You cannot know everything there is to know about how to get where you want to be in life. While it’s possible to learn the needed skills, this will take time and likely a lot of money. Instead, what if you had someone (or a group of people) who can help guide you to success?
A mentor is someone who currently is where you want to be. The relationship you have with a mentor can be an official one, or it can be informal such as following in the footsteps of someone you admire. Mentors have experience and have gone through the growing pains towards success. They will know what kinds of training you may need or skills to develop.
More importantly, mentors can give you needed feedback on what you are doing right and wrong during your development. This kind of advice is invaluable. You don’t want a mentor who will hold back. Make sure you give them full permission to be completely honest with you. Most worthwhile mentors will have no problems doing this for you. It may be a hard pill to swallow, but you will be better off than having mentors who sugarcoat your progress. That won’t help you in any way.
The mentors you choose should have the experience or skills you desire to learn. Be sure to ask lots of questions about what they expect from you and ask what you can expect from them. This expectation is important. Otherwise, you won’t have any means of knowing whether the mentoring relationship is working. If someone you are considering to mentor you takes issue with you asking these questions, this is a sign they may not be right for you. It can also be more difficult to sever the relationship once it has begun.
Should you pay for mentors? It depends on what you currently have available at your disposal and what you intend to receive from this kind of arrangement. If, as previously mentioned, there is someone who can act in a mentor capacity and they are willing to do this for free, then consider doing it. On the other hand, paying for someone to help you lets you hold them accountable. This is a crucial aspect of mentoring. Without it, you could be spinning your wheels, going nowhere. You don’t want to waste time as the entire reason to take on a mentor is to save time in getting you further in your development.