Why Having a Mentor is Important?
Starting your own practice is a challenging initiative. Starting any company, for that matter, is hard! Business decisions and their consequences fall on your shoulders and your shoulders alone. It can be exhausting to constantly cross your fingers and hope that the decision you’re making is the right one. But what if you didn’t have to guess? What if you had someone in your corner? Someone with knowledge, experience and a full belt.
Mentors aren’t gods, they’ve made a mistake or two in their career, and they’ve learned a few things from The School of Hard Knocks. You don’t have to repeat history. You can climb the ladder faster, with sure footing, because you know your mentor is right there to support you as you climb to success.
Having had a mentor all my life and now mentoring others, I can say from experience that my mentor has brought me a degree of success I never thought imaginable. And now, looking at the success and impact I’m having on some of the people I’m mentoring, I’m convinced that many of them would never have achieved the success they’re currently enjoying without my mentorship. Owning a business is extremely hard work, filled with many difficult decisions that require tremendous courage.
A good mentor will:
- Provide you with knowledge
- Act as a sounding-board to run your decisions by
- Tell you when you’re veering off the path
- Hold you accountable to your plans and goals
- Provide honesty on your ideas and progress
- Help you grow personally and professionally
- Offer encouragement
- Connect you to their network
- Provide golden advice so you don’t have to make rookie mistakes like they did
However, it’s important to note that when choosing a mentor, you should look for someone who has the same core values as you. It’s impossible, to work with someone who you don’t see eye to eye with. For example, you select a mentor, begin working with him/her and you notice that their management style is to push employees to their breaking point. He/she doesn’t even know the names of the people who work for them. Is this someone you want to be mentored by? I would say no. Before choosing an advisor, make sure that your values match.
I’m convinced that it’s much easier to achieve success with a good mentor than without one. This is not to say that you should only follow the advice of one mentor. To be proactive in your learning, you must complement their advice with books, videos, podcasts, and seminars. The goal is to always improve (yourself, your business, your mentality); a mentor will get you there faster.