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mentorship

In my opinion, mentorship is vital for seamless progress in life. Likewise, it can be fundamental for the advancement of any business. Mentors, the way I see it, are people who are already where you aspire to be, or have been where you are today. Mentors inspire.

mentorship

You can either admire them from a far, or meet them in person. Personally, I believe if the opportunity ever presents itself, getting to know them personally is always best. The wealth of knowledge they have to share from their numerous experiences is invaluable. Sometimes, even more valuable than one could ever learn in a classroom or business program. I know this because I’m learning a lot from mine.

Another thing I’ve come to realise is, drawing from their pool of knowledge can be free! Quite a number of successful business people love to share their escapades and stories with anyone who’d care to listen. Some do it to gloat, others share for the benefit of others. Those in the second group are usually the ones I subscribe to.

Like most people, more than a few of my mentors are on the Forbes billionaires list, which makes them physically inaccessible to me at the moment. That’s where their biographies and books come in handy. I know books can be pricey, so before you groan, you can watch clips and full biographies on YouTube. You can even read brief biographies on biography.com and host of other credible sites. Before I started buying books, that’s how I discovered and learnt about my mentors. However, in my experience, books tend to have a couple “secret” stories only readers may discover. It may not seem like it at the time, but books are a valuable investment. Readers are leaders. If like me, you’re not a fan of hard copies, there’s amazon.com and kobobooks.com, and I believe both have their apps for Android, BlackBerry and iOS. I have a Kobo Books account and the app on my playbook. There’s also audible.com for those who prefer to listen than read.

Nothing beats personal touch though. I stated that earlier that more than a few of my mentors are on currently inaccessible, not all. I make sure I have at least one person I can meet for business advice wherever I am. How do I go about it? It’s easy. Just walk up to the person and ask politely, not failing to mention why in the first place. It has always worked for me. I have asked friends who have highly successful entrepreneurs as fathers to introduce me, and I’d ask them for their mentorship. Other times, I just walk up to someone I admire, and just strike up a conversation, all in a bid for words of wisdom. Now my accessible mentors range from fathers of friends to complete strangers.

Here’s another thing – not only can they give you tips, lend you some assistance, and grant you access to their contacts, but they help you avoid mistakes they’ve made. For me, that’s huge! I’m a strong believer in the adage that goes something like – a good man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.

If you don’t have one or two you can physically access, give it a shot. Humble yourself and ask for guidance. You’ve got nothing to lose, but so much to gain.

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