— Summary —
In this episode, I talk in-depth about the concept of mentorship, what to look for in a mentor, their types and whether all of them are equal.
There are no self-made men or women. There are people around them that helped and believed in them. All success is a team work. With mentorship, you allow someone who has already experienced the journey and understood the perspective to shrink your learning curve and avoid the mistakes they made.
What to look for in mentors?
- Vision: Do they understand your vision, your passion for it and its importance to you? They should be willing to travel the journey while providing the support when you are lost or confused.
- Values and Ideals: Mentors should have the same values as you and focus on the same things. So when your values are getting fulfilled they are getting rewarded as well. They fight for it with great passion, energy and commitment because at the same time, their values are self-actualized.
- Accessible: They should be accessible not only physically but also emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. They should be open to you while being compassionate. They shouldn’t tell you what you want to hear but actually show you the truth and your faults.
- Accountable: The mentors should hold you in higher standards to prevent your values, ethics, dreams and desires from being compromised. They should encourage you and make you accountable instead of narrowing down dreams.
Full Spectrum Monitoring
There are four different types of people you can have in your life. It is recommended to have at least one person in each category.
- Coach: They have little specific knowledge of your industry and about you personally. But they are insightful and exploratory. They give you the exercises and frameworks to work on.
- Mentor: This is someone who has great knowledge about your industry but little personal knowledge of you. They are able to give us specific business advice as they have already run the miles that we are currently on.
- Allies: They don’t have any experience in the business but they have known you for a while. They know what drives and frustrates you. They have the ability to give an insightful perspective about you.
- Confidant: They not only know you personally but they have tremendous knowledge about your business and industry. They know you really well and you are able to share with them deeply. They are able to put it all together to coach you.
— Begin Transcript —
Hey there, Mel Abraham here, the author of the number 1 national best-selling book, The Entrepreneur’s Solution and the founder of Business Breakthrough Academy where we teach you how to design a business and create a life: A life of financial freedom and peace of mind.
And welcome to this episode of The Entrepreneur’s Solution show. And in this we’re going to talk a bit more about, more-depth about mentor … mentorship and the kinds of mentors. In fact, the question that was raised was, “Are all mentors created equal?” And I think the short answer to that is “No”. But we’re going to dig down into what I call Full Spectrum Mentoring when we get back right after this introduction.
And just like every episode that we do there’s a downloadable guide, a downloadable tool with each and every episode. In order to get it for this episode, make sure you go to MelAbraham.com/session028. That’s MelAbraham.com/session028.
And if you are not at your computer or you’re driving or you’re running or you’re at the gym, no problem. Make sure that you text and do it safely, make sure you text MYLEGACY no-spaces one-word MYLEGACY to 38470. We’ll send you a download link right to your phone so you’ll have that reminder when you get back and are at your computer. So you can make sure that you get the tools to do that.
So, we’re going to get right back to it. Right after this brief introduction we’re going to talk about mentors and mentorship and full spectrum mentoring. See you soon.
Hey there and welcome back, I’m Mel Abraham and welcome back to this episode of The Entrepreneur’s Solution show and as I said this episode we’re going to dig a little deeper into this concept of mentoring and are all mentors created equal? Or what do I look for in mentors?
Let’s just talk about for a moment, what is a mentor?
Napoleon Hill talked about masterminds and that type of thing. And yet the reality is that, I hear this term bantered about all the time about, “Oh they’re a self-made millionaire” or “They’re a self-made billionaire” or “They’re a self-made man or woman” and it’s a complete bunch of … it’s a bunch of crap. I’m sorry about the language but it’s a bunch of crap because fact of the matter is, is that, I’m successful sometimes in spite of myself. But I’m successful:
- Because of the people around me
- Because of the people that helped me
- Because of the people that believed in me
- Because of the people that championed me; that cheerlead for me.
Everyone from colleagues and professional advisors to my beautiful wife who’s probably my biggest cheerleader, my biggest supporter in what I do and she’s also my biggest critic at times and saying, “Hey, you can do better than that”.
And so, to say that I’m self-made and everything, I think it’s a fallacy. I think it does a disregard to the people that came into your life and taught you the lessons and supported you and championed you and cheer-leaded you. And so that’s why I don’t buy into this concept of self-made per say. I think all success is really a team sport, it’s created based upon the people around us and so the concept of mentoring, the concept of masterminding, the concept of a support group—I think it’s alive, it’s well and it’s a necessity for us to be at the highest level possible.
