One of the most valuable things to have in life is a mentor. Someone that has gone before you, who has seen the road ahead, and can help guide you through it faster than you could’ve gotten through it yourself.
Successful people never reach their goals alone. (tweet that)
But even though it seems that the most successful people all have other successful mentors, I’ve come across many people who have no idea how to build and foster mentor relationships. And although this is an area that I’ve only recently begun learning how to exercise, I’m already seeing effects in many different areas of my life.
My mentors have not only pushed me to believe in myself, think outside of boxes, and dream bigger than anything I could possibly conceive, many of them have also been able to help me with the practical, actionable ways to see my goals come to life. If anything, I would say that my mentors have helped me to break down the things that I am passionate about into very attainable steps. My mentors tend to make seemingly impossible tasks within reach.
The following is a video interview I did with a good friend and colleague, Zak Malamed, talking about the power and effectiveness of having a mentor.
1:30 About Zak
4:30 How did you get to where you are today?
6:00 Early middle school years, how Zak started believing in himself.
9:30 How a teacher made a difference in Zak’s life.
12:15 How mentors empowered Zak to be a leader and believe in student voice.
15:20 How to reach out and build mentor relationships.
19:40 What do your relationships with your mentors look like?
21:10 How to earn your mentors.
Everyone deserves a good mentor, but not everyone has one.
Everyone deserves a good mentor, but not everyone has one. Most people are so used to doing it alone that they have no grid how to find, maintain, and truly grow from a relationship with a mentor. How many times have you heard someone use the excuse that “they’re afraid people might be too busy” or they don’t “feel like they’re worth a person’s time”.
As ironic as it is, I’ve found that mentors like investing in people who are driven and believe in themselves. And when a mentor gets behind someone who believes in themselves, it usually leads them to become even more confident in themselves.
I used to have a misconception that finding a mentor was an extremely formal and rigid thing, but as Zak and I discuss in our conversation, finding a mentor is really nothing other than building a genuine friendship with someone to the point that you are willing to take instruction from them. There is no formula to an effective mentor relationship.
Don’t go out looking for a mentor simply because you feel like you need one, but genuinely get to know people who are interesting to you, who are passionate about the same things that you are passionate about, and you can learn and build a friendship with.
And while you’re at it, pay it forward and mentor someone else, and don’t forget to thank your mentors and teachers this week!