There is one piece of entrepreneurial advice that can consistently be found time and time again. The most consistent piece of advice successful entrepreneurs prescribe to is working with a mentor.
Whether you choose to pick up a book that discusses the various ways on how to be successful, listen to a popular podcast hosted by a famous entrepreneur, or joined a webinar hosted by an entrepreneur that seems to have all the answers and is followed by the masses.
The Purpose Of A Mentor
A mentor is someone that has been there before.
A mentor offers you love, advice and support, gives you new insights, challenges and push's you beyond your limits. All the while, encouraging you every step of the way to learn important lessons.
A mentor is someone who can help you navigate the fog and the storms along the road of entrepreneurship, to smooth the waters a little in order for you to arrive at your destination and motivate you to climb the uphill mountain you didn't sign up for or know existed. They are there to push you over the edge of the cliff when you have been teetering on the edge for far too long.
Questions To Ask Yourself
It often takes time and experience to find the 'right' mentor. It can be likened to a company employing a new person for a role, it is about finding someone who fits the culture of the company, the team and possesses the right skills and experience.
I would recommend asking yourself these important questions before you sign up with a mentor:
1. Why do you want to work with a mentor?
2. What are the goals you want to achieve?
3. What expectations do you have?
4. What traits are important to you in a mentor?
5. What are you prepared to invest?
6. Do you prefer a structured or ad-hoc approach?
7. Are you seeking a long-term or short-term relationship?
Finding Success With Mentors
I know the inherent value of working with a mentor and know they can help you become more successful in your chosen field.
For I have worked with quite a few, men and women from various industries and walks of life, international and local, expensive and inexpensive, incredibly valuable and those who have not lived up to the fanfare.
One mentor lasted less than a month, whilst other mentors lasted between six months to several years. Lastly, the rare breed of mentor that hovers in the background yet there to lend a helping hand if I reach out and ask for it.
Results From Mentors
To be honest, overall I have had varied results with mentors. Despite that being the case, I have learnt very valuable lessons which have accelerated my growth and success.
In fact, rest assured the number one guarantee you can count on when you decide to become an entrepreneur, is a journey of MASSIVE GROWTH - no question!
A word of warning, some people fall into the trap of relying on a mentor all the time. When you do this, it can prevent you from trusting yourself and your own abilities to achieve your goals. It can also cloud your judgment and level of clarity.
The Biggest Lesson
Mentors often work with many people and are used to others following their advice. However, you know yourself better than anyone and only you know what is right for you.
As a result of my experience with mentors, the biggest lesson I have learnt is that although your mentors may have more experience than you, not all of their advice will work for you.
Listen to your intuition and if something doesn't feel right for you, be honest and upfront. Become your own cheerleader and wholeheartedly believe and trust yourself.
Take the advice that works for you and leave the rest behind.
The most successful entrepreneurs believe mastering this skill will take you much further than listening to others and I would have to agree.