Mentor? Who needs a mentor? Seriously…
Well… I do. A mentor is that person who can help to steer you clear of troubled waters, and help to shed light on the positives when things get rough. You chose them because they have qualities your desire to learn, develop and nurture. If you were put in a formal mentoring program then someone else thought you needed to develop certain skills which your mentor possesses. Use the opportunity to learn, experience, partake and grow as a human and as a businessperson.
But here the thing…
Don’t take a mentor’s advice as the end-all-be-all on whatever topic is being discussed. They are people just like you and me and are capable of being wrong, just like you and me. They may mean well, but sometimes it is better to trust your gut and not your mentor when deciding to move or not move ahead with a business idea. If you have the power to turn your business idea into a success, then why hand the power to turn your idea into a failure over to another person?
I had to ask myself this question recently, after leaving a meeting with a mentor feeling confused and frustrated. The 1st meeting with my mentor went quite well. I learned a lot, and was completely overwhelmed at what to learn first. It appeared there was too much to learn. How was I ever going to know as much as they do? Will I ever come close? The discussion was informative and encouraging. My mentor was honest about their area of expertise and offered advice from that knowledge base. It was GREAT! After the second meeting however, I questioned EVERYTHING and that sucked the confidence right out of me.
I took a while to think things over from their perspective. Was that just wasted time Absolutely not! The best laid plans can appear to be no-brainers if you don’t have the opportunity to see them from the other side. Having that chat with my mentor helped me do just that. Besides, you know your vision and your potential better than anybody. Appreciate mentors for who they are… Folks who can provide information to HELP you make a decision. Don’t let them make the decisions for you. Use them to play devils advocate and tell you how they would do something. Unless they were in exactly the same situation dealing with the same person, the ball is still in your court. They want you to succeed as much as you do or they would not have agreed to mentor you.
So for the next session I discussed my fears and concerns and that meeting helped bring everything into context. I felt so much better.
Enjoy your mentor, and use them to help you get a better understanding on your strengths and weaknesses and life.