Mentoring a kid-preneur

SilenceDogoodSilenceDogood Posts: 9subscriber
A 15 year old in the community has asked to be an unpaid apprentice in my business.
I am taking this as a request to be a mentor - and I am quite flattered.  The young man is bright and ambitious.
My problem:  I am so busy!
How can I be an effective mentor when I don`t really have the time?

Comments

  • SlowCookerMateSlowCookerMate Posts: 1subscriber
    I am going to start by saying you have hit an emotional chord here. 
    Don`t have time?  I don`t understand that.  Just let him shadow you.  That does not take any time at all.  Then progress to letting him do some small tasks.  If he does well, you may be able to give him more to do and that will take work off of you.  I do believe if he starts doing work, he should be paid.  Even if it is not much, he should get something.
     
    Think about it -- You have an opportunity to guide and shape the life of a young person.  That is beyond flattery.  That is an honor.
     
    I have a DD6 that I frequently include in what I am doing.  I never hesitate to explain things to her about my business.  I always keep things at her level and I always encourage her to ask questions about my business so when she has her own business she will be head and shoulders above her peers.
  • URVAURVA Posts: 1subscriber
    Chris,
    I have to disagree to a point.  No it is not ones place to coddle and baby the mentee`s way to success.  But knowing their dreams and understanding their goals will help a mentor to better assign duties that will help the mentee achieve these goals.  It will also helps the mentor to know if the mentee is making progress or not. 
    Yes, it is very beneficial for a business owner to get free help, but we have to remember that nothing in life is really free.  What good is it if the mentee is taught something that does not match his/her goals and they then give up on their dreams because they are given a false start.  Then we could end up with some of those given false starts believing that goals are impossible to attain and end up with low incomes and possibly living off society - in other words we end up paying for their services in the long run. 
    A mentee is willing to volunteer their time to learn from us and help us perform our duties.  This frees up our time to volunteer teaching them, basically like stated above by SlowCookerMate:
    "Just let him shadow you.  That does not take any time at all.  Then progress to letting him do some small tasks.  If he does well, you may be able to give him more to do and that will take work off of you.  I do believe if he starts doing work, he should be paid.  Even if it is not much, he should get something."
    If you take interest in this person`s future from an employers standpoint versus a parents, I believe you will find wonderful rewards for yourself too.  This could end up being an experience that will help you to further grow as well.
    Best of Luck (who knows, this kid might be our president one day - what satisfaction would that be)
    Tricia 
    http://www.qbs4u.com</A>URVA2008-11-6 14:18:58
  • URVAURVA Posts: 1subscriber
    Chris,So sorry for making you blow your cover.  Hopefully he will see the benefit and give it a try.  At least if it doesn`t work out, he will know and still learn from the experience.  He will at least be able to say he tried.
    Have a great evening,
    Tricia.
  • SilenceDogoodSilenceDogood Posts: 9subscriber
    Great responses all!
    And no I never intended for it to be a total pass for this lad.
    I was just looking for ideas to make it work well for both of us.
    I am not too keen on just handing out busy work.  I tend to find ways to eliminate busy work.  The work I do is very technical and for him to get his "hands dirty" really would take a lot of time - and that is where his interests are.
    And I would / will pay him.  I just need to figure out how to make it work without having to spend a lot of my time or one of my very few employees time training him.
    And, by the way, I also have my own bright son to mentor and parent and father.
  • URVAURVA Posts: 1subscriber
    Thank you for clearing that up because your original post did not infer this.  You stated:
    "My problem:  I am so busy!How can I be an effective mentor when I don`t really have the time?"
    Which made it sound like - I am too busy to be bothered with this.  Your second post better explains what you are truly looking for - suggestions on how to go about mentoring this person.  Had your original post been geared more to this line of questioning, I am certain you would have received more helpful, positive responses.
    If you could, please be a little more specific on the type of industry/work you are in and maybe we can better offer suggestions.
    Your Friend and VA,
    Tricia Kos, Owner
    Quality Business Solutions, LLC
    Your Virtual Assistant Destination
    http://www.qbs4u.com</A>
  • SilenceDogoodSilenceDogood Posts: 9subscriber
    Educational software - educational games and an online application that is used by public and private schools.
    Sorry for the lack of clarity - I made the post in a hurry.
    And... duh... I think the lightbulb just went on above my little brain:  The young man could be a product tester for me!  That would get his feet wet and be very useful!SilenceDogood11/6/2008 9:07 PM
  • URVAURVA Posts: 1subscriber
      Thank goodness for lightbulbs - lol.  Glad to hear it and I think he would be an excellent candidate for product testing.  Who knows, maybe even a potential new hire in the future.
    Best of luck to both of you.
    Your Friend and VA,
    Tricia.
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