Business Mentoring Helps Ensure Long-term Success

Business Mentoring Ensures Long-Term Success

Business Mentoring Ensures Long-Term Success

Business owners face challenging tasks and decisions every day. Finding a business mentor is one key element that can help to ensure continued business success.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of NAWBO Phoenix’s Mentoring Program. The purpose of the program is all about setting and achieving measurable goals that lead to economic impact.

The 9-month program, currently in progress, includes regular monthly sessions where guest speakers present topics and tools focused on key areas required for business success. A sampling of the topics for the current program year include the one-page business plan, importance of knowing your financials, setting measurable goals, identifying and using core values, using dashboards to track success, leveraging Kolbe A™ Index assessment results, marketing and sales strategies, business processes, and the importance of leadership and focus.

Program participants are paired with an established business owner, a chapter volunteer, with knowledge and experience to share. Both mentees and mentors are provided business counseling through the Maricopa Small Business Development Center. Each month the mentee-mentor pairs are encouraged to meet in one-on-one sessions to work on their business development goals.

The program begins in September and ends in May. It is offered as a free benefit for chapter members who meet the application criteria.

Paula Wittekind PhotoFor more information about the NAWBO Business Mentoring Program, contact Paula Wittekind, Mentoring Program Director at or 480-759-2989 or go to


Are you a good fit for the NAWBO Mentoring Program?

NancyHetrickBy Nancy Hetrick

We are in the heart of the application period for the 2015-2016 Business Mentoring Program and you might find yourself wondering if you’re ready to apply or not. To help you decide, let me share with you some of the things we’ve learned that are characteristics of business owners who get the most value out of the mentoring program.

I was a Mentee 3 years ago and I think I benefited dramatically from the program and I’m often referred to by other members as a NAWBO “success story”. There were a few things that set me apart from some of the participants who didn’t seem to benefit as much from the program. See if any of these apply to you.

My business was launched and seeing very real early success. I was quickly becoming aware of everything I didn’t know as challenges cropped up. I had 20+ successful years in Corporate America but absolutely no preparation for owning my own business. I had attended many workshops, NAWBO University sessions, and read books but was really feeling like things were spinning out of control most of the time. I knew that I needed a plan for the next stage of growth and it was completely overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.

I started the mentoring program and my Mentor helped me iron out a timeline for the next 9 months with a step-by-step plan. Finally I could focus on ONE THING AT A TIME! And each step of the way, the monthly program was providing me with education and knowledge in that area of my business plan. I was LASER focused on planning first and then implementation. And I was SO EXCITED about the process! That year was pretty nuts but it felt SO GOOD to see the continual progress.

By the end of the program, I had accomplished every single goal I set at the beginning of the year. I had hired my first 2 employees, moved into my own office suites, taken control of my business financials and developed a successful marketing plan. It would have taken me 3-5 years to accomplish that if I had been attempting it on my own. The support, education, and feedback from my mentor shot me into super-drive and my dedication and commitment took care of the rest.

Do you have what it takes? You don’t have to be crystal clear on your goals, we’ll help you with that. But you do need to be committed to the process. When you think about being part of this program, you need to feel GIDDY with the sense of possibility for you and your business! If you feel ambivalent and not sure where you’ll find the time or energy – you might be better off waiting a year and using another 12 months to grow and learn.

Either way, follow your heart. You’ll make the right decision.

Below are the requirements for both Mentees and Mentors. You can find more details at Applications are due July 31, 2015.

Qualified Mentees will:

  1. Have a vision, goal, and commitment to developing their current business or business idea
  2. Have a high level of commitment to the nine-month program (September 2015 – May 2016)
  3. Be willing to dedicate 7 – 10 hours each month to attend monthly topic sessions, meet individually with their mentors, and complete assignments directly related to the development of their business
  4. Be a current business owner for a minimum of 1 year (recommended, but not required)
  5. Pay the Non-refundable application fee:  $25
  6. Join and keep an active NAWBO membership for the duration of the program.  Proof of membership must be received prior to the September kick-off session.

