As a business owner, you’ve spent a lot of time investing in equipment and your employees. Your days are filled thinking about where to focus your time and energy, how to cut costs and when to release the next product.

Let’s think about an investment you may be missing: How much time and energy have you put into helping those who are just getting their businesses started? They’re people who are trying to make it work but don’t have your experience or resources. In other words, you were in their shoes back when you were trying to get your business off the ground.

Think back to those days. You probably remember the intense pressure to succeed while knowing the cold hard fact that the majority of businesses fail in their first years. You remember fears of owning a dying business and the impact on employees, unpaid suppliers, marriages and children.

Maybe you were lucky and had someone guide you through the tough early years. If so, now is the time to return the favor. Even if you navigated this rough period alone, think of how a mentor would have made your life easier. Plus, the benefits don’t flow in only one direction. You’ll be enriched as you see how your experience and achievements help another person and business succeed. You may even win new friends.

How do you start with this new investment? If you’re a member of a professional organization, investigate what networking opportunities it offers.

You also could write about your experiences for your local newspaper or a professional association. It’s easy: Just tell a story from your early days, such as a problem you solved or a seemingly insurmountable challenge you overcame. Don’t worry about writing like Shakespeare. If you write with confidence and authority, your words will touch people who are looking for advice.

If you belong to the local chamber of commerce, see if it offers a business networking or coaching program for new businesses. If it doesn’t, talk to the leadership about creating such a program. Invite other business owners to contribute.

The investment in time and effort doesn’t have to be great, but the dividends can be hugely rewarding. Never forget that you didn’t get to where you are without the help of mentors. A few hours each month is enough to make a difference and get a fledgling business off the ground.