Episode 072: The Importance of Mentors

I often have wondered why people don’t like the idea of having a coach for something. A mentor is essentially a coach, after all. I truly believe that people KNOW the importance of having a good coach or mentor, but they don’t want to utilize one for a variety of reasons. Throughout my interviews of many people (and discussions with many more), the reasons that seem to come up time and time again are:

1) People don’t want to answer to others
2) People don’t want someone else to hold them accountable
3) People don’t know where to find a mentor
4) People don’t know what their mentor’s skillset should be
5) People don’t want to pay for a mentor/coach

There are others, but those are the most common from what I can tell. I’ve dissected each of these myself on my own time and can honestly resonate with each one of them. There are aspects to having a coach or mentor that is unsettling (or downright annoying). That doesn’t mean it’s not going to beneficial.

We do spend the first 18-24 years of our lives going to school. We have our parents barking orders at us, telling us what to do, making sure we don’t screw up too bad, etc. Then when we are at school we have teachers, teaching aides, professors, etc, telling us what to do and giving us assignments. Then as a teenager (or maybe earlier for some of you), you have a job – the person who employs you may tell you what to do, order you around, hold you to a schedule, give you responsibility, etc. All of this structure, year after year, tends to build a resentment towards others holding us accountable for things or telling us what to do. This also forms an anti-teacher or anti-coach mentality. So not only do we not want a teacher, coach, or mentor in our lives…we sure as hell won’t pay money for it. Instead, we’ll “figure it out” on our own, right?

Here’s the truth – business is hard. Fitness is hard. Parenting is hard. Doing anything great is HARD. Not impossible, but difficult. What makes it even MORE possible and LESS difficult? Having a coach or mentor who has experience and can help you avoid the pitfalls. Why make the same mistake that someone else has made, and possibly cost yourself a lot of time, money, progress, etc? A lot of mistakes could be easily avoided by having someone in your life helping guide you along the way – you will still make mistakes, but the major catastrophes can be avoided. What’s more, you could end up in a situation with a coach where you are always on the right path, even if you DO make mistakes, you are making mistakes while progressing. What a concept 🙂

Don’t underestimate the power of a coach or mentor, or even a mastermind. All of these things exist to help you. Do your research, weed out the bad ones, and find one that is appropriately fitting to you and your situation. You won’t regret it.