If someone says that they are a “self-made” success who did it all completely by themselves with no help from anyone, they are probably stretching the truth. Success never usually happens in a vacuum. The definition of success is that something is recognized and respected by others.
Honest business people recognize and appreciate the help that they received from others. They know it was a big part of what made them able to achieve success. Clever people, when they are just starting out in something new, find a mentor. A mentor is a person who is willing to help a new person trying something for the first time.
Why Would Someone Want To Be A Mentor?
If you ask a mentor why are they a mentor, you are very likely to hear a story about how they were helped by another person when they were just starting out. Mentoring is a powerful way to give back. It is rewarding on both sides of the relationship of being a mentor and a mentee. It is so rewarding because both people learn something about themselves by sharing information and experiences with another person.
Mentoring Is Best When It’s A Balanced Relationship
In a healthy mentor/mentee relationship there is a nice give and take that is balanced. The mentor may know much more than the mentee about a subject matter of mutual interest. However, a mentor does not necessarily know everything. A mentee may also have unique experiences to share that the mentor knows nothing about.
Mentorship Is Different From Internship
Having a mentor is different from an internship. Both are meant to be a learning experience, but having a mentor is more about sharing knowledge that includes life skills, whereas an internship is usually limited to job skills.
For example, it is perfectly reasonable to ask your mentor questions like:
- How did you deal with setbacks?
- Did you have self-doubt?
- What kept you from giving up?
The Rules Of Mentorship
There are no specific rules in mentorship. It’s a unique relationship each time based on individual circumstances. The relationship can be as formal or as informal as you like. If the relationship feels strained or uncomfortable for either party, it is time to break it off. The period of a mentor/mentee relationship may come and go; however, sage advice lasts a lifetime.
Finding A Mentor
Many choose a mentor from someone that they already know. One way to meet a mentor is to volunteer for service work in your community. Many times you can make valuable contacts with successful people who are also giving their time and expertise to these projects.
There are also formal mentor programs such as one offered by the Small Business Association. It is called the SCORE program and the services are free.
SCORE is a good program for aspiring entrepreneurs. It can help, if you do not know of anyone who is the kind of mentor you need. Seeking out help through the SBA puts you in touch with an experienced businessperson who is a part of their volunteer mentoring program.
Real Estate Agents Can Be Great Mentors Too
If you are interested in learning about investing in real estate in your local community, a great place to start a mentoring relationship is with a professional real estate agent. Real estate professionals are well versed in the local market and can answer questions and guide you through your transactions to avoid major pitfalls. The best real estate agents can also find special opportunities to bring to investors that they are mentoring and help make your real estate investments more profitable.
Dale Carnegie wrote his classic self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People in the 1930s. Carnegie was a great business mentor. He recommends that if you want to be a success in a particular area of life, be around people who are already successful in that area and copy what they do. That advice is still good, even almost ninety years later.
If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.