Qualified Mentors will:

  1. Commit to attending the September and October sessions and are able to dedicate 1-2 hours each month to meet individually with their assigned mentee (meeting place, format and time defined by each mentee-mentor pair)
  2. Have three years as a business owner, or other equivalent experience
  3. Have a proven business development and growth record

To apply for the program, download and complete the Mentee Application or  Mentor Application. If you have questions about the program, contact Paula Wittekind, Mentoring Program Director.

Making an Impact through the NAWBO Mentoring Program

Back row (left to right): Nancy Sanders (Director of Education), Kristi Church (mentee), Julie Heiland (mentor), Paula Wittekind (mentee), Nancy Hetrick (mentee), Emily Schwartz (mentee), Melanie Dunlap (mentor), Jonilynn Gearhart (mentee), Isabel Banerjee (guest), Christie Cothrun (mentor), Dorothy Wolden (mentor), Kjell Andreassen (mentor), and Shantal Chase (mentee). Front row: Jackie Wszalek (NAWBO President), Tetyana Hoogeveen (mentor), Sharon Bondurant (mentor), Carmella Dodge (mentor), Connie Zimmerlich (mentor) and Lora Moon Diaz (mentee).

Back row (left to right): Nancy Sanders (Director of Education), Kristi Church (mentee), Julie Heiland (mentor), Paula Wittekind (mentee), Nancy Hetrick (mentee), Emily Schwartz (mentee), Melanie Dunlap (mentor), Jonilynn Gearhart (mentee), Isabel Banerjee (guest), Christie Cothrun (mentor), Dorothy Wolden (mentor), Kjell Andreassen (mentor), and Shantal Chase (mentee).
Front row: Jackie Wszalek (NAWBO President), Tetyana Hoogeveen (mentor), Sharon Bondurant (mentor), Carmella Dodge (mentor), Connie Zimmerlich (mentor) and Lora Moon Diaz (mentee).

The NAWBO Mentoring Program recently celebrated the end of its 2013-14 program, which led to 4 new business launches, more than $100,000 in capital investment, 17 new jobs, and more than $500,000 in increased sales.

The program included 28 participants and received generous support from Orchard Medical Consulting and the Small Business Development Center (which tracked the economic impact of the program).

The nine sessions included discussions on the Kolbe Index, strategic planning (one-page strategic plan), vision and core values, marketing, sales, proposals, and presentation skills. At our celebration, mentees and mentors pitched their businesses and the winners will be announced at the June Desert Diamonds Awards luncheon.

The next NAWBO Mentoring Program launches in September and applications are now being accepted. For more information, contact Mentoring Director Paula Wittekind (480.759.2989) or Suzanne Lanctot (480.289.5768).

The Power of Mentorship


The Power of Mentorship

By Martha Knight

We all need advice. You just became a new parent. What do you? Call your mom. You are training for a big race. What do you do? Hire a personal trainer. You start a new business. What do you do? Enlist a seasoned business owner for help. The point is, mentorship is everywhere and we need it to better ourselves.

We have enlisted many mentors without even realizing it:

  • Your accountant is your tax mentor.
  • Your financial planner is your investing mentor.
  • Your lawyer is your legal mentor.

Most of us have teams of experts who we delegate tasks or ask advice from. Much of this process is done either out of habit or necessity; rarely conscious choice.
Having a mentor can accomplish a number of tasks:

  • Keeps from having to re-invent the wheel.
  • Keeps you on track, accountable and motivated.
  • Decreases your learning curve saving you time and money.

Some mentors in your life will provide advice at no cost – parents, friends, etc. Professional services like accounting and law will involve fees, but in the spirit of outsourcing, you are technically saving money and time utilizing their experience and education instead of trying to make a go of it yourself and potentially botching the job.
It pays to seek out mentors for different areas of our lives. Here are some examples:

Whether you are new to a business or a seasoned business owner, having a mentor is extremely beneficial. If you are new it provides you with the tools to be successful. If you are seasoned, it provides you with a new perspective.

