Who is your mentor?
Whether you are a gardener or the prime minister, everyone needs an encourager in their life, maybe two or three. Today’s technology allows us to have the world at our fingertips with an endless amount of information, anytime and anywhere with WiFi.
If you are an entrepreneur who wants to keep on learning, challenging yourself, expanding your business or start an ecommerce store, having a mentor will help you in the next step. There are also advisors, life coaches, Facebook group communities online that will help you expand your network and knowledge depending on what your needs are.
When I was in university, still a teenager, I was invited by a friend to a student bible study one Friday evening. A Turkish American missionary lady was talking about having a mentor in your life, someone who can encourage you and keep you accountable throughout your journey. She was working with Pacific students and lived with other students who later became close friends.
My mentors at the time were limited to my parents but that was a different kind of mentoring. I somehow moved seats during the bible study and accidentally sat on another lady! She asked me who my mentor was and I jokingly said “I guess you are now!”. That was 18 years ago. Janeen was and still is my mentor. She’s been there at different stages of my life and continues to do so.
Mentoring is much more than teaching and being there for someone else. A mentor can provide you with insights, context and experiences that either you may not necessarily have at all or you have limited visibility into” (Aldea, 2022). It’s a relationship based on honesty, trust, deeper understanding and a higher level of sharing. Typically, someone who works in the same or desired fields, who can help grow not only yourself but your network as well.
I have had several mentors since then but they all bring something to the table. Whether its spiritual guidance, business knowledge, accountability as an entrepreneur, business consultant, designer or mother, each mentor adds value. These mentors have traveled the roads I am currently on and overcame similar challenges. They help guide me on my own path.
An effective mentor can professionally and personally guide the mentee while maintaining a friendly and supportive relationship. If you are stagnant in your journey and discouraged, burnt out and needing more valuable people around, I’d encourage you to get a mentor. Get several if you want. You will know people in your circle who are willing to put in the time and effort to help you. Most mentors enjoy helping others and therefore don’t charge for their services but today, most online coaches and mentors charge a lot of money to give their advice.
Whoever you choose, make sure your goals are aligned with theirs when it comes to your life, spirit, business, health or all other aspects that you want help with. Do your research for online coaches if you can’t find someone locally. There are many mentors online so make sure that the mentor is who they say they are, look for proof, testimonials from previous mentees, legitimate websites, business addresses as there are too many scammers out there.
However, a mentor shouldn’t be someone you admire from afar or some big celebrity who has 20 different people looking after their social media or money-making websites. That’s not a mentor. They should be able to play a consistent role in our life over some period of time. If they are living overseas then they should be able to have face to face sessions with you and actively seek to offer you the best advice.
Some people have several mentors for different things so you don’t have to have a single mentor. The possibilities are endless. Just don’t have too many that will take up all of your time and focus. Less is more when it comes to mentoring and quality over quantity.
Ask the following questions:
1. Does your mentor support growth?
2. Are they more knowledgeable than you in the field that you’re after? 3. Do they make you accountable?
4. Are they good listeners?
5. Do they offer constructive feedback?
6. Do they have the relevant experience?
7. Are they on your side and are they trustworthy?
8. Do they offer encouragement?
9. Can they help you set goals?
If all else fails, pray for guidance. My parents did. While we enjoy another peaceful Sunday in lockdown, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There are good people in this world who are willing to do that. You only need to ask. If you are a mentor and leader, thank you for taking that time to help others. Manuia le sapati and stay safe!
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