Sometimes, all you need is a bit of inspiration.

It’s all very well and good looking up to the Steve Jobses, Denise Coateses and Richard Bransons of the world, but reaching too high for your role model can be more discouraging than anything else when you hit a rough patch.

Real-life mentors and role models can be a powerful asset to your entrepreneurial ambitions, helping you overcome hurdles that would decimate similar businesses. The experience that an accessible mentor can offer you is invaluable, and could even be the key to your survival.

But where do you find this person? 8RC is a retail consultancy founded by a 30-year industry veteran. Check out our guide to finding your business role model.

Social media

For all their drawbacks, social media has undoubtedly made it easier to make connections all over the world. This has been a gift not only in our personal lives, but our professional ones too. If you live in an area that’s lacking a strong business community, social media gives you an unprecedented ability to reach out to like-minded individuals who’ve walked the path before you.

LinkedIn and Twitter are king when it comes to online networking. If you have a strong profile that you use to discuss relevant issues within your industry, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make invaluable connections.

Business mentoring

More generous business role models may actually offer themselves up to you on a plate, in a strictly professional sense. A growing DIY spirit among young people—with Gen Z poised to be the most entrepreneurial generation in history—has given rise to a win-win solution that has not gone unnoticed by successful businesspeople.

Mentors can make money from sharing their experience with budding business leaders, while this latter group have easy access to the advice they need for the right fee. Who knows? This knowledge could form the basis for a crucial business plan or be the beginning of a long-standing professional alliance.

Networking

Ah, networking. The old-age business solution. But the reason it’s never gone out of style is because it works. No matter how averse you are to small talk, attending networking events could be the best thing you ever do for your business. There, you might find not only a support network of people at a similar stage of their career or a group of potential collaborators, but mentors that are willing to share their experience with you.

Look out for networking events local to you on sites like EventBrite, FindNetworkingEvents and even our trusty old friend, Facebook!

Businesses that have benefited from a mentor are more likely to survive: 70 percent of mentored businesses survive more than five years, which is more than double the amount of non-mentored businesses. But they’re not going to simply show up in your life. You have to put yourself out there, seek out advice and make yourself available to a potential role model.

About 8RC

8RC is an expert business and retail consultancy founded by Steve Balmer-Walters, who has more than 30 years’ experience transforming retail brands. As well as standard consultancy services, Steve also provides business and personal mentoring to budding entrepreneurs, offering advice on lifestyle, motivation and much more.