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