“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
A Good Mentor is hard to find
I’ve devoured several books as of late and each material has equally been very helpful in terms of the knowledge I gained and the inspiration I was able to draw from each and every one of them and I appreciate the value these materials has brought me so far but the one I’ve been looking for for quite some time now is a good mentor. It’s easy to spot one but it’s hard to find someone who has the time and willingness to “show me the ropes” so to speak. But then the opportunity came.
I’ve long been fascinated by my mentor’s credentials and ideologies which I think is very important if you’re looking for one. You have to be a fan of your would-be mentor. You have to believe and trust him so much that you are willing to follow the steps and the path he took towards success and I would have to say that as far as my mentor is concerned, I am his number one fan not just because of his stature but also because of the love he has for his family.
Yes, books can give you all the information you need to know but the it won’t impart lessons learned through years of experience like only a mentor can. How important is a good mentor in reaching for your goals and how can we benefit from them? Here’s how:
1. A wealth of knowledge
Perhaps the best benefit you can gain from a good mentor is his or her vast knowledge about the industry you are in and perhaps, other industries he or she had the chance to be part of. You can get first hand information about the ins and outs of the business, something you won’t find in books and other reading materials.
Your mentor’s experience is a treasure you will forever appreciate because this is how he or she became the person they are today and you are one of the privileged people they will be sharing it with. It is true that a good cook does not share his recipes but for an apprentice, he or she will make an exception.
2. Business and life skills
A good mentor will teach you his best business practices that contributed to his success. He or she will also teach you how to behave in certain situations and how he or she was able to meet equal success in both professional and family life. This is the part where you will learn the techniques that one who possess “street smarts” will use.
One of the most important things in both life and business is to build relationships. Mentors, through their years of experience, have a lot of people in their circles. Some of them may even be of higher stature or someone influential and these people, whom you never thought you would be able to stand in the same room with, can eventually become an acquaintance and depending on how good your social skills are, can actually become a friend.
There are things you think you know a lot about but you’ll be surprised with what your mentor will tell you about it. Your mentor’s perspective is valuable because it opens your eyes to another point of view you may not have explored yet. I experienced this with my mentor in our last session. I thought that having read the John Maxwell books, that I would have ample knowledge about certain topics on leadership and I was blown away when I heard my mentor’s point of view.
A good mentor will not only share the secrets of his success but also impart life lessons he or she have learned from failure. One of the best characteristics of a good mentor is humility and you will discover this about him or her once he or she starts to tell you what to avoid or what mistakes he or she did that you shouldn’t be duplicating anymore. He or she will give you an idea of the consequences of one’s action and how to take responsibility.
6. Improved self-image
One of the things a good mentor does is to bring out the best in you. Right from the get go, he or she won’t make time to keep you under his or her wing if they didn’t spot something special in you. It may be your attitude, skills, or your passion for learning. You will feel more confident about yourself and your capabilities once you’ve learned where you’re good at and this is exactly what the job of a mentor is. To highlight your strengths and set you up for success.
7. Improved performance
A good mentor will offer you valuable feedback on your performance. What do you need to improve on? What set of skills do you need to do more work at? Which characteristics will you need to keep up?
This was one of the points I appreciated in having a session with my mentor because he gives it to me straight. If what I’m doing is wrong and counter-productive, he tells me straight in the face without beating behind the bush which is what most of us need because we can’t learn if we’ll always be hearing the nice things.
This is my biggest take away in the sessions I’ve had with my mentor so far because what he’s been through and where he is now is simply motivational not because of how rich he has become and how successful his career has been but because of how he did it. He was intentional and he didn’t let life happen before his eyes without doing anything. He made everything happen because of his will to succeed. He did it his way and these qualities has made me believe that nothing is impossible. If you really want it that bad, you can get what you want as long as you put time and effort on it and that you stay persistent.
Over to You
A good mentor is essential, in my opinion, in reaching for success because you need someone who will show you the way and how it’s done but more importantly, you need someone who will prove to you that success is attainable and that dreams actually do come true.
What has a mentor done for you that you won’t ever forget?
I would love to hear from you and I will appreciate it if you leave a feedback or comment about this topic.
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