July 4, 2016 Last updated September 18th, 2018 2,177 Reads share

Using a Mentor to Grow Your Business with Per Wickstrom’s Example

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Growing a business from the ground up is a daunting task and many entrepreneurs are simply not up to the challenge without a mentor. Although they have a great idea, the stress of starting a business is more than they’d bargained for. Per Wickstrom of A Forever Recovery knows all too well just how emotionally and physically challenging it can be and without the guidance of his own mentor, he may never have grown the number of businesses he now has and become one of the leading experts on rehab centers in the United States.

It Starts with an Idea

Any successful entrepreneur will gladly tell you that everything starts with a simple idea. Per explains, “One day you are sitting there and it hits you that you can do something bigger and better than what is available out there and you can give consumers something others in your field haven’t thought of yet. It’s a tiny seed, a little idea that takes root and before you know it, it consumes your every waking moment. However, once you begin putting things together and actually start working on a business plan, that idea doesn’t seem as brilliant as it once did. There will be times when you will be tempted to throw in the towel.”

One Step at a Time

Many thousands of recovering addicts are more than happy that Per Wickstrom didn’t give up on his dream to start that first recovery center. Per is thankful that he had a mentor to keep him thinking positive throughout those early days and offering him the emotional and business support he needed to keep his dream alive. He says it’s like the motto from the 12 step program, “One day at a time” but when it comes to starting a business it’s “One step at a time.” This is something he understands full well being in the business of working with addicts from all walks of life.

Growing Your Business by Empowering Others

When it comes to growing your business, the first realization that you can’t do everything by yourself is where the stress comes in. Per looks back thinking about how he was trying to be all things to all people and somehow that wasn’t working. His mentor had him sit calmly back and look at where he was and where he had yet to go. It struck him that what he needed was a team of leaders who each had a vital role in his budding organization. From there, it was a matter of mentoring them so that they could mentor those they were charged with leading. Now, Per Wickstrom is one of the most successful business leaders in his field and he attributes his success to the concept of peer mentoring.

Establishing a Peer Mentoring Program

When you run a successful business and have mentored key leaders within your organization, you can also train those people to become mentors in their own right. Many of the most successful corporations have begun training mentors to take on the role of mentoring those in the onboarding process. When establishing a peer mentoring program, there are some steps to take which include:

  • Set clear cut goals. Are mentors going to focus only on work related issues or will they be there for personal issues if they arise? Often the two are intertwined and that’s why many mentoring programs allow for personal mentoring as well. When it comes to drug rehab, personal mentoring is of prime importance.
  • Let your mentoring team help build the program. When you start your mentoring program you will have trained a few key people to begin the process. Why not let them help you establish some ground rules and lay out a process that mentors are to follow? A chain of command so to speak.
  • Provide opportunities for the mentors to meet socially and professionally. Building a strong team of mentors entails building a team that works and plays well together. Mentors should be on the same page when it comes to mentoring employees because the company has a mission statement, a business plan to follow. Mentoring newcomers means helping them adjust to the ‘company way’ of doing things while feeling comfortable in their new job.
  • Let your peer mentors help you recruit new talent. As the team that will be mentoring throughout the onboarding process, they are the ones who will be working with your new recruits. They will be in a good position to know which personalities will be a good fit and which they feel will be in line with company goals. Not only will this help you recruit the best talent for your needs but you will be empowering your mentors to grow accordingly in their roles as leaders.

Many of the largest global corporations have begun peer mentoring programs and the above steps have been successfully developed and utilized as the concept of peer mentoring grew. The one last benefit which should be mentioned is the fact that most new recruits connect better with peers than with management. There is a natural fear of those in authority and when being guided by peers they feel less pressure. In this way, they adjust easier and quicker than if they had been through a long and rigorous training program with management overseeing the training. Peer mentoring works better almost every time across the board.

Those looking to start and grow a lucrative business should understand the challenges presented to them and that there is almost no way a startup can manage every aspect of a business on his or her own. Just as you have been mentored, it’s time to mentor others and show them how they, too, can be mentors. It’s a trickle-down effect and once you get the ball rolling, you will find your team leaders more than willing to share what they’ve learned. In short, by creating a team of mentors every person in your organization feels as though they have a special part to play and will soon be vital to your company’s success. Together you can do what one man (or woman) could not possibly do alone. That’s what mentoring is all about – empowering. Once you understand that, the sky is the limit.

Images: ””Mentor” red text on card hold by confident young business man with word cloud and map on background – business, strategy and finance concept  / Shutterstock.com


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Veselina Dzhingarova

Veselina Dzhingarova

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