The Truth About Mentorship
** Real business/life insight ahead. Don't read if you don't want hard truths **
This photo is an exact representation of mentorship. This is what it is. Someone decides that they care about you enough to give you little pieces of themselves that they've lost.
When you're an entrepreneur, father, innovator, mother... you're in uncharted territory. There aren't really any good books, or podcast you can watch. Progressing through life and becoming successful at these things involves tons of getting beaten.
It will beat the naivety, hope, wonder, and excitement out of you. All of you, no matter how strong, optimistic, or resilient you are. To the weak, it will happen quickly, for the tough, it happens slowly.
I was very blessed to be given a miracle worker of a father, who was willing to blaze trails and teach me.
It would be impossible for me to quantify in writing just how much he has done for me, given me, and fought for me.
Despite the fact that he has done so much, I still often treat him poorly and speak to him in anger.
When I am in the spotlight, I am so quick to forget about the man who built me. To take the credit for myself.
There is a circle of life. As an apprentice begins to find success, often times the master begins to wane. How quick some of us are to forget what has been given to us, and to look down on the people who have worked for us.
THIS is the nature of being a mentor. You will be thanked, sure, but only in the moment. You will be spoken highly of, but only while you're relevant. You will have loyalty... but only as far as you're productive to that person.
Long lasting gratitude and loyalty rarely exists in people. It just doesn't.
The most backwards thing about it all is that your mentor is probably one of the only people on earth who actually cares enough about you to be proud/happy when you surpass them.
Why are they the first people we treat so poorly?
To summarize... if you are a mentor here are some of the things you've experienced:
1. All your lessons were learned the hard way. You spent a week trying to learn the same lesson that your student only takes an hour to learn. 2. Taking the hard way has left you bruised, battered, and tired beyond belief, while your students are fresh, and energized, with all the same reward. 3. People watched while you worked hard and built what you have, simply waiting to sue/try to take it from you. 4. Father time pushes you out of your prime, and people are infatuated by the student you built into such high standard. "He's so smart! Look at how much he's accomplished!" 5. Your student eventually becomes too important to pick up the phone for you.
We can debate the effects of this, or the exceptions to the rule, but the truth is, if after mentoring 100 people, you have even one person who is grateful to you after 15 years, you're probably pretty lucky.
There is no more noble a cause in the world than to teach another person and to pass on the knowledge you've learned.
There is no one I respect more than a patient mentor who is able to roll with the punches.
Unfortunately, until the culture surrounding the student - mentor relationships start to change, mentorship is going to decline, and more people will continue to live in poverty/unhappiness.
If you want to be a mentor, make sure you know what you're signing up for.
If you want to learn, you had better be prepared for the level of commitment you need to make to your mentor.
Business is not all fun, games, and luxury lifestyles. It is almost exclusively the opposites.
Late nights. Betrayal. Criticism. Stress. Doubt.
We don't need all five of those things from the people we help too.
die with my generation. If you want to prevent that, stop saying thank you, and start being humble.