Having a mentor(s) in your corner can be a valuable life tool to help you get ahead. Mentors are typically tasked with helping their mentee in a personal, professional, or sometimes a combined setting and offer advice, life experience and networking opportunities.
A mentor is someone with specialized knowledge that you wish to acquire. They operate in a similar fashion to a coach or teacher where they build trust and model positive behaviors helping their mentee to learn and grow. This makes doing research to find the perfect person for your specific needs important. Mentors generally do not receive payment for their services but are in a position where they wish to impart their knowledge and wisdom onto up-and-coming talent.
Five Reasons To Get A Mentor
1. Increase Your Knowledge- if you are starting a new venture, perhaps changing careers or starting a new business you are going to want all of the information you can get. Having a mentor is an invaluable well of information because if you choose right they more than likely have done something similar to what you are trying to accomplish. You can’t put a price on someone that has already gone through all the triumphs and tribulations of what you are setting out to do for yourself and can coach you through it.
2. Words of Encouragement- by the same token because they know what it feels like to set out on a new adventure they will know what to say when you hit a rough patch, or start doubting the process. They were once there too. The power of positivity is huge and can really make or break how successful or unsuccessful your venture is.
3. Tough Love- mentors are supposed to be neutral forces in your life which means they can tell you what you don’t always want to hear unlike family or friends. Don’t get it wrong, mentors want you to be successful, but it’s that want without being your buddy that makes them so useful. Lets be honest, it can be really hard to be critiqued by someone you care about on a much more personal level, with a mentor the opinion is less biased and meant to push you in the right direction without worry of hurting your feelings.
4. Setting Goals- mentors can help you structure your ideas and come up with step-by-step goals that will help you achieve whatever it is you are setting out to do. They are your allies in your venture that can keep you accountable and on-track. They can also help you see things in your plans and goals that you may not have thought about that would be good to incorporate.
5. Networking- we’ve all heard this saying ad nauseum— “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. As annoying as it can be at times, there is infinite amounts of truth to this statement. You can have the best ideas in the world, but if you don’t know the right people to help set them in motion, no one will ever know. Having a mentor with a big network in the area that interests you can be a gold mine as far as getting where you want to go in life. A good mentor will be able to introduce you to other people who can also serve as sounding boards and/or business partners, etc. moving forward.
Need a little more convincing that getting a mentor is the right move for your next move in life? According to a study of business CEO’s in the Harvard Business Review (2015) 84% said they had a mentor that helped them avoid costly mistakes. Another 84% said they became more proficient in their roles quicker and 69% were making better business decisions with the guidance of a mentor than they would have on their own.