Very few things are more valuable than having a mentor. When it comes to your journey to success, your ability to secure the right mentor could be the difference between making it or failing miserably.
What exactly is a mentor? A mentor is someone who offers his or her knowledge, wisdom and advice to someone with less experience over a period of time.
There are multiple types of mentors but the concept is pretty much the same. A mentor is someone who has already walked the same road you plan to walk and that can actively help you speed up the process. You can have multiple mentors at the same time and you can have dedicated mentors for different aspects of your life like a mentor in your business, a mentor for your health, a mentor for your spiritual side and so on. With the basics out of the way, it’s time to get into the 15 reasons why you should have a mentor and why if you don’t, you’re probably doomed to fail.
1) They’ve been there and done that
The biggest advantage of having a mentor is they’ve already achieved something that you yourself are pursuing, which means that in a similar fashion they have already gone through the struggles you’re facing right now or are about to face. They made mistakes and also found creative solutions along the way.
A mentor will share these insights with you, decreasing the time it takes for you to reach their level and maximize your chances of success.
2) Mentors are an unbiased third party
A mentor should be straight forward and provide unbiased advice. They’re not your mother and will not put your personal feelings above facts. This is incredibly valuable because the people around you are emotionally invested in you as an individual but a mentor has the ability to look at the past and judge your efforts for what they really are. No matter your business idea, you are less likely to get a real response from your loved ones or your inner circle because they want to support you. Guess what, the world cares about results and not particularly about you. Your mentor will provide that balance.
3) Mentors have a different network of contacts
Your mentor is already swimming with bigger fish. In their journey, they’ve already acquired a variety of contexts that could be out of reach for someone like you. A mentor can facilitate access and open doors for you giving you the right amount of an edge to make it in your journey. You as well will grow your network but how awesome is it that if deemed worthy, someone is providing you with the access that your competitors might be struggling to get. Never underestimate the power of someone else’s network and you should have a strong focus on developing your own.
4) They are usually free
Most mentors only want to see you do well. A real mentor wants you to succeed not for their financial gain at least not the first time around. There are people called consultants who you can pay hefty sums of money for them to go through your day-to-day business and see if they can spot any vulnerabilities or points to optimize. A true mentor doesn’t need you to pay them for their advice. They’re satisfied with just seeing you succeed.
5) Mentors may introduce you to new business opportunities
One of the really incredible things about mentors is their ability to spot opportunities that you would have never seen otherwise because they went through it before and they have a deeper understanding of the game than you do. They can connect multiple dots that are out of reach for a beginner entrepreneur. They are proof of concept they are a living example that you can make it in a new industry and will advise you on the right ways to go about it. Mentors will take you under their wing and provide you with the tools for growth and development. Your job is to listen to them and trust their more developed instincts.
6) A mentor will help you stay in business longer
Straight out, a mentor has already made a ton of really expensive mistakes and any one of these could mean the end of your business if not dealt with correctly. Not only can a mentor warn you ahead of time of negative things that are about to happen and the solution he or she found for them, but based on their experience, they could advise you on how to evade those problems completely. This allows you to use your resources more efficiently thus increasing your chances of surviving. Statistics show that 70% of mentored businesses reach the five-year mark. That’s an incredible percentage if you consider that only 20% of the businesses survive the first year and out of those, only half statistically reach year five.
7) You are more likely to succeed with a mentor
A study conducted in late 2013 showed that over 80% of the polled CEOs have received mentorship in one form or the other at the startup stage. The same research showed that 93% of startups admit that mentorship is instrumental to success. Our chances of success in life and in business can be amplified by having the right mentor. The valuable connections, timely advice, occasional checks together with the spiritual and moral guidance you’ll gain from having a mentor will literally leapfrog you to success.
8) They push you to learn
A mentor will easily notice where you’re lagging behind in terms of knowledge. Their job is to push you in the right direction and most of the time this starts with information. Any real mentor will recommend reading material that applies to your industry or your particular field. They will point out what you should look into in order to draw much-needed knowledge from it and they’ll keep you focused on improving your knowledge because they know how important it is if you are to succeed.
