I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the concept of “mentoring and being mentored” over the last month. So much so, that I figured I’d share my thoughts with you this week.
My Vision, for those who don’t yet know, is to build a powerful community of business owners and enthusiasts who support and uplift each other. A close-knit community that will also hold each other accountable for achieving our individual goals.
My role in this community would primarily be to:
- mentor, train and coach individuals and groups within the group.
- continue to share any newly acquired knowledge and skills I obtain as I grow and develop along my own path.
- encourage growth within the community and promote internal and external collaboration.
In this symbiotic environment, each member will, at the same time, be both a mentor and a mentee. You see . . . we are all at different stages on our journey. We all have a unique set of skills, knowledge and experiences that we have picked up along the way.
In other words, each of us has plenty to share, and each of us has plenty to learn; so why not learn from each other?
I’ve been documenting all of the people in my life who have mentored me and, at first, I struggled with it. Until I sat down and clarified my definition of a mentor.
So, depending on where you look, a mentor is generally defined as . . .
- A wise, experienced and trusted adviser, counsellor or guide.
- A person who gives a younger or less experienced person help and advice.
- An advisor who, because he/she is detached, can hold up a mirror to us.
- An influential senior sponsor or supporter.
Based on the above, I define a mentor as any individual who can help me make the journey towards my goals simpler, more practical, and truly tangible.
Somebody you can . . .
- learn from, emulate and/or mimic
- receive guidance, advice and insights from.
- draw inspiration from.
- gain perspective from.
After defining it, it made it a lot easier for me to come up with my list of personal mentors. When I had finished I was surprised by how many people there were. I have literally had dozens of mentors help me on my journey so far – parents, friends, colleagues, bosses, celebrities, motivational gurus, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, professional coaches and mentors, etc.
And remarkably, many of them I have never actually met.
You don’t need to meet your heroes to be able to learn from them – you just need to expose yourself to the characteristics you would like to embody or learn from. With the unrestricted access to information these days, that’s not too difficult.
Let’s face it . . . the path that each of us is walking as an entrepreneur may seem lonely sometimes, but it is not unique. Many are travelling it with us – some ahead of us, and others behind.
Why cut a new path up the mountain when there’s already one there that has been formed by others? Why not seek out those who have achieved, or are achieving what you desire, and have them mentor you?
Think of all the successful business leaders and industry innovators that you look up to and respect for their achievements. They have all had their own mentors through their lives.
None of their stories tells a tale of a lone wolf who climbed to success without the support, guidance or inspiration of others. (Gates, Jobs, Musk, Robbins, Zuckerberg, Bezos, etc. etc – the list is endless)
Even Isaac Newton acknowledged the importance of his predecessors when he famously wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”.
So, in short, my firm opinion is that every single one of us would be better off if we accepted mentors in our lives. We will all be better off for it.
At the same time, we should be paying it forward by mentoring those who are behind us on the path.
Always remember: You can learn a lot from somebody who is only one or two steps ahead of you on their journey. For the same reason, you can teach somebody who is only a couple of steps behind you. Don’t underestimate the knowledge you have already acquired on the road so far.
In closing, I’m excited to share that I’m planning to launch this online mentoring community in the next couple of months. I really hope you’ll consider joining the team. I’ll give you more details closer to launch.
Hope you have a fantastic week.
Until next time, take care and good luck out there.
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