There’s More Than One Type Of Mentor Worth Learning From

Written By Alla Levin
August 20, 2020

There’s More Than One Type Of Mentor Worth Learning From

If you aim to be an entrepreneur and to make starting and running businesses a serious part of your professional life, then it’s best to do with a little expertise and help. That’s what the entire concept of mentoring is about.

However, when we think of mentoring, it’s easy to fall into aiming for one very specific kind of relationship.  However, the truth is that you can, and should, have multiple kinds of mentors.

The Aspirational Mentor

Not all mentors are people that you have to have a traditional one-to-one relationship. In fact, you can pick up some mentors who will never know you exist. Finding aspirational business leaders like Reed Hastings and following their careers closely can give you a much better insight into what makes them successful.

Of course, you can never model your path to success directly on the trajectory of someone who has faced entirely different circumstances from you, but they can help you build the success-seeking mindset and better understand the skills you need to improve.

The Creative Thinker

Travis Preston

As well as the innovative business leader, it’s a good idea to get some inspiration from creatives outside of your industry as well.  Following the insights and thoughts of well-known creators who blog and share their experiences online like Travis Preston can help you develop your own creativity, as well.

Getting to know the creative thought process can help you become much more explorative in your own business dealings, more able to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to novel problems. Creativity is a vital skill for running a business, even if you don’t think of yourself as a naturally creative person.

Your Own Peers

Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson

In the paraphrased words of Jordan B. Peterson, you should always assume that you have something to learn from the person that you’re talking to. As such, you should look to develop learning relationships from people who are both your peers, on similar levels to you, as well as those who may be less experienced or in junior positions from you.

For one, it helps you stay grounded and helps you get to learn perspectives that more senior mentors may completely miss. It also ensures you’re building networks as you’re learning.

Type Of Mentor: The Hands-on Mentor

Of course, we can’t neglect to talk about what most people mean when they talk about engaging a mentor. It’s important to have someone you can connect to on a personal level, as well, someone who can engage with your specific situation and lend their experience to your own analogous problems and questions.

With business mentors, you need to make sure that you’re able to offer something in return, as well, be it investment potential or something a little less tangible. You want them to be invested in your journey, after all.

You don’t have to have a one-to-one relationship with every mentor you pick up. Simply finding the voices that can teach you important skills for your business, whether directly or indirectly, can help you become a much more rounded leader.

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