We hear the word mentor often in life, but in my personal and professional life, I don’t see people actively seeking or using mentors enough. As a business development professional, I’ve sought out mentors my whole career to ensure someone is always finding ways I can push myself toward getting better in every meeting or even on every phone call. Throughout my journey, I’ve relied on new mentors based on where I was in my career. In selecting a mentor, I always wanted someone to work with me who had done the things I’m striving to achieve and can challenge me.
I’ve found that humans are not always wired to be in growth mode. We get tired and beat up emotionally and physically. We set goals and then fall short. We have every intention of getting to the gym, but then we make excuses. We have every reason to start making more phone calls tomorrow to build our sales pipeline, and then we don’t. We continue to make more excuses that convince us it’s okay to do nothing. Can anyone relate to these bad habits? Unfortunately, I’m sure we all can.
When I think of people that have achieved success in life — whether in sports or business — I know they’ve had good coaches or mentors along the way. To achieve success through positive mentorship or coaching, you must first be open to receiving coaching. You must be vulnerable to see where your weaknesses are and where you’re falling short. You cannot allow yourself to think you have all the answers because you never will. I believe having a coach, mentor or motivational manager will help you turn the daily adversities of life into successful habits which build your internal resiliency.
Here are three reasons I believe you need a mentor or coach:
1. Good Mentors help you set a Measurable Goal.
This is a must. Without setting goals, you’ll most likely stagnate or go backward. Every year of my business development career, I create goals that stretch me and make me a little uncomfortable. If writing the goal down created some positive anxiety, I knew in my heart that I was ready to attack it. I’ve found that mentors can ensure I have clarity on how to achieve my goals. Without a set strategy of changes or actions to take to achieve your goals, your goals are more wishful thinking than achievable targets.
2. Good Mentors never let you settle and become complacent.
Consistent goal setting is essential for achieving new life success. It challenges us to always move forward towards new heights. As I look back over my career, after writing those goals down and communicating them to a mentor, I always achieved the goal I set out to reach. Step one was always writing the goal down. Step two was communicating that goal to a mentor.
Doing this made me accountable because I never wanted to let my mentor or myself down. With one early mentor, I expressed a desire to reach a certain income goal early in my career. As I look back, that goal was very aggressive, but he never made me feel that it was too far out of reach. He challenged me often and we talked about what I needed to tweak in order to achieve it. Two years later, I ended up achieving this goal and set a company sales record.
3. Good Mentors will share personal experiences that inspire and motivate you.
These inspirational teachings, if done right, can help you use your experience and potentially prevent unnecessary mistakes. As a mentee, I always asked a lot of questions. To me, this was the best way to learn and help your mentor share successes and challenges that they had had along the way. Be vulnerable and open to sharing what intimidates you or concerns you as it relates to your goals or business development challenges. I’ve found that showing vulnerability will help your mentor share success stories that will resonate with you as the mentee.