A Mentor. You need one.
I don’t know how many times I have been told, “You need a mentor.”
So what the hell is a mentor? And how do you get one? Must be about time I faced this. Am I afraid of the concept? The actual doing? Or am I just not SURE what it means, so I procrastinate until I get more certainty. But, of course, certainity is something, they all say, you get from a mentor?
Let’s have a look at it together, shall we?
- Is a mentor your 24/7 emergency number? Like 000, 911, 999 or whatever the number is in your country?
- Perhaps not. I don’t know very many people apart from your mum, immediate family and VERY close friends (you know the ones I mean); who would be mentorish at 4 in the morning when the need arises in YOUR life; for some wise input.
- What if you have read some or all of the books written by one of the Self-Help Gurus for example Dr Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, or one of the business maverick leaders, like Richard Branson; then can you call one of them your mentor? You have never met them, talked to them, emailed them or had any contact with them whatsoever, other than reading one or more of their books. Does that count?
- How about following someone on Twitter, Facebook or on their email list? How does that work? Can they be considered a mentor?
- What if you have gone a step further and been to a seminar by one of these people? You may have seen them live, even said Hello in the corridor? Does this work?
- Perhaps you have been to a work event/training or a business function or weekend seminar? Can you call anyone of the presenters there a mentor? You may have even met one of these people, possibly only in a group, but is this enough?
- And finally. Is a mentor someone you know, trust and respect? Someone you believe might have the time and inclination to help you when needed?
- And can you just email, message, call or even visit this person if you need advice? Is it all about you? Or is there more to it than that?
Is a mentor by definition only one of the above? Perhaps you could use one or all of these options and create an active or passive “Mentor-Pool”?
BUT the very first thing you need to do perhaps, is figure out what you might need advice about. A very difficult question. ‘cause you don’t know what you don’t know. So it is hard to craft questions for a mentor if you are not sure what you need to know or WHY. (What Hurts You?) Hard to know what books to read, isn’t it?
Means you can read books, attend seminars etc like casting a fishing rod in any old puddle in the street after a rain storm, hoping to catch an award winning fish. Not gunna happen.
Looks like we might be starting this discussion from the wrong end.