Seek someone who has a successful business now and really aligns with what you are looking to create. As John Maxwell references the “Law of the Lid” – we can only grow as much as we grow as a leader. So we need to be mentored by someone who has the leadership and entrepreneurial skills that are steps ahead of ours so we can grow our lid.
Scared to reach out? The worst response you can get would be along the lines of “no” – no harm done. But you may also be surprised to discover an open mind and new relationship forming with this business owner. You can share ideas, they will tell you what worked and what didn’t, and you may even open the door to possible business collaborations. Both the mentor and prodigy can easily benefit from the arrangement. At the very least, the mentor will be flattered to be looked upon as an expert and likely give you a few pointers and words of encouragement.
Physical Health
Engaging in mentorship for your physical health is so helpful. For example, hiring a personal trainer will help you keep your exercise routine consistent all while pushing you a little harder than you would push yourself. Or hiring an accountability partner or joining a weight loss group will help you stay accountable and receive support when you are struggling.
Nutritionists, personal trainers, doctors, or even just a friend are all helpful mentors in the physical health realm. Even group fitness classes help you stay accountable. I sign up for my classes the week prior so that I know I have a non-negotiable appointment that I can’t miss – everyone would know I skipped out.

The emergence of life coaches is on the increase. Having somebody who can help you learn to multi-task effectively, cope with change, find a happier career, or even just be a sounding board with some perspective is a very valuable resource to have at your fingertips. Although having a coach can be costly, it is often worth the money spent.

Assess what you are in need of and then find the right coach that specializes in that area.

By looking at all the areas of your life where you can or want to improve, and then finding somebody to help you do it, you will be taking progressive steps towards sharpening your skills, creating a support network, and moving forward in your life. So get out there, find somebody who can teach you something, and watch your life improve! That’s the power of mentorship and that’s the power of NAWBO.

Need a good network? NAWBO provides you an amazing network of savvy business owners who are there to help you achieve your greatness.

Martha Knight
Arbonne International
Years In NAWBO: 2
Years in Business: 5

NAWBO Mentoring Program


The Valley’s only mentoring program created for women business owners by women business owners!

By Nancy Sanders, Education Director, NAWBO Phoenix


For the past eight years,NAWBO Phoenix has offered a nationally recognized mentoring program to women business owners across the Valley at no cost.

This year NAWBO incorporates today’s latest tools into a convenient, high-impact mentoring program that connects the Valley’s leading women business owners with the most innovative business minds in the Valley. Mentees participate in a robust monthly program offering topics critical to business expansion, plus one-on-one time with practical advice and expertise from other women business owners.

The mentoring program launches with a comprehensive review (or creation) of the business plan, and then the focus shifts to implementing the plan, growing revenue and making an impact on the Arizona economy.

“We are taking an already successful program and enhancing it,” says Nancy Sanders, Mentoring Director. “We’ve expanded the program to include specific tools and an accountability program to support the implementation of the business and marketing plans. There is definitely a focus on driving additional revenue for all program participants, including mentees. This year, our graduation celebration will include a business pitch showcase.”

A recent graduate of the mentoring program, Joan Laubach, owner of Your Wealth and Health with CSP Financial Group, says, “This program is life changing! I am much more focused, and as a result of that, my profits are up 100%!”

The program is open to all NAWBO members, and mentees should have at least one year in business. Mentors should have at least two years in business. Mentees and Mentors meet at least once during the month. Sessions are usually held on the first Wednesday of the month and are open to both Mentees and Mentors, but Mentors are not required to attend all sessions. The program launches Wednesday, September 4, 2013, and applications are due in August.

The program is supported in part by the Women’s Enterprise Foundation, Orchard Medical Group and the Small Business Development Center.

information or an application
(Mentee or Mentor), email Nancy
Sanders, NAWBO Education Director, at or call 602.476.4509.