When should I get a mentor?
– The End
Why should you get a mentor now?
Simply, because a mentor will drastically increase the speed of your development and growth. You shouldn’t wait until you have a crisis before you seek out mentorship. Your crisis will most likely kill you before you are able to find the mentor. Dig your well before you’re thirsty. That said, you should always be thirsty for mentorship.
What is a mentor?
Let’s start with what a mentor, is not:
Most people confuse mentors with coaches. A coach is someone that meets with you on a regular basis, every Tuesday and Thursday for example. A coach is someone that reviews your technique and provides specific feedback and instruction. A coach motivates you, inspires you, and keeps you accountable. There are coaches in all areas of life, including life itself. A few common examples:
- Business coach
- Health coach
- Sex coach — yes, this exists
You should pay your coach. This is their job, and often times, how your coach earns a living.
What a mentor is:
A mentor’s job is not to instruct, but rather challenge you, ask you questions, and make you uncomfortable. A mentor is someone that sees your enemies before you do. A mentor’s duty is not to pump you up to make you feel great, but rather, humble you and prepare you for the great adversities you will face in your journey to greatness. A mentor is not going to give you a reminder-call at 4:30am to get your ass out of bed and start your day. That’s the job of you and your coach. A mentor will not chase you down to ensure you’re on top of your daily activities. But rather, disappear when she sees you’re not worthy and may be wasting her time. A coach is someone that will seek you out, and ask you to pay for his services. A mentor will take you on reluctantly, and there’s no amount of money that can be traded for her value. Your mentors will never ask for money. Rather, mentors only ask that you kill it in life. A coach will be there for you until you feel you don’t need him any longer. A mentor will leave you stranded and push you off a cliff, because she knows you’re ready to fly and doesn’t want to be your anchor.
How to find a mentor?
I was once on a panel speaking to a group of millennials. One of the panelists, a millennial herself, recited the common phrase, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher will appear’. It’s a cute and fluffy saying, but very untrue. There are many students ready, willing, and rightfully deserving. But the majority of them will never find their mentor. Why? Simply because seeking and identifying the right mentor is not something we’re trained to do. And even if you find this person, the question still remains: Are you worth her mentorship?
Where to start
That said, you’re not lost. The first place you’ll find your mentors is through books. Shut up, sit down, and read the biographies of the greatest people in history. Read self help, business, and personal development books. This is where you start. A few books that come to mind:
Think & Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
- Think & Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
- The Obstacle Is The Way, Ryan Holiday
- Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
- Do The Work, Steven Pressfield
- How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie
- 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C Maxwell
- Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
Where to continue
As you continue to read and learn, both your perspective and attitude will be better for it. A funny thing will occur. You’ll inadvertently start mentoring others. You’ll be speaking to a friend in need, and a heavy quote will drop from your mouth, hit the ground, and shake the earth. Your friend will be better for it, while you’ll wonder in amazement, “when the fuck did I become a motivational speaker?”
This is the beginning. As you continue to help and mentor others, you will gravitate towards better and stronger people, while at the same time attracting them. You’ll gain courage and clarity in thought and speech. You will become more outspoken and carry yourself with a quiet confidence.
When you arrive
As you continue your journey of reading and helping others, you will undoubtedly confront giants in all areas of life. From here, it will be your job to respect, connect, and form a relationship. Be humble, be kind, and be humble. Also, be humble. Lastly, wisdom comes in weird forms — be humble.
Your duty: Leave your mentor
A true mentor doesn’t want to mentor you. She is busy, you’re a nuisance, and she has her own missions to accomplish. Regardless, a true mentor will mentor you because she believes it’s the right thing to do. She sees promise in you. She sees herself in you. She knows it’s a tough world out there, and we all need a little guidance. She’ll mentor you because she sees potential. Respect her time and the value she brings to your universe. And most importantly, make her proud by killing it in life.
Your single duty is to make your mentor obsolete. Believe me — a true mentor wants this. She doesn’t mentor you to feel better about herself. She’ll want to see you grow, flourish, and surpass her. This is the natural way of life. It is our responsibility to do better than our predecessors. We must continue to evolve.
Originally published at khalidm.ca on August 25, 2016.