Farm management isn’t for everyone. It’s challenging at the best of times, doubly so in a down market, and it can be isolating. Peer groups and mentorships are among the ways producers can trade ideas in a safe environment.
What’s more, mentor relationships can be improved considerably simply by following a few simple steps, notes Lewis Howes, founder of Linkedinfluence, a program that trains people to use LinkedIn for business, in a post for Entrepreneur.com.
First, realize your mentor has limited time. Then, be sure to make the most of what you have.
“Prepare ahead of your call or meeting with a list of your most pressing needs because you may only get five minutes,” Howes says. “You want to be ready.”
Relay the challenges you’re facing in terms as unemotional and detailed as possible, then be prepared to listen without interrupting. Identify questions that will yield the richest responses based on your mentor’s areas of expertise. Then, look for ways to return the favor in the future.
“Express your gratitude for your mentor’s time and advice, but also utilize your platform to promote him or her,” Howes says. “Be sure to refer business to your mentor whenever you can.”