Want to Be Successful? – Get a Mentor

Posted by 26 March, 2009

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This is the first of five posts on mentoring. The other four will be posted in the coming weeks.

1. Want to Be Successful? – Get a Mentor
2. 10 Things to Look for in a Mentor
3. 10 Things to Look for in a Protege
4. 5 Things You Need to Do in Preparation of Being a Mentor/Protege
5. World’s Greatest Mentoring Relationships

You’ve heard the saying: "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Well, success is too. Success is whatever you want it to be, but "there are two ways to acquire wisdom; you can either buy it or borrow it." You should by no means take a short cut because you will only be short changing yourself, but if there is an easier way to do something, do that. Get a mentor.

What does having a mentor mean?

From Wikipedia:

One definition of the many that has been proposed, is "Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development;mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is percieved [sic] to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protege)" (Bozeman, Feeney, 2007).

Personal Story

I’ve had official and unofficial mentoring relationships. I’ll be honest that my past mentoring relationships, in my opinion, have not been that beneficial. However, I have 3 separate relationships with people that I think could evolve into a mentor – protege relationship. One of the relationships that you all are familiar with is my mentoring relationship with my FOREX mentor. I feel safe in saying that there is no way I would be where I am in my FOREX trading, and in such a short span of time, if it weren’t for her.

So, why do you need a mentor?

What are they going to offer you that you can’t find in a blog or a book?

1. A mentor offers a relationship. This is something a blog or book simply can’t offer. You might be able to have a relationship with a book or more likely a blog in 50 years through the evolution of technology, but I don’t see it changing anytime soon. Besides, having a relationship with a book just seems weird.

2. The mentor can give you advice and help guide your career. Mentors can be great sounding boards especially if you’re feeling lost or confused. Let’s see a book do that!

3. Mentors can offer encouragement especially if you are feeling discouraged, which is bound to happen when venturing into something completely new to you. Their encouragement can help you build the confidence necessary to venture out onto a new path.

4. A mentor can offer stories about their experiences that might pertain to your situation and be able to answer any questions you might have. This is especially important because a mentor’s ability to identify with you (because he/she at some point had to be where you are now to get to where they are now) enables you to envision yourself enjoying the same level of proficiency and success as he or she currently experiences.

By no means does having a mentor equal success, but it definitely can’t hurt. Some of the most successful people in the world had mentors. People are often regretful of what they did not do, not usually what they DID do.

Do you have a mentor? How has your mentoring experience gone?

This splendid photo is by: Sir Mervs

Other Posts You May Enjoy

5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Store Front
5 Reasons Why You Should NOT have a Store Front
Case Study: My Adventures in Forex Trading (Update: 3/16)
Book Review: Ready, Fire, Aim – Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat
Interview: Pledgehammer


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Comments
March 26, 2009

Dustin,

I like this series! I’ve heard the advice to get a mentor and I’m looking forward to reading more details here. And maybe I will even follow the advice! 🙂

Daphne’s last blog post..How To Find Happiness That Lasts

Posted by Daphne
March 26, 2009

It’s amazing the progress we can make when we open our minds to learning from someone else.

Miranda’s last blog post..7 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Posted by Miranda
March 27, 2009

@ Daphne – Thanks for the comment. I hope there are a few tips you can pick up. I also hope to learn more about the mentoring relationship.

@ Miranda – I’ve always been hard headed so it’s definitely been difficult for me to begin to rely on other people for direction.

Dustin’s last blog post..Want to Be Successful? – Get a Mentor

Posted by Dustin
March 29, 2009

TAG offers students professional mentors. If you’re hungry to start your career, I recommend checking them out.

http://www.theascendancegroup.org

Posted by Jon Hilley
March 30, 2009

Hi Dustin,

I read this article and look forward to other four too.

From my personal experience I do feel that to be successful one needs a mentor.

I missed my life’s one of the most cherished goals because of the absence of a mentor.

As you said,one can gain expertise and skill by means of evolution, but alas when the lime is extremely limited, this evolutionary approach kills the dream.

A Bisht’s last blog post..Rank of Twitter among Social Networks

Posted by A Bisht
April 1, 2009

@ Jon – Hey Jon, thanks for the resource and the comment!

@ A Bisht – Thanks for the comment. Perhaps you were not ready for a mentor or maybe the right mentor was not available in your area. I would look to the future and keep your eyes and ears open for potential mentoring opportunities. Best of luck!

Dustin’s last blog post..10 Things to Look for in a Mentor

Posted by Dustin
April 5, 2009

I chose my mentors. Especially when I enter into my career, it was only after carefully choosing that I joined a specific company and under my current director. 🙂

And I have to acknowledge that its with my mentor’s help that I could go this far as of now.

Daniel Richard’s last blog post..7 Minutes To Get Your Finances In Order!

Posted by Daniel Richard
April 8, 2009

Mentor are always important, specially when you start a new business venture. I would like to give it a try. Do you have any idea to get an affordable one?

Posted by Delmer
April 9, 2009

It’s extremely important to choose a Mentor wisely. And ‘paying’ a mentor is quite different from finding someone that is willing to be there for you because they like you and your energy and your willingness to learn and everything else that makes up who you are.

I found a mentor in Robin J. Elliott and in one of my clients George C. Keefe. Two great, very determined men who have been there to help, answer questions, and offer encouragement when I needed it most.

Good article and any entrepreneur should read it as it really sums up the WHY of a mentor well.

Shawn

Shawn Christenson’s last blog post..Entrepreneurs Dying to Live

Posted by Shawn Christenson
January 3, 2010

Having a mentor can be very helpful in managing a career. Even better, talk to many people and have many informal mentors to get the greatest perspective.

http://www.balancedbits.com/2009/12/giving-back—mentoring.html

Posted by Jon Prial
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