9) A mentor will save you a lot of money
Every single mistake you make will cost you money. That’s usually how people learn. They spend time and money making mistakes and then they take out knowledge. For the said experiment, a mentor is able to provide you with the knowledge you need sparing you the expense of going through it yourself because they’ve done this before and they already know how to optimize your entire process so you spend the least amount of money necessary in order to get the biggest possible results. they’re able to see leaks in your business that you might otherwise miss. By having him or her actively involved, you’re saving a ton of money.
10) They can help you make the right choice
There will be points in your journey where you reach a crossroad and need to make a choice. Having a mentor smoothens out that process as they can help you better assess the situation and aid you in making the right call for both yourself and business. Depending on what your end goal is, there are very few people in the world that can give calculated advice in times like these and a mentor is one of them.
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11) They’re a representation of your goals
Another thing mentors have the power to do is to serve as inspiration. Your mentor already reached a destination you’re working towards and they’re living a lifestyle you desire. They won the race you’re racing in right now. It’s a lot easier to reach a destination if you have a clear understanding of where it is you’re going. You want what they’ve already achieved and are blessed to have them guide you in your path.
12) They call you out on your bullshit
Sometimes in your entrepreneurial journey, you get so caught up in your own fairy tale that you fail to see the big picture. Your biggest enemy in this race is yourself and it’s so easy for you to keep drinking the kool-aid and tell yourself you’re doing the right thing when in reality you’re just not ready to face the facts. People around you might be impressed by what you’re saying but a mentor has the ability to see through that and make you face the truth. This might be a little harsh, but they are usually right. Your ability to put your pride away and face the music is what will help you succeed and keep the relationship with the mentor in place otherwise they’ll drop you and move on to better things.
13) Mentors understand the struggle
There are very few people that went through the same struggles that you’re facing right now. They know about the doubts they know about the sleepless nights and they know about the disbelief in your family or inner circle because they’ve been there themselves. They know what it’s like to sacrifice your relationships and what it’s like to work 14 to 16 hours per day because they’ve done it. They went through the same hell you’re going through right now which puts them in a unique position to offer you actionable insights that you can’t get from anywhere else.
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14) They share your core values
If someone decides to accept you as their mentee, it usually means that to some degree they see themselves in you. They relate to your story as we mentioned in the previous point, to your struggles and they want you to succeed. Finding someone who shares your core values is probably the most difficult point on this list because we’re all coming from different backgrounds and we all have different stories. It’s the core values that will be the biggest decider on whether a mentorship relation will commence or not. The two parties could have the same work ethic usually the same uprising and have overcome a similar challenge early on that’s something to consider when picking a mentor because otherwise, the mindset will not be the same and the relationship is bound to fail.
15) They can back you up financially if it comes to it
Mentors never shy away from being the first investor in their mentees which means that if the situation is right and the mentor believes in your product, he or she could facilitate the access to money for you. It might be from their own pockets or they’ll connect you to the right individuals. Mentors will want to see traction first to see that you can actually pull this off. If you have the right resources the mentorship is free advice but financial backing is taking that particular relationship to the next level.
How to get a mentor?
Here’s how to get a mentor if you don’t have one already.
- The first step is to know yourself and where you want to go discover your passions.
- The second step is to find someone who’s already in the vicinity of that point and who’s a living proof that your goal is achievable. This person should be from your geography and a success story in your area. The bigger their success, the harder they’ll be to connect with.
- Step three, study him or her find out where they’re from what’s their story what does their business looks like and learn as much as possible about their business.
- Step four, reach out to them proving you’ve done your homework and offer to help them with their business for free. Find a particular function in their business that you can do and offer to do it for free. This is the secret to getting a mentor. You want free valuable advice and contacts and you got to work for it. The first few examples could be managing the social media aspects helping to optimize their schedule. Anything that takes a burden off their shoulders will do.
It’s not going to be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.