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.