Sunday, April 21, 2013

Before You Choose a Mentor, Are YOU Prepared?

Business Mentor and Project
Business Mentor and Project (Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg)
by Lary Heller

I was reading a post that Tim Castleman posted in the Cult of Copy about Mentors.

The following is quote from Tim. "You're not just paying for access. You're paying for the last 4 years. The mistakes, the successes, the behind scene stuff that no one talks about (cause it's not sexy but it makes a ton of money). You're paying for the "Don't do that, do this."

No matter what profession you decide to take up or are involved with, you need someone you can turn to.

You need someone that you can have an open dialogue with. You need someone that will tell you what you NEED to hear, not just tell you what you want to hear.

But I caution you. "Be Prepared" for what you will receive from your Mentor!

The Preparation - Things that you should be aware of about yourself

1. You need to take a long hard look into the mirror

Decide who and what you are made of. What I am trying to say is this. Is your mind and heart open for personal growth? Are you willing to listen or will you argue? Questions are OK, but some information that you receive should not be debated. After all, your mentor has already walked the walk.

2. Are you willing to open up and speak the truth?

Example: When you are asked how much money do you make, there are 2 scenarios:

1 - You tell your colleagues and friends what you think you make
2 - Reality is your local bank and grocer knows what you really make

Don't get me wrong, financial information is a private thing. My point is this - whatever information you tell your Mentor, their response will be based on what you say. If you tell them what you think they want to hear, (bragging, inflated results, etc) then their answer will be based on that.

You give them half-truth information, and then you will receive half-truth recommendations. When you apply those half-truths, you will not receive the results you actually wanted. So be willing to bear your soul so to speak and speak the truth with your Mentor.

3. How committed are you?

Are you just lurking around? Or are you participating? Any worthwhile event is nothing less than Hard work and Determination. In my younger sports years, I realized the only time that I got hurt was when I gave less than 110%. Since then I have applied that work ethic in my life. It has made all the difference in the world.

4. The Price!

With any worthwhile endeavor, there is a price to be paid. What is the price that you are willing to pay? Is it Time? Is it Money? Is it effort? Is it opening your heart and mind to personal growth? I don't claim to know the price you will pay. That is entirely up to you. Your decision.

Decide what that price will be. A price must be paid. You must give something up in order to have what you want. Are you willing to pay that price?

5. The Balance

When establishing your foundation of your endeavor, you need to strike a balance in your life. Balance yourself in all areas. Financial, Physical, Family, Spiritual. Develop your plan of action to include all of these.

You will find that productivity will be greater. Ideas will become clearer. Relationships will thrive. Inner peace will become self-evident.

6. Don't Fear!

As I have always said, "Fear and Faith cannot reside in the body at the same time!" Fear will hold you back. FAITH will drive you forward. Which do you choose?

7. The conclusion

I am one that in the past that has not had much personal growth with "sugar coated" responses to questions about advancing my career. My greatest growth has stemmed from getting answers to questions that basically gutted me like a fish (I set those ground rules with the Mentor before I asked the question).

Did I always like the answer? Not always. Did it make me mad? Sometimes. Did I do what they suggested? 90% of the time (wished I would have done the other 10% at times).

My point is this - be willing to keep both ears open and listen. It may not make sense at the time, but it will in the long run. After all, You asked them to help you. Your Mentor should have your best interests in mind during counseling. If not, then it is time to trade up!

These are just a few of my thoughts to help "Prepare" you when it comes time to look for a Mentor. If you have these basic ideas established before you choose, the learning curve with your Mentor will be shorter and more productive.

8. The Bottom Line

All of this is said and good, but without this last piece of the plan, the above will be of no use to you. You must have ACTION on the information that has been given you!

Will you get it right all the time? No. Will you be farther ahead if you did nothing? Yes. Will you have learned something? Yes (good or bad, you will have learned something). Will you take the next step? That is entirely up to you. The trail of success is definitely an adventure. Enjoy it!

To your Great Growth and Success!
Lary Heller

"Your Success begins with the first step!"

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