The word “mentor.” is it being used correctly? do people really mean mentor when they say, mentor?.
Am actually confused about this because nowadays mentors have become a “thing.” People talk about as something that’s given or received. They treat mentorships almost like a stepping stone to success rather than a true relationship.
While I’m not big on the term “mentor,” I do think entrepreneurs need people to reach out to. In my mind, every entrepreneur should have a personal board of an advisers-a diverse group of people they can rely on and seek advice from in different situations.
But dispensing advice shouldn’t be the only purpose of your personal board. Your board should be built around a mutual give-and-take, and consist of people you enjoy spending time with.
Here’s who should be a part of it:
1. Your Circle of Friends
Everyone needs a circle of friends to rely on, and the best friendships are those that develop organically.
Afterall the kind of people you move with influence your achievement and being. There’s no doubt that your squad makes your life better. Your friends pick you up when you’re down, celebrate your milestone moments, and hang out with you just because you rock in between. But beyond providing awesome support—and lots of laughs—several studies reveal that your friends are your best advisors.
That’s why a true relationship is not just one person giving and another person taking.
One person might have more experience at a certain point in time, so they’re the one giving out advice. Other times, you’re the one with more experience. That’s how a circle of friends evolves and stays strong.
2. Professional Contacts
When starting your career as a young professional, your job is fairly narrow. There are tons of people out there who do what you do as a worker.
However, when you become a founder, you realize that you have to do what everyone can do, but you don’t know how to do most of it. At that point, the best resource is other founders-people who are in the same boat as you, or who’ve gone through the process before. There is a saying that no one is an island of knowledge.
So, you end up asking questions like, “OK, I’m going to set up this, what do you think about it.? It’s a very tactical approach, but, in many ways, that type of advice is what you want as an entrepreneur.
This connection might be hard to connect with however, this type of advice from other experienced founders is a proven key to your success.
Your professional contacts are not your friends from college, and they are not people 30 years your senior. But they are another part of your board of advisers, and they should ideally be both mutually chosen and diverse.
3. Traditional Advisers
A lot of people look for advisers outside of their work environment. I think that’s great. It’s awesome to have contacts who aren’t the people you work for.
But the traditional advisers, the people who you might actually call “mentors,” are usually past bosses. These are the type of people who are going to give you job references, share career advice, and help you get into schools. You’ve worked with these advisers and you respect them.
The big thing to remember about all of these relationships is that they are relationships. They should be beneficial to everyone involved. The best relationships I’ve seen between senior leaders and junior members of a team were those that developed organically. It wasn’t a transactional thing.
As an entrepreneur, you won’t always be as close to someone as you are now and you won’t have time to make new friends so just make sure that you have a network of people you can count on for advice when you need it.
Because you can never know who will be more beneficial to you, so you cant say “I have too many great people I can reach out to for help so i need no one else” everyone has there reason and role to play in your life either positive or negative.
So be sure to keep more positively influenced relationship.