We can only do so much and yet when you find that you surround yourself with people that are at your level or above, that have high standards that are willing to look you in the eye in a loving way and say, “Yeah, not so much. You’re going to have to do better than that and I know you got more in you”. That’s what this is about.
And I think that we’ve rise to the level of those that we’re playing the game with. And our success is not a solitary pursuit. It is a pursuit amongst peers, amongst people and so it becomes really important for us to understand who we’re surrounding ourselves with? Who it is that we’re saying, “Hey I want you in my corner and here’s why I need you in my corner. And here’s what I can do for you and here’s what I’d like you to do for me.”
And being clear and understanding of all that. The concept of mentorship, the concept of coaching, the concept of that is to allow someone who has ran the journey, who understands or has a new perspective and a different perspective to shrink down the learning curve, to compress the learning curves so you don’t make the same mistakes that they made.
A lot of my clients, the ones that I work with as a, as mentor and I don’t take on very many one-on-one mentoring, I just don’t have the time anymore. So, I’m very selective but the ones that I work with, they come to me because they say, “I know you’ve travelled the journey. It’s 30+ years, 3+ decades as an entrepreneur. You’ve seen some things. You know which levers to pull and which knobs to turn. You know how to do that. So, I don’t have to make those mistakes. Can you help me out?” That’s what this is about.
And so, when you’re looking for people to support you, people to support you in your journey, people to help you bring your dreams alive.
- Who do you look for?
- What do you look for in mentors?
Now, I don’t know what you personally might want to look for but I can tell you what I look for. And the first thing first is I want to know:
- That they understand my vision.
- That they get where I want to go.
- That they see the importance to it.
- That they see the passion for it.
- They see that and they not only understand it but they’re willing to run the miles with it.
They’re really willing to be on that journey with me. That they’re willing to take the call when I need to get that call in and say, “Hey, I’m lost for a moment” or “I’m confused” or “I’m unclear” or “I’m uncertain”. And that they’re willing to do that because they have the bigger vision in mind because trust me, as an entrepreneur:
- We’re going to get hit with challenges.
- We’re going to get hit with obstacles.
- We’re going to lose our ways at times.
- We’re going to get confused.
- We’re going to get disgruntled.
- We’re going to get disappointed.
- We’re going to get discouraged.
And we need someone that is keeping that light on. That shining beacon light on that vision and saying, “Hey Mel, you remember what you’re in this for. Hey Mel, do you remember the why? Hey Mel, think about and imagine what it’s like when you get there. Hey Mel, I told you that you’re going to have challenges like this”. “Now let’s get up, dust yourself off and let’s keep on going.” That’s why it’s important for me to know that they not only understand my vision but they get it and they’re willing to fight for it just the same as me.
I want to know that they have the same values as me. The people that I work with, customers, vendors, team players, I focus a lot on their values. I want to know that we value the same things. I want to know that we have similar value systems, similar value structures for a couple of reasons:
- I know that they’ll always come from a place of values and if we have similar values I can relax a little bit because we value the same thing but
- Here’s the other interesting thing. I’ve said when we talk about hiring and we talk about building teams that Values First.
I want to understand their values. I’m going to hire, I’m going to review, I’m going to reward, I’m going to do things based upon values. Skills are learnable in many cases. Skills are something that are the minimum entry to get in the door.
But to create a culture, a cohesive aligned team culture, there has to be an alignment in the values. And here’s the cool thing. When you do it that way, and you’re fulfilling your values but they have similar values they’re fulfilling theirs too.
So they fight for it with a lot greater, a lot greater vibrancy, a lot greater energy, a lot greater commitment because they’re self-actualizing their own values in the process. So,
- I want to know that the mentor has similar values to me.
- I want to know that they have ideals.
- That they have a vision.
- They have a desire to be more.
- I want to know that they have a belief system that is greater than that.
- And I want to know that, that exists in what it is with them.
I want to know that they’re accessible. What good is a mentor if I can’t get to them when I need to?
And I’m not just talking about being able to pick up the phone or see them but I’m talking about emotionally accessible, intellectually accessible; that they’re open, that they’re transparent but they’re direct, they’re doing it with compassion.
