We all have goals. Some are more ambitious than others, and their priority varies. It can be very beneficial to have someone in our life that we can talk to about these goals and seek counsel from. These individuals become a mentor. But what is a mentor? How does this relationship work, and what should we look for, when seeking out our own mentor?
These are questions that pass through my mind as I set out to build a business that helps people connect with their truth and build a brand around it. Many people in my life have suggested finding a mentor. However, I am reluctant to take on the role of the mentee to someone that doesn’t align with my truth.
I’m looking to build a brand that is true to myself and the reality I am subject to. I am not interested in doing things according to the status quo, I will undoubtedly learn from the status quo, but I don’t accept truth unless I stress test it for myself and how it relates to my mission.
So, what is a mentor?
According to my perspective, a mentor is someone who innately understands me and guides me through the process to achieve my goals. They provide counsel, help me focus on areas that need attention and help clarify my truth. A mentor is there to bring reality into the picture and provide insight from their experiences to manifest my goals.
A mentor is there to bring reality into the picture and provide insight from their experiences to manifest my goals.
The other day, I went golfing with a potential mentor, and as our round went on, I noticed a few things. He would keep me in perspective that the world of opportunities surrounding me was very abundant, and there is a multitude of ways I could achieve my goal.
He would ask me questions, like:
- Do you want to work for yourself or someone else?
- Is your primary purpose making money, making a difference, or something else?
- If I want to make a difference, is it in the world of business, for a social cause, or some technological advancement?
- He asked me how I would monetize what I have learned and how I would package my service?
The main thing I want to point out is that his mentoring style is focused around my answers to questions. At no point was he making any assumptions and projecting his thoughts on me. He would tell me stories about people he mentored in the past, the struggles they faced, and how important it is to align with people who have different strengths.
These are all questions I have been asking myself, but when I talk to colleagues, friends, or family, they often don’t know how to counsel me or project their views. So, I generally keep things that are fundamental to my growth close to my chest, until I talk to someone who I know understands what I am setting out to build.
I asked my mentor what he thought about one of on the services I am trying to package called a “Brand Audit.” Telling him that I have noticed in my work that many small and medium-sized businesses are engaged in all these activities to build a brand and market themselves, but don’t have a clear picture on how they all work together and what is useful.
His advice was that I am going to be talking to business executives to get buy-in for this, the best thing I could do was to simplify what I was trying to tell them.
As I walked my mentor through my idea, I could tell that he was starting to become puzzled. His advice was that I am going to be talking to business executives to get buy-in for this, the best thing I could do was to simplify what I was trying to tell them.
This is where having a mentor is beneficial. They can point out some of the realities that I might have overlooked. Instead of being judged by a potential client and losing out on an opportunity, a good mentor will work with you to refine your approach as mine did with me./span>