How to find a mentor? Let’s be real. Actually, I’m going to get REAL real, so this may hit some buttons. If you get offended, this might be for you.
No one wants to talk about excuses. It’s easier and more fun to quote Nike or Gary Vaynerchuk and talk about hustle and beast mode and “Just Do It,” but if it were that easy, more people would be successful.
It’s not that easy. People everywhere think they’re “just doing it,” but they’re not. At least, they’re not doing it to the best of their potential. They’re actually holding themselves back.
They’re stuck, and they don’t see it. They don’t hear it. It comes out of their mouth in the form of, “I need” or, “When I have…”
I spent part of last weekend at a great event. During a panel session, where people had the opportunity to stand up and ask 6 and 7 figure earners specific questions, one woman got up and told a story. She spoke about someone who she purchased a program from, and how she got no results. Then she spoke about another program she purchased and was asking for a refund for because she also had (…you guessed it) no results. Then she shared about the bank loan she’d taken out and said that all she needed was a mentor, and implored the group of high achievers, “Where’s MY mentor?”
So, how to find a mentor? – You DON’T
As she told this story, some people were laughing, not at her, but because they recognized the truth. This has happened to nearly everyone on their home business journey. We want solutions, right? So, when someone comes along offering a solution, we buy. There are people who prey on the desperation of others looking to build a business. There are still others who ARE offering solutions, but without the skills to put it together, a true solution in inexperienced hands will still offer up nothing more than money wasted. It’s tough. And this lady wanted help. She said that she needed a mentor. People chuckled because they could relate.
The moderator of the panel’s response was entirely unexpected to most of the room, though. He said that was an excuse. That telling yourself you will have success once you have a specific thing is an excuse. It’s totally true.
Here’s the weirdest thing about starting your own business: it’s nearly impossible to find a mentor in the beginning. Right, when you think you need it most is when it’s the hardest to find. Strange, right? Here’s why: Entrepreneurship isn’t easy! It’s AWESOME, but it’s not easy. (If it were easy, everyone would do it, right?)
Struggling, in the beginning, is sort of a rite of passage. Do you have the mindset to stick with it? Are you able to handle some rejection and defeat? Once your cowboy boots are dusty from the open road, from falling off your horse (AND GETTING BACK ON!)… You’ll start to feel wiser. Your discernment will increase. You’ll start to make money. And you’ll realize that YOU DON’T NEED A MENTOR.
What you need is to get rid of your excuses. Here are 5 reasons why you DON’T need a mentor.
- Your journey is your own. No two successful people have the same story. Your challenges will be different from anyone else’s. The person you see who could be your mentor may not be able to relate to or know what you need. The first step in building your business is believing that you can and will figure out the right path. You have to trust yourself before you can trust a mentor. Otherwise, you’ll question everything they advise because you don’t have a sense of your own correct path. Mentorship isn’t your first step toward success. Trusting yourself is.
- You can have a secret mentor, without them even knowing. Let’s use the Gary Vaynerchuk example again. Someone operating with excuses will say they would succeed if they just had a mentor like Gary. Someone without that excuse would spend their free time reading his books and watching his hundreds of videos. Truly great mentors provide so much free information, enabling wise learners to spend time absorbing all that’s available, saving personal mentorship for when it really counts.
- Mentorship is a waste of your time at the beginning of your career. There is so much free information available that you can learn nearly anything you need to know via blogs, youtube, and following industry leaders on Facebook. At the beginning of your career, your questions are likely answerable by a customer support ticket or by a Google search. Save mentorship for when you have strategic questions about running and growing your business.
- Mentorship is a pay it forward exercises. There’s a wise guideline for the success of having someone wiser than you to learn from, someone equal to you in skillset to bounce ideas off of, and a beginner whom you can help. If you’re looking for a mentor but aren’t yet helping anyone else or bouncing ideas off someone of a similar skill level, then you’re operating at a deficit. Teaching others helps you retain your own knowledge and grow. Having a partner of a similar skill set will help you work through challenges. Most importantly, no one likes to help a “taker.” Check-in with yourself to see if you energetically deserve a mentor.
- Spending or losing money doesn’t entitle you to have a mentor. If you’re spending or losing money in your business, or on possible solutions or shiny objects, and this continues to happen… You still don’t need a mentor. You need discernment. You need to examine your own goals, strengths, and weaknesses, and look closely at where your money is going. If these things aren’t in alignment, you’ll find yourself wasting resources. In entrepreneurship, we’re all responsible for ourselves.
Once you’re empowered as a business owner and looking to expand, diversify, or alter your strategies, you may be ready for a mentor.