I don’t want people that are in my life that just tell me what I want to hear. I don’t want people they call them “Yes Men” and “Yes Women”. I don’t need that. What I need is someone to tell me what it really is. To look at me say, “Yeah, no, that’s not the way to do it. Here’s something that I think you could’ve done better. Here’s how you do that.”
Now granted, I may not take it well all the time but that’s going to serve me in the long run in a much greater way. So, I want them to be
- Emotionally accessible,
- Intellectually accessible,
- Spiritually accessible, and
- Physically accessible.
And then I also want them to be accountable. I want them to hold me to that higher standard:
- To not allow me to compromise my values.
- To not allow me to compromise my ethics.
- To not allow me to compromise my dream.
- To compromise my desire.
- To compromise what it is I’m trying to go for.
- To not allow me to take things and say, “God it’s difficult so why don’t I just shrink it down a little bit so I can be a little more puny and allow it to come out.”
Not I want them to encourage me and hold me accountable for what I set out to do. And to be the best I can be, to be the largest I can be, to be the boldest I can be in the process.
So, that’s really the what I look for in a mentor or a coach or someone is:
- Accessibility, and
So, here’s the interesting thing. This question that came across was really about are mentors, are all mentors created equal? And I wanted to start off with this pre-cursor of what I look for. I know I’ve talked about it before but at the same time I want you to then now look at the way I look at mentors and they are not created equal.
And it’s what I call Full Spectrum Mentoring. It’s a full spectrum mentor because we’re going evaluate the different people and I think there’s four different types of people that you could have in your life. And you may want at least two of them but likely all four of them somewhere helping you out, somewhere focusing on you. And we’re going to evaluate them on two different premises is:
How they know you and how they know your business.
- Their level of intimacy,
- Their level of knowledge,
- Their level of wisdom with respect to you and your business is how I categorize them.
And so at the first … now, let me be clear. I’m not making value judgements on any one of these because they all serve a purpose. They all create value. It’s just about us as individuals searching these people out or these personalities or these categories out is: to be clear as to what function they serve.
When someone comes to me strictly for business advice, they’re coming to me strictly for business advice. And I don’t cross the line into personal relationships or things of that nature. So, I want to define the boundaries of those relationships up front and the way I define them is based upon their knowledge, and experience and expertise with respect to my business or myself.
So, at the first level, the first quadrant in this model is what I call a Coach.
And that coach, and I’m using the term may be differently than what is typically used. But that’s the title that I’m giving them because of how a lot of coaches operate. Many coaches have very little knowledge, specific knowledge of your specific industry because they don’t necessarily need to have the knowledge of the industry.
- They are very introspective.
- They are very insightful.
- They are very exploratory.
- They may not have the knowledge of you personally.
- They may not have this intimate relationship with you.
So they don’t know what makes you tick per say but what the coach does, what the coach does is they draw it out of you. They ask questions, they work with you, they give you exercises, they give you frameworks and they draw it out of you and they pull it out of you and they then through that process, they may gain some more knowledge of you personally and your business.
But at a coaching level, this is someone that I want in my game, in my corner that’s going to draw things out of me based upon a unique perspective that isn’t tainted by some specific industry experience per say or specific personal vent. They’re very objective, they come at it very direct and they draw that information out of me, give me some resolution, give me some solutions, give me some guidance so I can make better decisions. So, that’s the first level is coach where there is a low level of knowledge of my specific business and a low level of knowledge of me.
Then, the next is what I call a Mentor.
Now, this is someone that has a tremendous amount of knowledge of my business of industry expertise, of what I do or how I’m going to do it. But they have very little knowledge of me personally.
- What makes me tick?
- What drives me?
- My values.
- My quirks. Any of that.
But they have a high level of insight because of their business and this is the kind of person that I’m going to go to when I need some very specific business advice that is specific to a specific business, the specific industry, the specific aspect of that industry.
- May be it is social media marketing.
- May be it is video marketing.
- May be it is business structuring.
- May be it is business taxes.
They have a tremendous level of knowledge to mentor me. They’ve gone through and ran the journey and they’ve stepped in potholes and I want to gain the benefits of that experience. So, this other level is called mentors, what I call mentors.
Then the third is what I call the Allies.
These are people that may be, don’t have any experience in your business at all but they know you really well.
- They’ve known you for years.
- They know what makes you tick.
- They know what aggravates you.
- What frustrates you.
- What drives you crazy.
- They know you intimately.
So they have the ability to take and give you a perspective of you. An insightful perspective of you and what is driving you and what might be driving you and what your values are and put that in context of whatever challenge or issue you’re working with.
