Success loves speed. One of the major reasons why people seek out personal or business mentors is because they want to avoid unnecessary newbie mistakes so they can pass through the arduous trenches as soon as possible.
That’s what law school taught me. That’s what the big corporate companies try to offer to the graduate trainees. That’s what the success and personal development industry advocated.
However, not all mentorship opportunities are created equal. Not all mentors are created equal. You’ve got to be extremely careful and selective when it comes to asking for help from certain people.
Here are 3 critical things you’re probably doing wrong that obliterated the power of mentorship:
1. You are not choosing the right mentor for yourself
Mentors can be virtual or they can be in person. They should be people who are 5-25 years ahead of you in a place you want to be. But the most important thing is that they not only are at a place you want to be, but they are the kind of person you aspire to be like.
It’s amazing when you have a mentor who makes 100 million dollars a year, but what if he does it in an illegal, inhumane, horrible way? What if he sells human organs and lethal biochemical weapons in underground black markets and is betraying his country? What if he has all the wealth the world has to offer but he is lying in his bed every day because he has terrible health and fitness condition?
You just can’t pick mentors based on results in a small area of their lives. You must also consider things outside his or her skills, experience or competence. Do they handle their personal problems in an intelligent, graceful, ethical way? Do they take responsibility of their challenges and find solutions to control the situations? Are they great with people in general and treat people with respect and dignity? Are they communicating their boundaries in a clear, positive, assertive way without violating others’ rights?
These are all important questions you need to ask yourself to see if your potential mentors are a great fit for you. You’re going absorb everything from them, so do your due diligence before the relationship begins.
“The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people.” – John C. Maxwell
2. You are overthinking and not implementing your mentor’s advice fast enough
Assuming you have the best mentor to assist you in your endeavor, do you know what’s the most frustrating thing to him or her? It’s when they give you their success-proven, wisdom-packed, million-dollar secret formula but you keep bugging them with stupid questions one after another and not taking action on what you’ve been told.
Your mentor is not paid to waste time listening to thousands of your excuses on why things might not work. He or she is neither there to do the hard work for you either. They are there to devise the best possible solution for your situation because they’ve been where you are, they’ve encountered similar problems as you, and they’ve been experienced enough to know the better way to handle your problem.
So stop over-questioning your mentor. Speed of implementation is the key to entrepreneurial success. So trust the process. Trust their advice. Go execute the suggestion. Report back for duty in case it fails. Get a new piece of strategy. And keep working together until you succeed.
3. You are not mentoring someone else
Oh, didn’t expect to help someone huh? Well, the true power of mentorship is never a one-way street. Knowledge and wisdom are supposed to be passed along.
One of the fastest ways to grow as a person is to share and teach what you’ve already learnt. If you have more knowledge in certain areas than others, it’s extremely valuable for your self-esteem and skill set if you’re concurrently mentoring people “behind” you.
So maybe you’re 20 and you’re great with computers, and there’s a 50-year old billion dollar company CEO who needs help in that area, you can mentor him right? Having people “behind” you to mentor, coach and teach is an excellent way to reinforce your ideas, lessons and teachings deeper into your subconscious mind. Over time, your skills will become even more automatic, reflective and natural.
Becoming a millionaire is tough. Pursuing your freedom is tough. Earning your ideal body is tough. Becoming great with women is tough. Whatever you do, it’s best to have a mentor to guide you through the success process.
When you realize it’s wiser not to reinvent the wheel, remember to use the 3 golden pieces of advice above to unleash the true power of mentorship.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin