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Everyone Needs Mentors

A mentor does not need to be experienced and knowledgeable in everything.

by Deedra Abboud in Mindset, Solutions
January 31, 2016 0 comments

We hear it all the time – the road to success requires mentors.

Men seem to have this concept down more than women.

But still, we often think it hard to find a mentor, and sometimes we do not even understand what it is enough to know how to look for it.

Mentors are people who can guide you. He or she may guide you in a particular situation or concept, and sometimes on life in general. A mentor can simply have enough experience and knowledge in the area you need. The best mentors, however, understand you, know your flaws, and have the experience or wisdom to guide you.

Because there is so much confusion about what a mentor is, we often do not recognize that we may already have one (or more).

My husband seeks counsel from his father about almost everything – even though my husband is in his 50s. He recognizes his father as his mentor because, not only does his father know and understand him intimately, but my husband has real respect for his father’s experience and perspective.

Other people have family members, friends, co-workers, or bosses as their mentors.

A mentor does not need to be experienced and knowledgeable in everything.

Look for people around you that have skills you want to gain or have overcome obstacles you are facing. Look for a person (or people) around you that you look up to or who you would consider “wise.”

You do not need to formally ask them to be your mentor, though many people feel honored by such a request. Instead, you can simply tell them you have observed something about them and would like them to teach you that thing.

The Reality As I Know It

Mentors are one of the most important factors to anyone’s success. If you are fortunate enough to know someone who mentors you for their own pleasure, count yourself lucky. You can also count yourself lucky if you find a mentor in your immediate geographical area.

But don’t count on it.

Everyone needs mentors, but mentors come with a cost – definitely time, but often money. Mentors are an investment in your future. You have to invest in them the same way they invest in you. Mentors should not make your life easy. Mentors do not do things for you. A true mentor teachers, pushes you, holds you accountable.
What you want in a mentor is someone who truly cares for you and who will look after your interests and not just their own. When you do come across the right person to mentor you, start by showing them that the time the spend with you is worthwhile. – Vivek Wadhwa, technology entrepreneur and academic.
You may have to pay for a mentor, whether it be an actual fee or just the expense to travel to your mentor.

All the group conferences you go to will never equal the value of a mentor that focuses on you – and often paying a mentor that focuses on you will be both more rewarding and less expensive than all the group conference fees you attend in an effort to get the knowledge and skills you need on the cheap. You also do not need to have one mentor, you can have several. A mentor does not need to be your guru or your teacher for life. You may outgrow your mentor.

You actually should outgrow your mentor – that is kinda the point.

Finding a mentor is a lot like finding a business or romantic partner in that you may identify something you want to learn from a person, but upon building a relationship, may you find the person does not mesh with you – personality type, teaching method, character, etc.

That is okay.

Though finding a mentor is like looking for a partner, it is not a contractual relationship, so it can be reevaluated or ended at any time.

You can learn something from anyone, even if it is just what you do not want or how you do not want to be. Learn as long as you are comfortable, and then move on when you are no longer comfortable or do not feel it is a good use of your time.

A good mentor will even teach you how to make that determination.

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