You’re out to do something big—with your career, with your finances, with your life. You’re tired of working hard but never feeling like you’re really moving forward. This is the perfect time to consider putting time and energy into finding and developing a relationship with a mentor.
A mentor is defined as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Doesn’t that just sound like a person we should all have in our lives? There is plenty of research demonstrating that mentored individuals earn more money, advance faster in their careers and are generally happier in their work.
Let’s look at just a few of the primary ways mentors can make a positive difference in the results you are creating…
- A mentor shows you that it’s possible. Whatever it is you want to do—there is enormous power in the knowledge that someone has successfully done it. Inspiration is probably one of the most effective tools for breaking down barriers and launching over hurdles and by “walking the talk,” mentors provide inspiration through their very being. Whenever we might be inclined to give up, certain that we can’t possibly be successful, a mentor is a source of hope—bringing to life the qualities and results to which we aspire.
- A mentor models AND shortens the path to success. More than just showing us the desired results, mentors illustrate the path we can follow to get there. Study your mentors thoughts, their words and their actions—because all of those things work together to create their success. What books has your mentor read and learned from? What activities fill their time on a daily basis? Ask questions and be open to advice that allows you to formulate your own plan of attack, while learning from and avoiding some of the past mistakes of your mentor.
- A mentor challenges you to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Working with a mentor who believes in and supports your potential, can be a great source of courage and confidence,making it so much easier to take risks. Much of the time it is these risks that will allow us to break out of a rut—moving forward faster.
It’s important to be realistic and recognize that mentors usually aren’t just lining up waiting to give you their time, energy and support. Start with your existing network of family, friends and business associates and then expand your search from there. Finding the right match will likely require focus, self-confidence and certainly patience. Be brave! Make phone calls, write letters and ask for introductions. Take every opportunity to network and meet all the people you can in your industry and/or area of focus. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for individuals who love to help people grow. They’re out there. The more that you demonstrate your willingness to work hard, to listen and to learn—the more likely it is that you will find the perfect allies for your journey.