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womenmentorWhile growing and sustaining a career in business requires a lot of individual passion, energy and commitment, nobody goes it alone. Behind every great businesswoman, you’ll find an equally great network of mentors. (Note the plural.) 

Mentors are more than just a sounding board; they’re a personal network that offers up invaluable insights based on years of experience. Their feedback and guidance can help you with everything from steering your career to honing your decision-making, from making new connections to avoiding pitfalls.

And one mentor simply isn’t enough. If you want to thrive, you need to surround yourself with a diverse team of trusted advisers who bring a unique scope of knowledge and perspective to the table.

Darla Beggs discusses the types and importance of having mentors in your network....

1. Industry Mentor

The Industry Expert is the type of mentor most people are familiar with. This is someone who works in your field and has a deep understanding of what’s going on within it. They’re able to share tricks of the trade while also providing insights on the industry’s past, present and future.

2.  Business Mentor

A Business Mentor provides guidance on your challenges, goals and other matters of business. Whether they’re offering up advice on hiring, operations or overcoming obstacles, the advice they provide always takes the bigger picture into account. 

3. Personal Mentor

While Personal Mentors can work in your field, they’re often someone from outside your industry who you admire and respect. The Personal Mentor provides guidance on how to achieve – and maintain – a sense of balance while juggling all the demands and obligations of home, life and work.

4. Community Mentor

We’ve all heard the expression, "It's all about who you know." In business, it's about who you know, who they know and with whom they are willing to connect you. The Community Mentor is someone who helps you grow your network by opening up their own. They’re well connected in the community, and never hesitate to refer leads or make beneficial introductions.

5. Money Mentor

For those of us without a PhD in Finance, a Money Mentor proves an invaluable member of our mentor teams. This type of mentor provides financial advice – from investing to budgeting to accounting. They’re able to share insights on not only how to grow your wealth, but how to make your wealth work for you.One of the best ways to empower personal and professional growth is to surround yourself with people who are willing to pay-it-forward and boost you up. The insight and support you receive from your mentor team is the difference between simply surviving and learning how to truly thrive in business.

Darla is the president of Abba Staffing and Consulting, providing​ staffing solutions and career opportunities to clients. When she's not working on growing her business, Darla devotes her time to various minority and women-owned business groups and associations, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), for which she serves as the chair of the NAWBO National Directors. NAWBO works to ​propel women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. For more information on NAWBO, please visit http://www.nawbo.org.

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