes A World Of Difference

This is the kind of outlook a mentor has and they try to inculcate the same in their mentee so that they are future ready. We never know what happens in the later phases of startup, how well the brand would do, how the competition would emerge, but with a good and an efficient, experienced mentor by the side, one can believe that the journey would not be that rocky.

There are many examples where entrepreneurs could not deal with failures and gave up without giving a second chance. Mentors play a vital role here, as they can give an alternate route to the bus that lost its way on the startup road.

Let’s cite some examples of start-ups, which tried to survive the high tides of the wide sea, but eventually failed.

PepperTap, (a grocery delivery startup) failed despite raising enough for its survival due to negative margins. The business was shut in less than a year later. Another major failure was GrocShop, founded by IIT Bombay alumni and selected for mentoring by Google.

GoZoomo, a two-year old startup of used cars, shut its business after the founders realized that it wasn’t a fast scalable one. But they did not lose hope as they optimistically thought to divert the capital towards a more profitable venture. One of the investors, also the mentor applauded the decision of the founders, describing it as one of the bravest steps.

About the Author: This article is contributed by Vikram Upadhyaya – Chief Mentor & Evangelist at GHV Accelerator.

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