A mentor is someone who has the priceless experience that you don’t have yet; who has made all the necessary mistakes on the road to success, learned from them, and is willing to pass on those lessons to you.
A mentor doesn’t just have a good grasp of the specific knowledge you need to succeed, like how to create better Facebook ads or how to bring a product to market. They also possess an intuition developed over the course of many years doing what you hope to do, and their knowledge can help you confirm, abandon, or shape some of your own business instincts.
A mentor helps you find your best self faster than time alone would allow.
Mentorship occurs naturally in nearly every field. But in the world of business, especially, you’d be hard-pressed to find a success story that didn’t involve a mentor or three along the way:
- Warren Buffett credits Benjamin Graham with helping to shape him into a savvy investor.
- Richard Branson says his uncle Jim taught him how to harness his eccentricity into entrepreneurial endeavors.
- Oprah Winfrey recognizes the influence that poet Maya Angelou had on her, not just through her writing, but as a friend and mentor.
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