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The Importance of a Mentor in your Career Path

5/4/2012
What is a mentor to you?
 
For me, finding a mentor was one of the best things I could ever do for myself. If I had not realized the value in what a mentor could do for me, I would not be where I am today. Yes, of course everything I have accomplished has made me who I am when you look at the large picture, but my mentor was a key piece of the puzzle just as my schooling was, along with my experience and knowledge gained from the real world.
 
So that is the easy answer to why you should have a mentor. Now let’s look at some reasons why it is important to have one. You may not have thought of all of these things. I know I didn’t when I first started out in my journey:
 
They can guide you down a path. Obviously you will choose a mentor that is in your field so that you can get a sense as to what you can expect from them. I chose my mentor because she had proven success as an entrepreneur and was completely open to helping me to figure out what I needed to do and she helped me stay positive in overcoming any obstacles. A good mentor will naturally be able to do that.
 
They will help you overcome your fears. When you can see that your mentor got through all of the difficulties it took to get to where they are, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel of all that hard work you are putting in or are about to put in. As an entrepreneur, I was fearful of taking that first risky big step to set out on my own and hire myself to fulfill my dreams.
 
Your mentor will give you honest feedback. Your friends and family are not always truthful in fear of hurting your feelings but with your mentor you expect constructive criticism and feedback. They will tell you like they see it from their years of wisdom. When I was starting out, I wanted to do everything myself before I could hire others to do parts of it for me, and my mentor told me that it would be a huge mistake to try to go at it all on my own because you need the right people doing certain positions.
 
You can learn from their mistakes instead of your own. You will make some mistakes. We all do, but your mentor is seasoned and has gone down a long road to get to where they are. They have seen it all and know what works and what doesn’t. If you tell your mentor an idea and they tell you that they have seen it fail before, listen to them instead of reinventing the square wheel!
 
They will show you that you can be a mentor too. The most important aspect of having a mentor is the opportunity to become one yourself. Mentorship thrives on the fact that we all must “pay it forward” to truly benefit. You will know when the time is right to give back. I hope to be one myself one day in the area of entrepreneurship and will have all of the same great knowledge to pass onto someone else that was once afforded to me!
 
Your relationship with your mentor will be a memorable experience and will change your life. The relationship will also be mutually beneficial in that your mentor is gaining fulfillment in helping to guide you on your way. They want to see you succeed! Remember that a mentorship can last a lifetime and you will both evolve and be able to continue the ongoing mentorship practice. I still have a thriving professional relationship with mine and fully respect that she helped me to get to where I am.
 
If you could have any mentor, who would it be?

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