The Most Important Reason I Chose To Become A Mentor

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Most people follow different reasons when offering to be a mentor to founders or startups. Our author shares his thoughts - maybe you fill find a piece of yourself in his answer to this question.

“Ok, but what motivates you to mentor?” asked my then manager. I took a short pause to think it over and answered: “Isn’t it something great and useful when someone shares the experience that has brought him/her to success?”

What Motivates Others?

Now, two years later and a few days before my third event as a mentor, the words of my former manager came to my mind again. This is why I decided to write an article about mentoring, but throughout the week I was not clear on the different reasons that push me to mentor, other than the positive feeling of “Giving Something Back”. To discover more reasons why people chose to mentor, I addressed this question to my network ( And here are some thoughts on mentoring from 3 c-level and experienced private sector professionals:

Steven Sudy, a startup mentor at Startup Pirates, organizer and head coach of CEE Women Startup Competition and head coach at Pioneers Festival:

“1. Because it’s an exhilarating feeling when a mentee achieves success and gives you a hug! 2. To give back to the ecosystem, the way people helped me when I first started out. 3. Network.”

Aleksandra Kireeva, graduated for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship program at Manchester Business School where she got introduced to the UK’s vibrant startup community:

“Personally, I do mentoring and pro bono to help people save time – not to make some mistakes, or concentrate on what’s more important at the moment, or find ‘shortcuts’ in looking for knowledge. Also, the admiration of the mentee, to whom my help has really added value, is priceless.”

Steve Glange, founder of LBAN (Luxembourg Business Angels Network) and board member of EBAN (European Business Angels Network), country advisor International Accelerator Austin, Curator of Startup Digest, Chapter Director of Startup Grind Luxembourg and advisor at True Global Ventures answered:

“I do it for enabling my ecosystem to advance and develop as well as to have others dare to dream and even realize their dreams.”

It is noticeable that “Giving Back” is the reason that prevails and this was confirmed by my online search as well. However, giving back does not tell the whole story on what motivates people to become mentors, there are other personal reasons that vary from mentor to mentor.

It is great when you mentor a new, unexperienced entrepreneur that wishes to make the world a better place (at least their world) without displaying the arrogance often applied by Expert Power in their approach as a consultant. As a mentor, you listen and share your story, be it success or failure, offering a tool to the mentee to find the answer by himself/herself. Showing the road that the mentee could follow to find a solution means helping them not only once, but also in the future when you are not present.

The Power Of Change

I always like to tell and explain, to share my experiences, no matter if they were successes or failures. For me, this is the reasons I mentor, as well as trusting in the power of new entrepreneurs, the power of change.

The enlarged network, visibility and exposure to the ecosystem ensures a good reputation, which in itself brings along recognition. The joy of feeling new and young again by taking over the challenge of establishing a new business from scratch is also a reason for the mentors to do what they can do best.

The Best Part?

Your knowledge is what it is, you are invited to mentor based on your experience and what you know. It is not expected from you to know everything and if you are open enough you might even learn new things yourself during the process.

And what about you, what drives you to mentor? Please comment below.



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Photo credit: yapsnaps via Visualhunt / CC BY