Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mentors vs Advisors

Whatever direction we go we will need mentors. Shawn and I had a discussion about this and I realized that what a mentor is, isn't exactly clear. Robert Kiyosaki in his book Choose To Be Rich talks about Mentors and Advisors and here's what I learned:

  • The difference between a mentor and an advisor: A mentor has "been there, done that". He or she has become succesful in the particular industry that they are in. They have gone the path the you want to take and can lead you in the right direction.

  • Advisors have a specific knowledge in a specific area of expertise, these are people that you can call for councel in a specific realm (lawyers, tax strategists etc....). These people are crucial members of your team, but they are not mentors.

  • Finding Mentors: figure out what type of business you want to do. Example; If you want to buy a franchise, you should find someone who has successfully owned a franchise. Preferrably someone who has owned that franchise. (a Subway franchise owner may not be the best mentor for you if you want to buy a McDonalds franchise).

  • How to find mentors: you dont neccesarily have to know them beforehand. Ask your financial advisor or attorney, they may have worked with people who have been in your field. It is not always best to have your friends be your mentors, don't be afraid to find someone who you don't know.

  • Exchange: when asking someone to be a mentor for you, you are asking for time and resources and there must be an exchange. What can you provide for your mentor in exchange for his time? Maybe you can volunteer at his office or personal services. Sometimes people get jobs working for their future mentors.

  • Many Mentors are flattered and willing to be your mentor, but because there are only so many hours in a day you need to be aware of that. Potential Mentors will want to know that you are eager and willing to put in the time needed to get the most out of the exchange. In other words, you should be willing to jump at will for opportunities to learn.

We need to search our network and see who is out there that can be mentors for us. As we build or team I am certain that we will find somebody willing to exchange with us.



Michelle said...

Good thoughts-

I think that I would prefer a mentor (using the definition that you provided) than an advisor, because in the end an advisor can be an expert on the subject, i.e. a graduate of a MBA program, but they have virtually no real life business experience to back them up.

If I want to start up a small business, should I seek counsel from a recent MBA graduate or a person that has owned his own business (or 10) and he can teach me about the principles that he has learned?

In the end, my opinion is that it would be the best to be mentored by someone who has real world experience and knows how to create a value in a particular field. You can know all kinds of stats and figures, but if you can't relay the value that the numbers have to people, you won't be a success.

We need to find some mentors.

There is an Accredited Network meeting next Friday for anyone that would like to come- we might find some mentors there?

Michelle said...

I didn't write that comment above!?!?!?!? Who is that? Anyway, I'm glad somebody is trying to keep up on the blog...good job!

The real Michelle ;)

Fall.Down.Tree said...

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