We all have very different ambitions in life. You might want to be an entrepreneur. A pro bodybuilder. An itinerant circus clown. It really doesn’t matter. What does is seeking out the right people and the right advice for your specific goals. And that, gentlemen, requires mentorship. Like-minded people who will not only help you get where you want to go, but have been there and done it themselves. So today I say simply this: Don’t go it alone. Be smart and seek out the help you need. And here, for your delight and delectation, is why.
- The benefits of mentoring
The number one rule of mentoring is to find someone who is on the same trajectory as you, but considerably further down the path. Simply put: Your mentor is the person who is now where you want to be. So, if you want to set up an online business, you search for people who already have successful online businesses. If you want to start weightlifting, you look for an experienced weightlifter. And so on. The benefits of connecting with such a person are threefold:
- It shows you it can be done
This is an important one, especially if you have a more niche sort of aspiration. It’s good to see that, yes, there is someone working from the beach in Brazil knocking back pina coladas, or whatever it happens to be. It’s a tangible demonstration to you personally that your ambition is achievable.
- It puts you on the fast track
If you do something all on your own, your path is full of zigzags, circles, and dead ends. If you’re lucky enough to have a helpful and willing mentor, you can make a beeline for your goal and achieve the same in a fraction of the time.
- The power of observation
Don’t underestimate the value you get simply by observation, undoubtedly one of the more subtle benefits of mentoring. To go back to our business and weightlifting examples, for instance, you can learn enormous amounts simply by observing how your mentors structure and conduct their business, or how they organize their training.
- Getting the right advice
The biggest benefit of mentoring, however, in my opinion, is that it provides you with good, qualified advice that is tailored to your specific goal. The thing is, we have a natural tendency to turn to people who are in fact ill suited to give us advice in the first place. These are the people who are close to us, whose opinion we care about, the people with whom we have existing relationships. Yes, they are personally invested and undeniably well meaning, but are they qualified to give you good advice? Why talk with your buddy about your relationship when he’s never had a relationship that went beyond a month? Why are you disappointed when your straight-laced family happen to object to your notions of jetting off to Thailand to be a digital nomad? Why discuss your business ideas with people who have been employed all their lives? No, what you need are like-minded people who are in a qualified position to give you good and practicable advice. That is the real power of mentoring. And your best chance of getting where you want to go.
Very good you might be thinking, I’m sold on the benefits of mentoring, but where on Earth do I find one? While real-life mentors are undoubtedly the best, they’re really hard to find, and I think that’s a big, big problem. It’s also why more and more people are turning online to get the information, advice, and direction they need.
I’m afraid there’s no way for me to just pop out of the screen, but it’s my hope that you can find some of that here at The Thinking Gentleman. We are a community that encourages critical enquiry and freedom of choice, and you will find plenty of food for thought here. If this has struck a chord, here are three things you can go and do right now. One, before you do anything else, go and check out the rest of the blog; Two, sign up to get my weekly articles delivered straight to your inbox; and three, send your queries in to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I promise to personally answer your questions as far as I am qualified to do so. I look forwards to hearing your story!
Cambridge graduate. Writer and thinker. Life enthusiast.