Is it really worth having a mentor?
Short answer is yes, but here’s a slightly longer one.
My first mentor was Mike Sparkes who started as my agent when I was freelance but ended up my friend and business partner before his untimely death aged 38.
During the time I knew him this is what he gave me: -
- Inspiration: I couldn’t wait to be with him because of how he made me feel
- Knowledge: he knew more then than I know now and he was utterly selfless in sharing what he knew with me and with others.
- Experience: he liked me to have a go and was OK with me failing provided I learned from the experience.
- Challenge: he wasn’t a great believer in comfort zones and the status quo. Always pushing and helping me realise my potential.
- Confidence: he always believed in me and was never shaken by my many catastrophes.
- Support: especially in the early days he was always there for me particularly when my confidence was low.
- Motivation: I just wanted to do more for him.
- Friendship: not really a prerequisite for a mentor but he gave me his anyway.
Since then I have had many mentors and each has provided one or more of the above. I have no doubt that a great deal of my success in business stems from the contribution these men and women made to my development over the years. Even better than that it hasn’t cost me a penny.
I hope I have repaid my debts down the line though (but you’d have to ask those I have tried to mentor of course) and I will continue to do so. I think it’s as important to give as it is to receive - be generous with what you know.
My advice then: if you don’t have a mentor seek one out that you can trust and who can help you become what you are capable of being. You won’t regret it and it will make a big difference to how successful you will be.
Why do it all yourself when there’s an easier way.