Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 3:51 am | Overcast 58º



Bob Vitamante: 5 Signs That You Do Not Need a Business Mentor

Noozhawk’s note: First in a series addressing challenges affecting small businesses written by experienced volunteers with the Santa Barbara Chapter of SCORE, the national resource arm of the SBA that offers free confidential business mentoring. This article is written by Bob Vitamante, the chapter’s chairman.

As a business owner, I know that I definitely do not need a mentor because:

» My business is running perfectly and I am achieving my vision, mission and objectives.

» My business can run and grow smoothly without me since my staff is completely aligned on our goals.

» I have a totally balanced, stress-free life, and I have the right amount of time to spend with my family and develop myself personally, professionally and financially.

» I have complete trust in my advisers, coaches and mastermind groups, and they enable me to cut through business problems easily at a reasonable cost.?

» We love problems since they provide exciting opportunities for growth and development.?

?Now, if the above describes you, Bravo! If it doesn’t (since few achieve such nirvana), don’t give up — there is hope! Read on!

?Businesses, for most owners and managers, can be a very lonely place, a scary place even. You don’t know who to trust, changes happen daily, and most are not viewed as “good.” There are only challenges, challenges and more challenges. If it’s not a customer, it is a vendor, or a staff member, or whatever. ... Actually, change is all there is, and anytime there is change, we typically call it a “problem.” And past solutions seldom seem to fully address the “new issue.”

?Business owners, by and large, are a hardy lot. They’re tough, entrepreneurial and tend to “go it alone.” They may not be egoic per se, but they believe in themselves — strongly. In fact, being so self-sufficient, they rarely share their true fears and concerns with others — not their staff, their professional advisers, their families or anyone. Much of this resistance is due to fear that there is no one to trust, that it’s “not leader-like” to acknowledge’ that you don’t have all the answers, that everyone else has a self interest affecting their advice, etc. That’s a tough place to be.

What’s an owner to do?? ?Well, there is a solution, and it’s one that simply acknowledges that no one can know everything. Find a mentor. What is a mentor? Simply stated ,a mentor is someone who has experience well beyond your own, is objective and neutral, has no financial interest in your decision, and whose interest is only to help. They may not personally fix the problem, but they will help direct you in approaches to resolving it.

?Where do you find such godsends? Easy: Ask for one. Look for accomplished senior business leaders in your industry, or those who have the skills you most need, and then simply ask them. Highly successful business people are often extremely willing — and even flattered — to be asked to help another business owner. They know the benefits of just “giving back” to help another human being.

Another way to find a mentor is to contact SCORE, a volunteer association of highly experienced local entrepreneurs and businesspeople with a broad range of skills sets. SCORE mentors provide free confidential mentoring to its clients. It’s that simple. Click here to learn more about SCORE.

??Of course, it’s my hope that most readers fall into the category of “not needing a mentor” since everything is running perfectly. ?

?— Bob Vitamante is a business consultant, CPA and former operating executive/CFO of several service companies, including Select Personnel, Pinkerton’s Inc., The Olsten Corp. and Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. He has also been the owner of several small businesses, and is a volunteer and chairman of the Santa Barbara Chapter of SCORE. He is available to local organizations for speaking engagements and to local businesses for business consulting and/or mentoring, and he can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of John Sener
John Sener
"I am known for tenacity, diligence, honesty, and sound decision making with the ultimate goal of closing every transaction to the satisfaction of all involved parties."

Full Profile >