If you could ask your mentor just one question, what would it be? That was the question posed by Inc., and I—along with a few other entrepreneurs—dug deep to come up with the “one and only.” However, for me the bigger question is “How important is mentorship for small businesses?” It turns out that 70 percent of businesses with mentorship last for at least five years, which is twice as long as businesses with no mentorship. Coincidence? I think not.

Choosing the right mentor and interacting with them in the best way possible is key. If your relationship with your mentor isn’t productive, it may as well not exist. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that mentorships can help entrepreneurs secure new customers, funding, and grow their business.

The number one question you must ask your mentor is, “What am I missing?” You might be missing a few key things or you may be missing several key points. It seems like an easy question, and in some ways it is. At times you might be too close to your business and might develop blind spots with respect to what you need to do and keep an eye out for. Your mentor won’t. They can pick up on disparities and help you figure out how to tackle them.

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