Plugging In With a Mentor

Personally, I never thought I would have said, “I need a mentor.” It fits the mold of other people, not me. Two reasons. First, I’m a go-getter, an entrepreneur, an out-of-the-box thinker. When an opportunity comes my way, I move on it. Sure, I seek counsel, but it is more of a necessary step to doing business right. The advice I seek isn’t “mentoring”; it is business advice, of which I sometimes take and sometimes leave.

We need a coach to train for speaking. Why not for life?

Second, when developing an idea, I’m more of an introvert. I’ll study and research, pray, maybe seek some advice from an acquaintance or a family member – then just do it. I’ve been this way for years. I’ve gotten a lot done – and made good money – on the ideas that I came up with on my own. I’m an innovative guy – a trait that many people admire me for – and I like to think that I don’t need anyone’s help.

“Help” is the wrong word. I have plenty of help from my network of friends, business partners and associates. And “help” sometimes goes unpaid, and I don’t like to take advantage of my friendships. Besides, some things I don’t need help in. What I need is a comrade, a confidant, and a co-pilot.

  1. Comrade.
    The only time I envy a 9 to 5 job is when I’m drudging through an entrepreneurial valley. The self-employed’s valleys are much deeper than the office worker. A comrade will encourage me to press on. Really, I don’t want the 9 to 5 job, I know that. It is less exciting, less risky, less profitable. But sometimes all I need is a comrade who will slap me on the back from behind and say, “Press on, Chris!” I find myself needing that more often than not.
  2. Confidant.
    Life of risk may be great to live, but it takes precision and knowledge. I need someone who gets it. I do not need a fool as a mentor. (Who does?) Some of my ideas are knock-out awesome no-brainers, but most of them aren’t. They need careful development. I need to think them through, and doing that with someone – with a confidant – would be oh-so-helpful. Before stretching out my neck onto the chopping block of the marketplace, I want to make sure that I’m doing the right thing. A confidant is what I need.
  3. Co-pilot.
    Once I go to market, I need someone who will be with me. There is work to be done in any venture, and a co-pilot is someone who already knows what needs to get done. Even if I’m doing all the flying, I have someone able to step in if necessary – maybe even take over for a while.

Here’s what I have found extremely difficult: finding one person who can be all three. I have tons of comrades, of whom I bring in a handful of them as confidants, very few of which I’d hand over the plane as a co-pilot. It gets a little tricky, too, when a pilot-type doesn’t have the business savvy that a confidant would bring to the table, or someone with business savvy really isn’t a game player or a comrade.

So, it’s complicated. I need a comrade, a confidant, and a co-pilot. One guy. An old friend of 10 years. I found him, and we’ve had two breakfasts together already. We’re committed to once a month.

Want to know something funny? He’s valuing this just as much as me. I’m mentoring him, too. It’s awesome.

Question: What friend in your life would you like to ask to be a mentor?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Cath

    This post doesn’t seem to be about “plugging into a mentor.” It seems to be about how you don’t need a mentor, because you are too much of a go-getter.

    Perhaps you should humble yourself.

    • “Cath,” “Joe,” “JDK” — whatever your real name is — I appreciate alternative points of view, I really do. But you post several times with snarky remarks and ad hominem — under different names, too, as if your angst is shared by many. Either contribute to the discussion with candor or I’ll block your IP.

  • AndreaMaddiex

    Cath,
    That comment seems unnecessarily rude. Why?