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Do You Really Need A Mentor? Here’s What You Need to Know

need a mentor

In 1908, Henry Ford mass-produced the motor vehicle for personal use and the Model T was born. Ford may not be the person to invent the first automobile, but his improvement in the assembly line conveyor technology was able to put the car together in 93 minutes made the mass production possible.

Although Ford’s achievement in the automobile industry was unquestionable, he did not make it all by himself.

Thomas Edison is commonly known as the father of invention and he is widely known for his electric light bulb invention. Similar to Ford’s assembly line technology improvement, Edison worked on perfecting the 50-year old idea of electric light.

Edison has successfully found a method that allowed the bulb to burn longer by using the filament.

So what do Ford and Edison had in common?

Well, Thomas Edison was the mentor for Henry Ford.

According to an article published on Allen Mentoring, Ford sought advice from Edison in business and technology research. This is what the article says:

Henry Ford collaborated with Thomas Edison throughout much of his later career. When the Ford Motor Company took off, Ford constantly looked to Edison for advice about business strategy and technological research.

When Thomas Edison’s neighbors moved out, Ford wasted no time snatching up the 7-bedroom mansion. The wooden fence between the two great pioneers of American innovation was known as the “friendship gate.”

The moral of the story is that no one can succeed alone in this world. No man is an island. You need help from others in order to produce amazing results in life.

No matter what form of help, be it business advice or life mentoring, you need to input from someone who is more successful than you to make it faster and better.

  • Aristotle, the genius Greek philosopher was the mentor to Alexander the Great.
  • Before she became a media mogul, Oprah Winfrey was inspired by her 4th-grade teacher named Mrs. Duncan to read and encourage her to be successful.
  • If you read the biography of Steve Jobs, you will notice that when Apple faced with tough times, Mike Markkula, the angel investor and second CEO of Apple did give some sage advice to Jobs.
  • John Assaraf, the New York Times best-selling author and now a life coach mentioned that it was his mentor, Alan Brown that changed his life.

There are many more examples you can find in real life.

The truth is that it is challenging to achieve stellar success in life, let alone if you have to make it all by yourself.

So you should start seeking out the right mentors whenever possible.

You can start searching for mentors even during your schooling days. If you build up a good relationship with mentors at an early age, you gain a strong advantage when you finish school to build your career and business.

That doesn’t mean you should stop looking for mentors after you step into the working world. When you are building your career or business, mentors play even more important roles in your life.

So here are a couple of STRONG reasons why having a mentor helps a lot in your journey to success.

1. A mentor gives you sage advice

This is one of the most obvious benefits you can get when you get yourself a mentor.

Apple is one of the innovative companies that we all can learn from. When Steve Jobs reinvented himself and his company many times during the decades, Mike Markkula actually gave him some wise business advice.

Jobs understood that Markkula has the experience of growing a business. So he asked Markkula the what he needed to do and where he should put his focus on to take Apple to a higher level. Markkula said that lasting companies must reinvent themselves.

Markkula the brought up the concept of metamorphosis, explaining how Hewlett-Packard transformed from an instrument company, to a calculator company, and then a computer company.

He went on to say that Apple needed to go through the metamorphosis as well.

“You’ve got to reinvent the company to do some other thing, like other consumer products or devices. You’ve got to be like a butterfly and have a metamorphosis,” said Markkula. Jobs didn’t say much, but he agreed.

Sometimes, you need some wise words that give you the “aha” moment.

Like how Mike Markkula shared the idea of metamorphosis to Steve Jobs, you need someone to show you the way in order to do better. This is especially true when you are lost.

2. A mentor often can see your strengths and weaknesses and where you need improvement

Another reason you need to have mentors is that a mentor can often tell where you need to improve.

Usually, you will be blinded by your surrounding and the situation that you are in. You can’t tell what you do is right or wrong, but your mentor can.

This is because your mentor is usually overlooking you from a “higher ground”, thus, he or she can lead you out of the maze.

George Lucas, the famous director who created Star Wars once said:

“Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults that we would like. It’s the only way we grow.”

Mentors usually have much more experience than you do. And because of this, they can be brutally honest with you and show you your weaknesses and strengths.

More importantly, mentors are able to give you constructive criticism and advice that you cannot recognize.

3. A mentor encourage and inspire you to go for more than you expected of yourself

Besides all that, a good mentor will encourage you to go beyond and help you unleash your potential and take you to a higher level.

When you are down and discourage, your mentor can act as the lighthouse to show you the right direction. Plus, they can give you a sense of hope and that someone is there to go through the tough times together with you.

This is extremely important when it comes to achieving outstanding success in life.

Most people give up because they lost hope, their motivation faded, and they are distracted by other things in life.

When you have good mentors around you, they are able to keep you going. They may not motivate you, but they can surely show you and tell you what you need to do to get out of the rut.

A great mentor wants you to do much better than you.

Do you know who is the coach for Tiger Woods? What about the coach for Serena Williams, Kobe Bryant, Usain Bolt, or Lionel Messi?

You may not have heard about their names. And they may not necessarily have achieved stellar success like their apprentices did, but good mentors are people who truly wanted to see their protégés do much better than them.

Sometimes, mentors may expect much more from you than you expect from yourself.

4. A mentor can shortcut your learning curve

Imagine that you are hiking on a mountain trail. Do you think it is easier to hike a mountain with ready trails or is it much easier to hike one without any trail?

The answer is obvious, it is much easier to hike a mountain with trails.

A mentor can act like a guide showing you the trail. Without a clear trail, you may get lost in the mountain. You can fall to death. And you may spend unnecessary time and effort to get to the top due to the detour.

Therefore, mentors are able to shortcut your learning curve.

Your mentor can show you the way. Even better, your mentor can grab you by the hand and take you to your destination.

Whenever you face challenges, you can always look for them for answers and advice.

In short, if you do everything on your own, it may take you 20 years to get there. But if you have mentors to show you the way, probably it will only take you 5 years to get to where you want to go.

So, are you convinced now that you need a mentor to be successful?

5. A mentor can grow your network faster

Another great benefit of having mentors is that sometimes they can help you build your network faster.

If you are a new player and you have no connection in the industry, but if you have good mentors, they can connect you to other influencers and big players in the field.

It’s called leveraging on other people’s network.

If you are a blogger and you have written a great article to use as a guest post, but you have no idea where to publish it, what will you do?

What if you have a friend who knows the editor or someone who can connect you to the authority website? Your article will have a greater chance to publish.

Building your network is important, especially in your business and career.

“It is not what you know, but who you know.”

The above quote perfectly explained the importance of building a strong and wide network. When you know who you can get help from, you have the advantage over those who don’t.

Conclusion

Getting a mentor is important to your success in life and business. In fact, you should always be on the lookout for good mentors who can truly help you to excel.

Success leaves clues. And your mentors can show you those clues. If you want to learn how to get yourself a good mentor, read this article from Jeff Goins:

How to Find (and Keep) a Mentor in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps

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About Shawn Lim

I'm a blogger, writer, and also an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of Active Goal Setting? Don't forget to do so. :)

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