When you meet with SCORE mentors, you might ask who are they? What are their backgrounds? Are the mentors from the same background, same colleges/universities, same age range, etc.?
Well, they are your friends, your neighbors; they sit next to you at church. They have the same problems you have. They are concerned about staying healthy and avoiding COVID-19.
Some still work full-time. Some have spouses or family members with serious health issues. Some have run successfully for public office. Some were CEOs, CFOs, or COOs. Some were engineers that supervised major construction projects overseas. Some were CPAs. Many were small business owners.
The questions is, why do they volunteer to be SCORE mentors?
What are the common threads that unite SCORE mentors?
- They are good listeners
- They like people
- They willingly give their time to volunteer. Often evenings or weekends. Some perform mentoring while on vacation
- They often drive hundreds of miles to meet with clients with little or no compensation for mileage
- They like helping small businesses succeed
- Their reward is helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses
Their SCORE training consists of working side-by-side with experienced mentors.
Normally mentoring is done with two mentors. We try and match experience with need. Sometimes this changes as the counseling evolves. Needs, when clarified, may result in adding and/or changing mentors.
The bottom line, there is no “typical mentor.” The Tip of Mitt chapter has a former mayor, a human resources executive with a large multinational company, a CPA who purchased and managed several hotels, a CPA that was the manager of an automotive supplier, an engineer that oversaw the construction of submarines in Australia, a retired bank executive, a property developer and an automotive supplier executive. The scope of experience background goes on.
When you meet with a SCORE mentor, you are getting the benefit of years of experience. I am constantly impressed with level of knowledge, commitment and talent of the Tip of the Mitt team.
Meeting with SCORE mentors is free and confidential. Call (231) 347-4150 in the Petoskey area or (989) 731-0287 in the Gaylord area to arrange a meeting if you feel you need help or advice.
Petoskey resident Bill Collins spent nearly 40 years in management and executive roles in the automotive industry, and is now a volunteer business mentor with SCORE’s Tip of the Mitt chapter. The “Scoring in Business” columns written by SCORE mentors appear regularly in the Petoskey News-Review and Gaylord Herald Times.