“Mentoring is: Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness” ― Janet Thompson
2013 is drawing to a close and 2014 is coming closer on us day by day. One of the things that will be key in helping you achieve good success in 2014 is the role of mentors in your life. There are few successful people around because there are a few people who appreciate the role of a mentor in life and success. And the question in your mind is why do I need a mentor? Well, the missing link between a promising future and a successful one today is mentoring. Giving people advice on how they can best achieve their goals is something that is often overlooked. Mentoring gives you the opportunity to become an amalgamation of all the good qualities you admire from people ahead of you so you can become the happy and successful person you want to be. So when I look at my life, I can count up to four people that I learnt so much from their words and lifestyle in such a way that things I have learnt from them have had positive impacts on my own life.
First, mentors believe in you and this helps you to believe in yourself. The fact is that I was never always like this. During my second year in the University, I met a young man who was a year ahead of me who became my mentor. Then, I was this timid, shy and fearful person, irrespective of the fact that I have skills and endowment. So, I met this man and was so attracted to him because he possessed all the skills I’d love to develop. I approached him and told him I’d like to work with him. So, from one assignment to another, all I received were words of affirmation and encourage that I could do better. Before I knew it, my self-esteem rose and my skills became refined.
Second, mentors point you the right direction so you can keep on tract. Later on as well, in the University, I didn’t know what career to follow. I wanted to be so many things all at the same time within the same field of expertise. So, I met my first academic supervisor. By the time I had interacted with him for a few months in working out my research, he helped me to discover my strength in the area of research. He constantly challenged me in that area and I kept improving and getting better. By the time I have spent three years working with and following him, I was fully assured of the direction I wanted to follow as a career.
Third, mentors help you in your journey of discovery of purpose. Before I became involved with personal development activities with young people, someone gave me the opportunity to be trained and to lead small groups, during which period, God starting speaking to my heart and showing me things concerning my gifts and how He would have me use them. I will also go back to him when I encounter challenges and when I started venturing into what I felt God wanted me to do, he was always there to teach me and guide me so I can do the right things.
Mentors help you to expand your networks and contact. Because your mentor is someone who has gone ahead of you in that particular field, he has met several people in the same field and knows who has the potential to contribute to your life in one way or the other. So, a good mentor cares about your growth and progress and will always introduce you to his networks and contacts so you can benefit from them as well. Through their contacts and networks, they can open doors to you in different ways just by your connection with them.
Mentors help you to be accountable to your goals. Setting realistic goals for your business is important. Your mentor will help you explore achievable goals, ask clarifying questions to help you define them while developing strategies to keep you focused from day-to-day pressures of business and family. Often, business owners neglect important aspects of their businesses such as marketing, financial obligations or operations. A mentor will hold you accountable for your actions, help you set realistic goals and assist you in finding ways to balance your time.
You may decide to choose any of these mentoring methods depending on your circumstance:
Virtual Mentoring: Read blogs and books, listen to podcasts, and take online courses.
Group Mentoring: Go to live conferences, join membership sites (e.g. platformuniversity.com, mindtools.com), or participate in group coaching.
Peer Mentoring: Find like-minded peers and be intentional about forming friendships with them. You can also join a mastermind groups.
Personal Mentoring: Invest in a coach or find a volunteer mentor.
However to find a mentor, you must have these in mind (of course this is not an exhaustive list):
– A true mentor will strive for mutual benefits
– A true mentor agrees on confidentiality
– A true mentor leads by example
– A true mentor inspires, motivates and criticises constructively
– A true mentor does not have questionable characters
– A true mentor will always lead you back to God.
When you find someone who has gone through the path you are about to take with success records, and has the features listed about, you have found a likely mentor. Dine with him (find a way to share time and learn from such). If you are looking to make your way in business, career, ministry, relationship, finances, etc, in 2014, try to find a mentor in each of these areas. If you are in a position to share the skills you have learned, give something back by becoming a mentor yourself and you will have a fulfilled year as well.
Prayer: You will not lack men and women to help you find your way in 2014 in Jesus name, Amen!