Mentoring is one of the most underused education resources. For centuries, the principle source of higher education has been the University. I appreciate and honor my degree from a higher education institution but I have learned that a fixed curriculum designed for the masses can never bring a person to their full potential.
I have obtained a monumental amount of entrepreneurial education in 2016. I have learned more about business and myself in five months than I ever did in four years of college. Why? It is because I have sought out and have been taught by mentors!
What is a mentor?
A mentor is much more than a coach or teacher. A coach or teacher can be a mentor but by definition, their focus is on a certain skill-set or topic. A career coach, for example, helps a person know how to effectively write a resume, interview, search for jobs, network and select a career; they are task oriented. A career mentor, however, focuses on mindset and the person’s belief system. A career coach who is also a mentor would not only teach the skills, but they would foster a desire in their clients to reach higher and trust in their intrinsic value as a human being. A mentor does not necessarily need to know how to do the required skills but they need to know how to motivate, lead a person to success, and eliminate limiting beliefs.
Mentoring is categorized in the following ways:
- Direct mentoring is giving or receiving lessons and experiences personally. It can be face-to-face or electronically but it needs to be directed towards the person being mentored.
- Indirect mentoring is most often administered in large groups or to a general audience such as through a book, audio or video. One of my indirect mentors is Kirk Duncan of 3 Key Elements. I have not yet invested in his direct mentoring services, but I have attended several of his training conferences and have been mentored by him indirectly. In his conferences, he often calls on a person to participate in the workshop which creates a direct mentoring moment for that person. He teaches the audience indirectly through one person’s direct mentoring experience.
- Intentional mentoring is when the mentor teaches a lesson on purpose to a student either gratuitously or through a paid mentoring program. It can also be when the student seeks out answers or solicits advice from the mentor. This can be either directly or indirectly (study or research).
- Unintentional mentoring is when we “come across” or “stumble upon” knowledge given by a potential mentor. A common example of unintentional mentoring is when a friend shares a Ted talk on their Facebook page, we choose to listen to it, and it adds value to our lives. If we choose to re-watch the video or seek out more material from the person, it becomes intentional mentoring.
Keep in mind that we are not always aware of lessons we have learned through a mentor until later in life. Events or experiences can trigger a memory of a lesson taught. This memory creates an application of the lesson which enhances our knowledge and experience. These lessons move through our reticular activating system from a subconscious to a conscious state in our minds. When this occurs, these experiences of moving from subconscious to conscious can be a powerful life changing event.
The most effective mentoring is when we receive mentoring directly, intentionally, and we are conscious of our progress. Mentoring is an investment in ourselves. Some of the most successful people in the world invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into their own personal development. Are we not the most worthy investment we can make?
I am convinced that every single person on this earth has a mission; an assignment that only he/she can fulfill. If we are to complete our mission and live to our full potential, it is critical that we:
- Develop skills and knowledge
- Obtain a vision of who we truly are and why we are here, and
- Enlist people who have the experience and the mindset to open our minds and hearts to the truth within us, to stretch us to be the limitless messengers we truly are.
“You too can be a messenger!”
I encourage anyone reading this post, to seek a better understanding of your individual worth, make in investment in yourself, and find mentors who can bring you to your next level. We are the average of the 5 people we associate with the most so get out there and find a mentor! I would be delighted to show you how.
Trenton and his wife, Erin, are the Owners of DreamCoachers LLC., a coaching and mentoring business that focuses on guiding people to their highest purpose on this earth. He truly believes that every person is noble and has a gift inside of them that can change the world. He created Nobility Road, a 10 step mentoring system to bring out these gifts in people. Trenton has worked as a career coach for the last 5 years in the government sector and has experience with fortune 500 companies as well as small business. He has published dozens of articles on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/trentonwillson) and is beginning his life of public speaking, mentoring, teaching, and coaching. He specializes in career exploration, life coaching, social media and small business consulting. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about their products and services.