Get a Mentor – Be a Mentor

You Need a Mentor Now More than Ever

Whether you’re starting an enterprise of any ilk, reinventing yourself or seeking a job, a mentor can be the most important fundamental key to your success.

You may be older and more seasoned and someone who could be a mentor, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a mentor for your endeavor as much as any young person would.

Simply put, a mentor is someone experienced enough to offer you insight, methods, ideas, challenge your assumptions and be a sounding board because they have already been through it and have the expertise you need.

Realize you’re probably “young” in whatever effort you’re undertaking.

Keep in mind that any venture is wrought with unexpected challenges. You’re probably very good at many of the skills that are required, but not all of them. You may even be very familiar with aspects such as finance, marketing, managing or whatever but perhaps not to the full degree.

There is strength in humility. Being humble enough to realize what you’re good at and what you’re not. Confidence will be gained in having knowledgeable people challenge your ideas and assumptions. Success will be achieved when a mentor saves your from yourself or provides ideas and methods you didn’t even know you needed.

Over and over I hear a fundamental, must have, piece of advice: Whatever your challenge, need or situation, someone else has already experienced it and overcame it. Why not learn from them? Why not take their perspective? Why not have someone that can challenge your assumptions?

Successful People Have Mentors

“If you ask any successful business person, they will always have had a great mentor at some point along the road. If you want success then it takes hard work, hard work, and more hard work.  But it also takes a little help along the way. If you are determined and enthusiastic then people will support you.”
-Sir Richard Branson

From Virgin Start up: Why do I need a mentor?

Get someone independent, confidential and non-judgmental to listen to you (someone who’s not family or a just a friend!)
Get someone to support you with a wide range of skills – from finance to marketing
Get someone to bounce ideas off of and to help you make important decisions
Get someone to give you a push, some confidence, and sharper focus when you need it
Get someone to challenge you and give you assurance that you’re on the right path
Get someone to raise your self-awareness – helping you to work more effectively with other people
Get someone to help you become better connected with the business world and provide access to the right networks
Get someone to ensure you don’t make easily avoidable mistakes

In fact (ready for this?), consider a much younger person to be one of your mentors.

There are many successful twenty and thirty-something entrepreneurs who have proven success and can bring youthful insight and awareness of new ways and mindsets.

In many ways, millennials are better “wired” for the technology and changing sensibilities in the world and our lives. This insight can be more valuable than you might imagine.

Perhaps there could be a quid pro quo, each of you offering the other mentoring support.

A popular offshoot of mentoring is being in a mastermind group or having various mastermind relationships, which can be immensely powerful in providing you with ideas, solutions, and insights while also challenging your false assumptions and tactics.

Oh, and by the way, seriously think about being a mentor yourself. Not only will it be personally rewarding, many mentors find great insights and ideas through helping others.

Are you mentoring someone? Are you seeking a mentor and what would you hope to get out of the relationship? Leave a comment.