All online business neophytes have one goal – to succeed in the field. But, as with other ventures, it takes a lot of hard work, determination, and some mentoring, too.

Contrary to popular belief, a mentor is not only limited to the academic field; it applies to business, too. After all, who wouldn't want to be taught by online business experts who have made millions off the market?

The challenge, however, lies in choosing the perfect mentor. There are so many options to choose from that it's quite overwhelming.

That said, you can increase your chances of success by considering these six factors when choosing an online business mentor:

Field of Expertise

Mentors have their fields of expertise, so you need to consider this when looking for one.

Do you want somebody who can help you with sourcing products or a person who can improve your marketing processes? If your prospective mentor doesn't have much experience in the area you wish to enhance, then there's no sense in getting his services in the first place.

If you're looking to seek help for every aspect of your business, you need a mentor who's a Jack of all trades. You'd want somebody who was personally involved in building his empire from the ground up. That way, he can advise you on what you need to do every step of the way.

Open Communication

Communication is vital for everything. You need to communicate with manufacturers to get your supplies, and you need to converse with your customers regarding their orders.

When it comes to picking a mentor, choosing a good communicator is critical. But even if he's good with his flowery words and charismatic appeal, you have to be on the lookout for some red flags.

Some people excel in what they do, but they're not good teachers per se. You can pick this up when you talk to him, and he fails to get into details. Instead, he talks about things in broad, roundabout ways. Sadly, this is not the person you want for a mentor.

It would be best if you also stayed away from mentors who flake, promising he would be there but skipping out at the last minute. You'll end up wasting a lot of time and money on mentors who do this. Think of the precious time you could've devoted to your business or the search for a better mentor.

As such, you should set your sights on a mentor who's a trustworthy communicator. He should be in touch with you because he wants to, not because he needs to.

Realistic Thinking

No matter what your goal might be, you should be on the lookout for a real mentor.

Sure, every business owner would like to make half a million bucks in a year. However, if you're new to the field and just managing a small store, this is quite impossible. While we all want to build an empire with minimal fuss, it's not the way it goes.

The same applies to mentoring. There is no foolproof formula for success.

That's why you're getting a mentor – to get advice, lessons, and stories from a person who built his empire from scratch. A mentor should help you grow your career and not lull you into thinking that you could make millions without much effort.

Aligned Values

There's an old saying that goes, "Great minds think alike."When you go off and look for a mentor, make sure that he shares your values.

Just think of this: you will find it hard to follow the tips of a person whose aspirations and goals are different from yours. It's like oil and water – you wouldn't mix. Instead of succeeding, you might end up wasting money on a person who clashes with your personality.

When looking for a mentor, go for a person who reminds you of yourself. You are sure to forge a better relationship with an individual whose ideas, ways, and goals are similar to yours.

Challenging Views

While it's essential to have a mentor who has the same mindset as yours, he should not be afraid to challenge your beliefs.

You want someone who can bounce ideas with you. You want someone who questions your decisions, especially if they're really bad ones. If he's just going to agree with everything you say, then you won't be able to achieve the empire you want to build.

When a mentor challenges your views, remember that he is not doing this to undermine you. By challenging you, he motivates you to break through your glass ceiling so that you can achieve more.

Success Rate

Your prospective mentor might be a good communicator, with realistic goals and values aligned with yours. But if he's a failure in the biz, then seeking his advice is no use.

When looking for a mentor, you should choose one with many success stories under his belt. You should not fall for everything on his website, though. It would be best if you did in-depth research of his story, most notably the businesses he ran. Based on your investigation, is he a good leader worth emulating?

If you can, try to look up the mentees he had. Take the case of Australian millionaire Matthew Lepre. Many ask if Matthew Lepre is a scam – or not. After all, he claims that he can help people build an online empire just like him.

As interested parties did their in-depth research, they saw that most of his mentees had built their profitable businesses with his guidance. By doing this kind of investigation, you can uncover your potential mentor's success rate.

If you're still not convinced, you could always reach out to these mentees and ask them about the mentoring experience. Since they're not undue duress, they are less likely to lie to you.

While hard work and determination are essential, you also need some expert guidance about running an online business. By opting for a mentor with the qualities mentioned above, you can build a beneficial relationship that is pivotal for growing your business.

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Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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