Starting your business is one of the most exciting and nerve-racking experiences you will ever have. Taking those first steps and establishing yourself is hugely rewarding, but taking that next step and scaling can be a daunting and sometimes frustrating prospect.

How do I take that next step?

Having engaged lots of successful entrepreneurs, I have been told that access to mentors who have 'been there and done it' is critical.  In a growing business, the founder can often find themselves in a place of isolation.  They often have the vision, but sometimes struggle to implement it while being immersed in their business.

Access to good mentors is one of the things that can help you take that next step. But be very careful - the emphasis is very much on 'good'.  

When choosing a mentor, be thorough. 

Don't just go with the first person that comes across your path.  If someone constantly talks about themselves and all of their successes, then I doubt they will add any value to your business. 

Good mentors listen, guide and facilitate sessions by helping to obtain mutual respect.  They'll use their failings as points for discussion; this helps to re-enforce that we are all human and even the most successful of entrepreneurs make big mistakes.  

Do your research, are they the right fit for you and your business? Are their past experiences relevant? 

Finally, you have to trust them and have real faith in what they are telling you.  Otherwise, you are just wasting your time!