When is it good to work with a mentor, or do you need an industry expert?

Ideally, we could do with both.

An Enterprise Mentor can mentor any business in any industry but their level of specific knowledge will be limited – you still need them though.

Have an outlying mentor and build into your action plan to find an industry expert or experts as you go forward.

I’m often asked for a mentor who has worked in the mentee’s industry. I understand this but what they are asking for is an industry expert. An industry expert may not have the mentoring skills and therefor the conversations will be shallow and quick. I find experts to be fairly single-minded and will tell the mentee what to do because it worked for them. This is fine but it is not mentoring. When working with an industry expert, take what you like and leave what you don’t. 

An enterprise mentor is a person who will support you to help you achieve your goals. A mentor may share with mentee information about his or her business path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modelling. A mentor may help with decision making, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources. You can share with your mentor your finding with the industry experts to further the action plan.