Hope your week is off to a great start! Today’s topic is probably one of the reasons very few succeed in this millennial age. Mentorship is such an essential part of one’s trajectory and neglecting it I daresay, can result in failure. Failure in your career, failure in business or failure in relationships.
Stay with me on this one as I break it down. There was a point in my life I was so focused on finding mentors, but realized having mentees ideally works the same way.
We’re probably all familiar with these words. A mentor is basically a Yoda. A great teacher who guides us on this path called life. I generally choose to say life because every aspect of our lives have a way of affecting each other. A failing relationship will definitely impact your career or business whether you fight it or not.
However, it’s important to note that many make the mistake of limiting these advisory sessions to over a cup of coffee. A mentor should be willing to pick up a phone call in the middle of a financial crisis and suggest a solution. A mentor is basically your all-access pass to years of their experience and of those around them. A mentor is also well connected to relevant networks that could work to your advantage once you’re introduced to a few managers or CEOs here and there.
Having a mentor makes you a mentee but as generation that has easily been mislead and lost by the confusing façade of social media, we need to take on mentees as well.
Factors to be considered:
These factors are for consideration of both mentors and mentees. As much as it’s an exciting role to take up, you must self-reflect and look into them.
This factor plays in two ways: the more the years the more the experience and wisdom to share. Unfortunately, this can also play against a mentee when the lessons passed down are obsolete as most business niches are quite dynamic in this day and age. So it’s prudent that you find the right age difference between you and your mentee/mentor.
This should have probably been the first point but I’m sure you understand it’s significance. You must I repeat must have a mentor/mentee who’s in the same field. It mustn’t be the exact same one but should be similar. They could be in stock investment and you’re an intrapreneur in banking, it works because you’re both in the finance world. Many of you may disagree with this but narrowing down the interest can be quite advantageous in ensuring most of the key lessons and tips are effective because they have been applied before.
So far so good. I’m assuming your potential candidate checks out so far. But this point applies more to the mentor. How is their networth? Do they have healthy relationships with people in power? Are they in contact with individuals who can equally bring value to if you were introduced to them? By value I not only mean potential jobs or projects that could boost your portfolio, I’m referring to potential investors/ venture capitalists. Their chances of investing are quite high if your mentor vouchers for you and is also a long term friend.
You need to make time to meet mentees and mentors alike. Meet and have actual conversations. Honest conversations. Good relationships are built on this factor of time. Taking time to check in when you can’t meet, empathetically listening and giving practical solutions.
Pros and Cons
Having a mentor is basically having leakage for a test that may show up. So soak up as much as you can. But don’t take in everything. Trust your gut and filter what is relevant.
I’ve heard horrific stories of mentors discouraging business owners who went on to succeed. Understandably, we are still all human as much as we want to be blunt or helpful.
Having mentors/mentees alike helps you stay on top of things because you have someone keeping tabs on your progress or looking up to you.
I hope this article taught you at least one thing if not make you consider to have a mentor/mentee.
Talk to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @sndutah to let me know what you think about this concept.