When used properly, a mentor can help you fast track to your goal.
I’ve never understood the importance of a mentor until recently. I always had people I could go to with questions but I never utilized the opportunity. Now, I know the importance of having someone you can go to with questions or to bounce ideas off.
I used to be the kind of person who never understood why it was so important to go to university, and to be honest, I still don’t. I believe that everything can be taught while on the job. I believe you need the right personality for the job, then the knowledge comes after.
Upon deciding to chase my goals, I carefully picked out a handful of people who I was going to use as my mentors. These people are CEO’s and owners of companies and would help me greatly if I used them correctly. When I met with them, they all said the same thing. You have to get a university degree.
I didn’t understand, so I asked why. They told me it wasn’t about the knowledge you learn during your degree, but instead, it was about showing you could commit to something and see it through. They wanted to hire people with the drive and motivation to complete something that takes a long period of time.
So what did I do?
I went back to university to finish my degree and sure enough, while studying, I got offered a new job. I had been back at university for 1 month and had already been offered a job because along with experience, they could see I was dedicated to something.
This would have never happened if I didn’t carefully pick out mentors and take the time to meet with them. It’s critical that everyone has at least one mentor that they can rely on and it’s just as important that your mentors are in the field you’re working in.
Here are the 5 reasons why it’s critical you have at least one mentor when working towards your goals:
A mentor can help you when you begin to lose motivation. While chasing your goal, over a long period of time, you can expect that some days, you’re going to have no motivation to continue. This is where a mentor becomes extremely important. In this situation, it’s a good idea to pick a close friend as your ‘motivation mentor’ or someone who is working towards a similar goal.
It’s the same as having a ‘gym partner’. You’re more inclined to go to the gym if you know someone is depending on you. Well, the same goes for your goals. If your goal is financial find someone who has a goal in the same area as you. Someone you can rely on, someone who has no problem with pushing you when you lose focus.
When you’re working so closely to a strict path to reach your goals, you can fail to see opportunities or fail to see the big picture. A mentor can help provide an EDUCATED external view on what you’re trying to achieve. The reason I highlighted ‘educated’ is because they’re speaking from experience. There’s a big difference between this and one of your friends telling you your goals are impossible. One has a background of experience and the other is coming from a person who doesn’t understand what you’re trying to achieve.
In saying this, it’s important to have a mentor who believes in you. Don’t let someone in on your goals if all they do is tell you that you can’t.
The point of a mentor is to learn from them. The idea is that they’ve already done what you’re trying to achieve and in turn can guide you in the right direction.
This means that your mentor has, likely, already made the mistakes and failures you’re going to face. By learning from their mistakes you can prevent making them as well.
This is where it becomes critical that your mentor is in the same field you’re working in, otherwise their mistakes won’t translate to what you’re going through.
One thing I found really useful about a mentor is the ability to build on your ideas.
When you come up with an idea, one you think is great, it might only be half done and you don’t even know it. Imagine if you execute an idea and it only delivers half of its full potential. Where as if you had approached your mentor with the idea, they could have help develop the idea to produce double the output you received.
This is why bouncing an idea off someone you trust is very important. They will help you develop your ideas using their experiences and knowledge.
It’s Who You Know, Not What You Know
One of my mentors is my god farther and has been around all my life. He’s very successful and works in finance, raising capital for investment firms and Accelerate Programs. Up until this year, I had never thought to use this potential opportunity to my benefit. When I went to meet him after beginning my new business, I had a huge ‘Oh Sh*t’ moment, when he offered to introduce me to a number of Angel Investors and Accelerate programs. It had never even crossed my mind that he would be able to do that, until he brought it up.
It just goes to show that it’s about who you know, not what you know. Make sure that when you pick your mentors that they’re well connected, you never know when they might be able to introduce you to the right people.
While on your journey it’s critical that you create a group of people who you can learn from and can guide you while on your journey. Make sure that you pick them wisely because ultimately they can separate those who reach their goals and those who don’t.
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