Should You Look for a Mentor?

Friday, 7 March, 2014

in Business Planning

 Do you really need a mentor?

Why would anyone mentor you?

Are you ready to listen to someone who has been where you are now?

How many times have you said the famous cliché, “If only I knew then what I know now?”  Well, just that one question is enough to make anyone think about the importance of looking for a mentor.  In the 21st Century it is all about time, time, time, and more TIME.  Why do you think this website is called Time Money Problems? Saving time means your induction into your field, such as becoming a successful entrepreneur, will happen at a faster pace.

The cool aspect of having a mentor is the fact it doesn’t matter who you are or what your age is. You can be 14 or you can be 74. One of the most influential people in the world, Bill Gates, had a mentor named Warren Buffet; and Warren Buffet was mentored by Ben Graham, another influential economist. Do you see the genius pattern and how it paid off in such a big way?

Your Knowledge Has Limits

Have you realized that maybe you don’t know everything?

Perhaps, the most beautiful and intriguing thing about life is that you can always learn something from someone you didn’t know about. No one can ever possibly know everything about any subject or field of interest.  At this point of the article, as Oprah Winfrey states quite frequently, you should be having an “AHA moment”!

Mentors can provide constructive criticism and unbiased advice. They can also provide wisdom about career challenges and help you look at things in a better light. Everyday life can bring challenges that tend to allow our goals to take a detour.  But, guess what?–that mentor you choose can bring you right back to focus while giving you the support you need to overcome your most difficult challenges.  And whether you realize it or not mentors are learning from you as well.

Are You Ready for a Mentor?

Now the tricky question for the mentee is to honestly ask yourself is “Am I willing to truly listen and receive my mentor’s advice?”  People who only hear their own thoughts, will probably be unsuccessful in reaching their personal and career goals. Listening to a mentor’s thinking on your problem gives that added perspective that we all need.

If you disagree with your mentor’s advice or suggestions make sure you respond tactfully.  Tactfulness goes a long way in relationships because no one appreciates a person who always appears ungrateful or rebellious.

Without respect for each other the mentor will be reluctant to give you their honest opinion or insight. Remember the mentor is investing their time for you!

It is important for the mentee to acknowledge and respect the fact the mentor has already traveled the road you are about to begin.  A mentor perhaps can help you to avoid the mistakes of the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty, “Humpty Dumpty had a great wall and Humpty Dumpty had a great fall!  Good mentors should also develop your critical thinking skills, by asking you challenging “What If” scenarios you may not have thought of on your own.

Choosing a Mentor

Some helpful tips to consider when selecting a mentor:

  • Make sure they have the time to devote to the relationship
  • Share most of the same values
  • Identify a mentor successful in your field of interest
  • Select someone highly motivated
  • Select a mentor with good social and networking skills
  • Respect your mentor’s time and other commitments (e.g. don’t overload them with every little problem)
  • Always express your gratitude for their commitment to you

Even our greatest leaders, singers, actors all had a mentor or mentors that were able to bring out of them what they already had.  The benefits of having a mentor far outweigh the fact of not having one.  The mentor enables you to hit the bull’s eye of the target in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take!

Should you look for a Mentor? Yes, you must because you are much more likely to succeed with one than on your own. It might hurt your pride to acknowledge that you do not know everything but that is something you need to get over, today!

Joyce K. Barnes, the writer, is a business consultant in West Virginia. She offers consultations to local and national businesses at every level, from startups to international companies. Joyce is well qualified, with an MBA and comes highly recommended. Connect with Joyce K. Barnes on G+ or Twitter (@classyjkb).

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