I don’t think that anyone would argue the importance of mentors in the lives of career professionals or even business owners. However, the traditional mentorship model is outdated. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the mentor concept that many of us grew up with may be something of a fable. As I see it, there are three problems with obtaining a mentor, this day in age.
- Not everyone has the same definition of a mentor. When you ask someone to be your mentor, they typically have no idea what that means unless you spell it out. It could include anything from a phone call a month to a daily interaction.
- Many people confuse apprenticeship with mentorship. If you are a small business owner and you would like to learn everything you need to know about a particular business, a mentor is not the answer. An apprenticeship, internship or just plain old employment are what you need to learn the ins and outs.
- If you are a business owner, it is a bit naive to expect another business owner to donate their time to teach you everything that has taken them years, and many dollars to learn. That doesn’t mean that there are not plenty of entrepreneurs who will help you, but it does mean that you have to invest in personal development.
For more insight into the ills of the traditional mentoring model, read The Problem with Traditional Mentoring by my friend Marshawn Evans in Black Enterprise.
Now, this doesn’t mean that one cannot have mentors. In fact, I have several. Now, my definition of mentorship includes experts who I pay, provide technical knowledge to in return and people whom I support with my resources, in return for their time. However, a Mastermind Group would be a better solution for most people who are currently looking for mentors. According to Napoleon Hill, the grandfather of the Mastermind, a mastermind is “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” These groups are made up of, normally, between 4-10 professionals who act as career/business advisers to each other. I’ve been a part of groups as small as four people and as large as seven. If you’re interested in starting your own group, I suggest purchasing Jack Canfield’s Success Principles and downloading the additional resources online.
If you don’t have a group yet- good news! I’m pretty darned excited! For the next thirty days, you’ll get a sneak peak into my Mastermind Group. At the suggestion of my good friend and blogger, Ron Eldridge, I decided to hold a 30 Day Blog Challenge. I’m excited because this Mastermind Group has completely changed my life over the past year. These business owners, gurus and industry experts have amazing insight. Now, I get to share them with my blog readers!!!
What does this mean for you? It means that I am going to regularly link to articles about career growth, sales, branding, executive coaching and much more. Of course, everything will have a marketing slant because, let’s be honest, that’s my lane.
Allow me to introduce you to my Master Mind Group and blog challenge team:
Branding & Generations Speaker, Karen McCullough
Mike Svat, Owner at 360 Design & Production
Bambi Monnich McCullough, Owner of Chrysalis Partners
Cecilia Rose, Executive Transition & Career Coach
Danielle Forget, President of 825 Basics, LLC
If there are any topics that you would like for me to cover, feel free to send me a message or post a comment on the blog, letting me know!