I believe one of the most important things I can do is share the mistakes I’ve made.
I have no shame in admitting that I’ve made mistakes because I know it helps others avoid those same pitfalls. If you can learn from the things I’ve done wrong then it was worth going through the struggles.
Mentors have served as an important part of my process and journey. I don’t believe I’d be where I am today without the guidance and the support I received from my various mentors. They helped me in many areas of my life from my relationships, to my business, to my health, and more.
At the same time, I’ve learned quite a few lessons along the way. Some of these lessons have been quite expensive ones, too, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. Other mentors guided me into making decisions that hurt me emotionally. Some of the worst experiences simply left me stuck spinning in one place and ultimately wasting a ton of time.
I’m a big fan of mentors because I believe they help you save a lot of time and money. They’ve “seen the movie before,” so to say, so you can learn from their experiences. In a world of information overload and internet gurus, though, it’s easy to find yourself led astray. Everyone’s an expert on one thing or another, but you don’t want to put your faith in these self-proclaimed professionals.
I want to help you make sure that you choose the right mentor for you. The sports cars and watches might make it look like their life is put together. A few well-placed ads can drive that message home. But being a good marketer and being a good mentor are two entirely different things. Hopefully, you can learn from the mistakes I made.
Getting Distracted By Material Success
Too often men find themselves caught up and distracted by material wealth. Someone’s material success has nothing to do with their overall lifestyle and happiness. Just because someone has a Rolex on their wrist and a Lambo in their driveway doesn’t mean they’re qualified to offer you any advice. Their possessions have little to do with their life as a whole.
Now I overlook the flashy exterior and into the type of life they live. I take advice based on their overall happiness, not whether they’re stacking millions in the bank. They have to prove their understanding of the particular subject matter and show me they are skilled enough to get me from one point to the other. If they can’t do that, I’m not interested, no matter how many 0’s follow the 1 in their bank account.
Looking For Mentors Outside My Age Range
Age isn’t an immediate indicator of a mentor’s success but it is something to consider. You should look for a mentor who is around the same stage of life as you, but who is also a bit removed. They should be a few steps ahead of you but close enough to still relate.
If you’re a man in your fifties, there’s little to nothing that a 20-something mentor can offer you. They can’t advise you on how to build healthy long-term relationships or navigate massive career decisions. Their life experience is too limited.
On the other hand, if you’re in your twenties and looking to a 50- or 60-something mentor for advice, he might be a bit disconnected from your stage as well. He might not be forthcoming about his whole story and may alter certain parts to make it seem like he sailed through areas where you’re currently struggling.
I think the best option is to look for a mentor who is no more than a few years younger or five to ten years older than you, but no more than that. They’re going to be an individual who you can envision yourself growing into and having some aspects of their life you can replicate during the next few years. Their success feels more realistic and achievable because they’re closer to where you’re at in life.
Believing in the Fallacy of the Self-Made Man
There’s no such thing as a self-made man. I said it. I didn’t get to this point in my life on my own. There’s no way I could have done it on my own, not at all. No one gets to where they are without at least some sort of support. Whether it’s social, emotional, or financial, there’s always some assistance along the way.
That doesn’t mean these men don’t have drive and self-belief. They had some help along the way, sure, but they took that guidance and used it to the best of their abilities. I use my dedication and persistence to keep moving forward with the help I receive, but I still need someone to walk alongside me and keep me on the right path.
Seeking Help From Someone Too Far From Your Experience
Think about what it is you want to accomplish with this mentor and consider what you need from them to do it. If you want to work on your pornography addiction and compulsive sexual behavior, what are their qualifications to help you in that area? Have they found a way to work through and overcome their problem? Do they have personal experience with it?
You can’t look at someone with a general qualification, something like substance abuse, to help you with a pornography problem. They may have similar struggles but they’re unique enough that you need someone with the same experience. Look for mentors who found success in the areas you hope to be successful in if you want a positive mentoring relationship.