10 Tips on Why Mentors are so important

10 Tips on Why Mentors are so important
10 Tips On Why Mentors Are So Important | Caliendo World Music Publishing

10 Tips on why Mentors are so Important

Mentorship has probably been the most underrated aspect of building the foundations of your career. Until now. During Covid-19 we have seen a surge of mentors in a variety of industries surface as people navigate to an online platform, taking their experience and selling it as an asset. The guidance you can potentially receive from a well experienced mentor is invaluable, and their ability to help you navigate the unknown paths of your position and reach your goals more quickly is what makes them so important.

What aspects of a mentor should you be aware of?  

A mentor has to have knowledge and experience in your desired field. They should be willing to share this knowledge with you to help you achieve your goals – specific to you, customized to your specific vision. A mentor should be someone who has achieved a level of success that you envision for yourself. It’s someone who can challenge you and push you in ways other people can’t. They can help you avoid procrastination by holding you accountable for your actions.

How do you find a mentor?

Finding a mentor may not be as difficult as you think. You just have to know where to look. 

Start by searching through your network. Think of friends, classmates, professors or even extended family members. Hop on LinkedIn and scroll through your connections. Your mentor could already be someone you know. 

If scouring through your network didn’t work, start a list of people you admire. Once you’ve compiled a list of names, start reaching out. Send out emails and try setting up a virtual coffee chat. Remember, just because these people might be outside of your network, you can still use your network to get in touch. You want to make your initial message as warm as possible, so before sending a cold email, find out if anyone within your network can put you in touch.   

Your mentor should be able to:

  • make intelligent business decisions
  • foster the best partnerships
  • provide guidance for your entrepreneurial training

Here are 10 reasons why mentors are so important:

  1. Mentors provide information and knowledge.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” When you start out, it is likely you have no idea what is involved in running a business, including making a business plan, budgeting, handling daily operations, making strategic decisions or running a marketing campaign. With a mentor there from the start, you will tap into a wealth of knowledge that will get you up to speed faster and shorten that learning curve. Trust me – I had a team of specialist create the Octiv8 program which teaches musicians how to parlay their creative core skills into the world of industry. I had the initial idea based on my autobiography – but very quickly I realized I needed experts in technology, design, social media and course marketing – a fleet of mentors.

2. Mentors can see where we need to improve where we often cannot.

Movie maker George Lucas noted, “Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults that we would like. It’s the only way we grow.” They will always be brutally honest with you and tell you exactly how it is rather than downplay any weaknesses they see in you.

Many of you took advantage of our 45-minute strategy call and I was pretty hard on you focusing on the reality of your situation, I asked:

      • what is the problem costing you personally?
      • how does this problem make you feel?
      • how urgent is this for you to fix?

This constructive criticism is used so you can see things in yourself that you could not recognize or chose to avoid.  You appreciated my insight because you didn’t want someone to pad your ego. Instead, you wanted to know exactly where you were lacking so I could improve on those areas.

3. Mentors find ways to stimulate our personal and professional growth. 

Another famous movie director explained, “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” Mentors will often pose questions for you to think about and ask you to come back with answers later.

Mentors will also set various goals for you and let you free to see if you could accomplish them on your own, all the while watching from a distance to see how these projects help you to develop. Mentors will then make a point to sit down and tell you what they observed about yourself through the project process, what they thought was worth keeping – and definitely what they would immediately throw out.

Mentors also focus on character and values, which nurture personal growth as well as leadership abilities.

  1. Mentors offer encouragement and help keep us going.

Inspirational entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey stated, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” They are there no matter what and offer moral support sprinkled heavily with cheerleading. There were times that, if there wasn’t a mentor there for me, I could have easily, “caved-in,” emotionally, or given up on the business. However, I had a mentor and each one I had wouldn’t let me stop but provided the encouragement and guidance that gave me hope and confidence that I could do whatever was asked of me.”

  1. Mentors are disciplinarians that create necessary boundaries that we cannot set for ourselves.

I experienced a lot of tough love with my team. They do this because they understood that being an entrepreneur can be challenging when it comes to being guided by your emotions and not your reason. They took on this role of parenting to teach me good work habits and provide the boundaries for me to work within. This solidified my work ethic, sharpened my focus, and clarified my priorities in a way that I could not do on my own.

  1. Mentors are sounding boards so we can bounce ideas off them for an unfiltered opinion.

When I started Octiv8, I had numerous ideas for all types of ways to produce the content. I relayed all of these to my team on a daily basis who then helped me see which ones had potential and why others were better left alone. I appreciated their candor because I might have otherwise pursued a business idea that had potential to help students.

  1. Mentors are trusted advisers.

In the world of business, it can be hard to know who to trust – and that you can trust someone, especially with proprietary information or intellectual property. Since mentors are an objective third-party with no stake in any idea or venture, they are happy to let me know what they think. In return, I knew that they would keep everything I told them confidential rather than sell it to someone else or steal an idea from me.

  1. Mentors can be connectors.

Playing a dual role of teacher and connector, a mentor can provide access to those within your industry that are willing to invest in your company, offer their skills and expertise, introduce you to talent that can fuel your business and help you get closer to your target audience. My mentors willingly share their network with me making introductions that have and continue to lead me to other opportunities I would not have otherwise had.

  1. Mentors have the experiences you can learn from to prevent making the same mistakes beginners make.

Starting a business is challenging enough, so if you can skip doing things the hard way, why wouldn’t you? A mentor has been there, right where you are, and has made numerous mistakes that they can now use as a basis for helping others to skip the devastating effects of not knowing. I am all about doing things smarter, so my mentors share many stories about the mistakes they made along the way that became learning lessons for me minus the pain and lost resources that come from making those mistakes.

  1. Mentors are free, which makes them priceless in more ways than one.

Typically, a mentoring relationship will grow organically through connections within your industry and network. Bill Ellermeyer, one of our adjunct faculty for the Octiv8 course available to our Gypsy or Flamenco members, talks on this subject in depth. A mentor does not do it for the money. Instead, they are driven by the satisfaction of helping another entrepreneur, move forward from a similar experience they had when starting their own business.

I feel fortunate enough to have had this experience and am now in a position to share my mentors with you in a variety of fields, knowledge and subjects.

SUMMARY:

As a reminder – your mindset should be:

  • When you come to the realization that you need assistance, look within your own network. More than likely, you will receive guidance from someone who is more than willing to help guide you for free. Which means – you need to know what your goals are. Good people like you know what to do but often allow their instincts to be suppressed by overthinking. A good mentor helps a mentee to make decisions that help them reach their goals. A great mentor builds a mentees confidence in a way that less instruction or assurance is needed from others.
  • There will come a time when investing in a coach or mentor’s program or personal one-on-one training is necessary.
  • When people hire me to coach them or invest in my Octiv8 program, I treat it as a partnership. I end up learning a lot from them equally which keeps me relevant. Your mentor should do the same.
  • If you choose to work for a company to support your income as an artist – network with its affiliates! This will help accelerate your artistic career and entrepreneurial vision because of the invaluable knowledge you will gain.

It has been a pleasure recording this audio ebook for you. I pray these tips on Why Mentors are So Important are useful to you to develop your career and vision.

Interested in a strategy call with Christopher!

Please Contact us for more information.

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