Think back to a time when someone inspired you. Perhaps they spoke at an event you attended. You may remember a college professor who you loved. Whatever your memory, you probably thought of that person as a mentor.
What was it about that person you saw inspiration? Was it the way they spoke or was it the message they presented? Mentors have a way of giving us the needed push to accomplish what we thought was impossible.
You don’t need a face-to-face relationship for someone to be considered a mentor. In fact, you could read about someone in history or read a biography on the person. Sometimes, you may find a TED Talk that moves you. Then, you reach out to that person and let them know how it moved you. Correspondence can develop where you bounce ideas to this person.
Mentorships help people by giving them the push they need to get to a higher level. Sometimes, you simply don’t know what to do next. A mentor will show you some possibilities. While they shouldn’t decide for you, they can give you some much-needed guidance.
You should never blame a mentor for anything related to your life or career. If you follow the advice of a mentor and it doesn’t work out, you either didn’t follow all the steps, or it simply may not be the right path for you. The responsibility rests with you.
While there are bad mentors, it is up to you to learn how to find the right ones. But, once you do, you will have guidance that can help you attain your goals. You must be willing to take the advice of your mentor. The actions required could take you outside of your comfort zone. Often, that is how you break through barriers that are holding you back. When that happens, you will see the value of a mentor that much more.
Some mentors may seem out of reach to you because of how much they cost. Some people are lucky to receive free mentoring. But, if you don’t have that luxury, keep in mind what you are getting out of the deal. If you advance in your career quicker than your colleagues because you paid for a decent mentor, can you put a price on that? You will more than cover the cost of both salary and relationships that you gain from the arrangement.