Cast your Mentoring Net Wide
“A good coach will make his players see what they can become, rather than what they are.” – Ara Parseghian
Regardless of your level of experience or knowledge, mentors are one of the most valuable assets you can leverage throughout the duration of your career. A mentor can guide you, influence you and connect you in unforeseen ways that cannot usually be accomplished alone. However, the old adage of “not putting your eggs in one basket,” comes to mind.
Professionals, especially those new to any business or going through a career change, tend to latch on to one mentor who they deem to be the best person to provide insight into a chosen career path or enhance professional skills. They rely on this one person’s knowledge, business acumen and connections to drive their career forward. But what if finding one mentor is actually not in your best interests?
This isn’t to say that one mentor cannot have a positive impact, but consider the limitations by restricting your reach. If you are considering reaching out to a mentor or currently find yourself being guided by another professional, consider that:
“I have both sought out the advice of mentors and acted as a mentor myself and have always encouraged the practice of seeking out varying viewpoints with which to drive one’s own direction,” says Roy Murad, Business Advisor and Entrepreneur. “Having one mentor is like conducting research from only one source; like eating at one restaurant and like reading only one book. My philosophy, and the one I share with those around me, is to soak up as much knowledge, experience and information as you can, from many sources of information. It broadens you as a person and as an entrepreneur.”
MENTORS SHOULD MEET YOUR NEEDS & FUEL YOUR AGENDA
Once you have made the decision to seek out a mentor, make sure that you are finding one who will be the right fit for your goals and personality. The lure of a successful person taking interest in you may be tempting; but as flattering as that interest is, if it won’t further your career in the direction you want and in a way that is in line with your values, keep looking.
Ensure you find mentors who are committed to working with you. If you find it hard to carve out time to connect, this might not be an optimal fit. Your time is better spent learning than scheduling.
Find mentors who have the experience and knowledge that fits with your career. Interview people… a good mentor will appreciate your dedication to finding a beneficial match. Look for those who value open discussion as that’s where the real value may lie. Someone with an “it’s my way or no way,” attitude will never provide you with the valuable skills and actionable insights that you will need to move forward.
Find mentors you like. Personality fit is extremely important. If it’s not the right fit, then you are blocking your own opportunity for success. Think about it. You likely will be more inclined to go above and beyond for a friend or colleague that you respect and who shares similar values, than you would for someone you have less of a connection with. That is no different for your mentor. You want to find those who truly want to see you succeed – on your terms.
Remember the saying, “Some people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Mentors are no different and if you’re lucky and driven, you will have the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals throughout your journey.
About Roy Murad
Roy Murad is a father, husband, business advisor, investor, advocate for new business ventures, and consummate entrepreneur. Over the course of 35 years building businesses, guiding companies and identifying strong investment opportunities, while nurturing a thriving family, Roy Murad has amassed a wealth of experience; experience, that may be of value to others who are looking to shape a balanced and successful life experience.
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