Hello. It’s Thursday. It’s me, its Jon, it’s the Marketing for Owners. I am talking about mentors today. Now I have said it before. It’s one of these things I’m going to say over and over again because I believe it’s that important. You need a mentor.
Now what does a mentor do? Well in the words of Bob Proctor, one of the top ones, ‘A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out.’
So that’s it. You don’t know what you don’t know. I am going to have to think of another phrase for that because that always sounds ridiculous. But it is true.
And you maybe an expert in what you do. You may be doing extremely well, but there are others who will see it in you, something that can be done better.
Now when you learn from a mentor, generally a mentor will bring certain skills. Now they don’t know everything. And it’s very important to realize that a mentor is not some magical mythical being that will make you rich.
They will help you improve and they will guide you. So you probably could be the Mark Zuckerberg of programming but a mentor will bring something out in you.
In fact Mark Zuckerberg’s mentor is Warren Buffet. We all know him. Everyone will have one. Richard Branson has had mentors.
Now it could be someone in your family. It could be another business person. His was gentleman called Sir Freddie Laker, who famously failed in his efforts in the airline industry.
However, that was due to some major competition issues. They don’t like competition in airline industry. Not back in the old days.
Learning Will Involve Mistakes
But what will happen, when you build your business or whatever you do, and of course, you don’t have to be the owner.
You could be a manager, you could be in charge for department. And what happens is learning takes time. You are learning and learning will involve mistakes.
But a mentor will speed up that learning process, because they’ll shortcut it. They will be able to help you avoid the mistakes, by explaining what not to do.
Because they have that kind of experience. Now a mentor is, like I said, is your guide. They will support you. When times are tough and when times are good. They will criticize. You must be able to take criticism.
In fact, I think we will discuss that in another podcast. If you cannot take criticism, you are not going to get far in life, not just in business, in life.
Because unless you think you are perfect, I mean what are you scared of? People who criticize by the way are trying, in this case, to help you there.
If you want people around you, who are full of fluff in their answers, then how is that going to help? You need people who can tell you where you are going from. Now in a good way though.
A Mentor Will Listen and a Mentor Will Help
A mentor will listen and a mentor will help. So very different to a coach or someone like that. And there are no schools for running small businesses.
I mean there are courses and some, but generally in small businesses, something you just start and get into. And as you get more experienced, you need to know where to improve, who’s going to tell you?
How do you know where you need to improve? You, you are on the inside looking out. People on the outside are looking in, can see more and they can help.
Where Do I Find a Mentor?
Now where do you find one? So generally people who are mentors don’t generally advertise themselves as a mentor. You have to make an effort.
Now in my experience if you go to a group of people that do advertise themselves as mentors rather than coaches, probably not what you are going to be looking for. They are more of a general all-rounder.
You need someone who is good at something specific. So for example, in your business, if you are lacking in sales, then look for somebody who is experienced in sales.
They may be no good at production and they may be no good in finance, you can use them and get advice for sales and then move on to someone else.
I think the Jack Welch, the famous boss was asked who was his mentor, and he said he has had thousands of mentors.
And that’s another way of putting it because he has taken advice when it’s needed. And he’s, it’s a very good skill to know how to look for advice.
What I would suggest is that you would look for experienced business people. And you contact them and you ask them.
If you can come and ask them for some advice. Or come and meet them because you’d like some advice because you respect what they do, you look at it.
Now they will be really pleased, play to their ego. Do not, on first meeting say, ‘Hey, I am looking for a mentor, I’m wondering if you would mentor me.’ you want to ask them for advice.
This is Just Like Dating
Again this is like dating. You start slow and you build up. You never know if you can impress and if you can ask the right questions, and if you can follow the advice given.
The offer of mentorship may be given without you having to ask. But people with experience are going to be pleased, that you think they are that good that they can help you. and quite often they may see themselves in you.
And be willing to help for that reason. So take it easy.
You could join your local chamber of commerce, go to the meetings, you can ask who is an expert at xxx.
Quite often the people on the community of chambers of commerce, on the committee of Rotary Clubs, possibly you know in groups like that.
Quite often are experienced local business people. And when they are experienced, they may have skills in an area in particular. So try and find someone who has that skill.
And be very specific in what you want them to teach. But this is a beauty. In general, a good mentor is unlikely to cost you.
Now a lot of people, I remember when I interviewed Andy Crestodina a while ago, from Orbit Media, he has on his website a time where you can book a slot, and have a chat with him.
Ask him any advice, take up offers like that. In fact, you could say, I am looking for a mentor. Can you advise me on how to find a mentor?
I do the same. And I don’t have the fame and skills of Andy Crestodina but on Marketing for Owners, you can go to www.marketingforowner.com/freetime, you can book a half hour with me, for free.
No obligation. You can ask me absolutely anything. I can give you some more specific advice. If that’s what you want.
It’s not just us two. There are plenty of people who are generous with their time because some of us actually like to help people, who are putting the effort into doing their own thing.
That’s what it is for me. I like people to put some effort in. so there you go. Anyway it is worth the effort. You will love it, once you have had one, you will always have mentors through your career.
Drive Time Podcast
Now it’s Thursday. Time for a podcast. Have you ever heard of the site, www.creativelive.com? If you haven’t, oh you have got to go there. It’s fantastic.
They have a podcast, hosted by Tara Gentile. And that’s how you pronounce her name, because I heard her pronounce, when I listened to her podcast.
It is called Profit Power Pursuit. A creative live podcast.
It is excellent. She interviews people who have created. Now there are all methods of being creative. Can be from software to artistic to anything.
This is once a week, around 50 minutes. They are quite quality interviews and guests are superb. You will love it. I recommend you go listen to that. And it’s going to help accompany you around the supermarket, or the grocery store sometime soon.
Tomorrow is going to be our Ones to Watch series. And last Friday, if you listened, I mistakenly said it was Chloe, because tomorrow is Chloe Thomas who is a leading ecommerce expert and author. Last week I interviewed Ian Anderson Gray .
Honestly listen to Chloe. She has great stuff to tell you. I strongly recommend it. Otherwise have a great weekend. I’ll be back soon with more tips on Monday.