The Golden Rule of Entrepreneurship


As we reflect on how far we’ve come on our entrepreneurial journey, it’s hard to ignore the lessons we learned along the way. Throughout our careers—there were wise voices that emerged to give us the insight and motivation we needed to keep pushing forward. Now it is our duty as successful entrepreneurs to reach back and share that wisdom with the next generation of business owners. That is the golden rule of entrepreneurship.  We must find opportunities to pass on the success secrets that made us who we are today.

10 reasons to become a business mentor:

  1. It is a great act of kindness: A new entrepreneur faces rough waters at the start of their career. Offering a helping hand in times of need is one of the most generous things you can do.
  2. It makes you evaluate your own ideas: Sharing your business philosophies with a mentee is a great way to perform a few checks and balances on your standards. As the market changes, old rules may not apply anymore, and sharing with someone is a great way to identify any outdated practices.
  3. It can offer a new perspective on your work: When you’ve seen your business a certain way for an eternity, a new set of eyes may be just what you need to infuse your product or service with new life, or discover a new use and market.
  4. It allows you to acknowledge your accomplishments: Most people don’t like to pat themselves on the back. But sometimes it is beneficial to sit back and take stock of your triumphs. Being a mentor is a guilt free way to consider how far you’ve come.
  5. It inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs: In your difficult moments, someone extended a hand to help you. Someone encouraged you to become great. Pay it forward by offering that kind of guidance and support to the next generation. Be inspiring.
  6. It can keep you up to date on current trends: Staying informed is the best way to stay on top. Having a mentee who is immersed in the current culture could give you a heads up on changing trends.
  7. It forces you to use your talents: After years of success, your work may not require you to dig in as deep as you did at the start of your career. Mentoring motivates you to dig deeper, and challenges you to come up with new ideas to old problems. It’s amazing what you can come up with when you have young eyes hovering over you… eager to learn.
  8. It expands your network: You never know who will be the next business superstar. By mentoring a newcomer, you get to know more professionals and expand your Rolodex’s reach.
  9. It keeps old principles alive in the next generation: Instead of complaining about how young entrepreneurs are cut from a different cloth. Take the time to steer them into the right direction. And preserve the legacy of success that was passed on to you.
  10. It may result in new business partnerships: Your mentee may have great ideas that work well with your business goals. By coaching them along, you can move from mentor to profitable business partners in no time.

There are great advantages to offering yourself as a mentor, so don’t hesitate to exercise the golden rule of entrepreneurship. Do your part to pave the way for those on deck.


  1. Posted February 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    You’ve made some very good points here. I really like point number 6. For the more established or “seasoned” entrepreneur having an ambitious mentee will help them stay abreast of the changing climate of the industry.

  2. Posted June 23, 2011 at 1:03 AM | Permalink

    What a great list. I am working on giving back to the next generation.
    It is hard sometimes to think how far you have come, when you feel there is more to be learned.
    Do I have enough experience to help someone start their journey? These are questions I ask myself all of the time.

    I teach at a local college and I relate my experiences to my students. They are happy that someone is willing to tell it like it is, the good, the bad and the ugly.

    It keeps me very humble and I am grateful to be on such an exciting journey.
    Pass it on!

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