So, this ally has a high retrospection because they typically have known you for a while and they have a high personal connectivity with you. So, they know a lot about your personality traits and what’s driving you.
And then the last category is what I call the Confidant.
And a confidant is someone that has a tremendous amount of knowledge about your business, your industry, what you’re doing but they also know you personally. So, they’ve got both sides of the coin. They get what makes you tick
- They know your quirks.
- They know your frustrations.
- They know your aspirations.
- They know the driving forces that are driving you in your personality.
- But they also know your business and they can put those two together in a way that as they coach you.
Now, here’s the cool thing and why I call it a confidant. Because they know you so well you typically know them very well and you’ll share things at a deeper more intimate level. Now, could this be a spouse or significant other?
Absolutely it could.
Now, in fact any of these could but more likely your spouse or significant other, I would hope would be an ally or a confidant because they’re going to know you intimately. I would hope that they wouldn’t be a coach or a mentor because if your spouse or significant other doesn’t know you intimately when we have other issues to talk about and that’s not the topic for this episode. At any rate, the confidant knows you well and knows your business well. And you can share and go through the process.
Now, I have a different perspective. Since, we’re talking about spouses and I wasn’t going to talk about this here but I think it’s important for me to just give you my perspective on this because I was just speaking in New Orleans a few weeks ago and I’m going back to speak in Indianapolis and a gentleman came up to me in New Orleans. He says, “I’d like to bring my wife. She’s not in my business but I’d like her to be there and I’m hoping that you don’t have a problem with that.
And I said to him, I said, "No actually I’d like her to be there.” For most of my higher level mentoring programs I want the partner there because and it’s not because … My wife has her own business. She’s got her own thing. She is a brilliant, brilliant executive doing her stuff. So, she’s working 8, 10 hours a day doing her thing. But when I’m going into some of these things I want her there. And
- Because I gain some perspective but
- When I’m going through a challenging time, when I’m going through a difficult time, when I’m trying to navigate the rapids and she sees the stress and she sees the frustration and she says to me, “Honey, what’s going on? Can I help?”
I don’t ever want the response to be, “Oh you wouldn’t understand”. And the reason I say that is because I feel like when a spouse will look at the other … this confidant, in my estimation, this ally, this cheerleader, this champion in your relationship and say, “Oh you wouldn’t understand”. It starts to create a gap which becomes a chasm.
And even if that partner doesn’t have the ability to deal with and help you deal with the technical issues that you’re dealing with, they have an understanding of the battle that you’re in. And that helps you bring yourself closer rather than separate yourself. So, I invite you to include your partners in some of these discussions, in some of these moments so they’re not an outsider and you’re not pushing them away and saying, “Oh you wouldn’t understand”. They do understand you.
They do understand you. They may not understand your business that’s ok. But they understand you and don’t put the wall up. So, that was a little tangent but I think it’s important for us to think about this and that we’re not on this as an island. Like I said, “Success is not a solo effort.” It’s not a solo pursuit. It is a team and if you are in a relationship, if you’re in a committed relationship and you have partners they need to be part of that team.
And they may in the confidant area or they may be in the ally area but allow them in. Allow them to communicate, allow them to … even if they can’t solve the problems allow that communication to bring you guys closer together in the process. So, here’s the thing to think about with this.
We have four different types of mentors, Full Spectrum Mentoring.
- You got the coach.
- You got the mentor.
- The ally.
- The confidant.
I believe and this is my belief only, I believe you need to have or you should have at least one in each category. It gives you a place to go. It gives you full spectrum. It allows you to be able to sit with different folks for different reasons and get perspective
- To gain knowledge,
- To get wisdom,
- To get direction, and
- To have a place to go.
And one of the challenges I talked about in my book is one of the mind traps is indecision and one of the reasons we have indecision or fear even, is a lack of information and a lack of support.
Create your support, create a group that is full spectrum mentoring where you have
- Someone that is a mentor,
- Someone that is a coach,
- Someone that’s an ally, and
- Someone that’s a confidant.
Create that because I think that what you will find in the process is you end up truly supported. You have different avenues to go and that will make a huge difference.
In some cases, in many cases you’re going to have to pay them. To go into mentor or mastermind programs, typically that is something that you have to pay. Others you might just have to serve for a while and they just take you under their wing. Many times if you’re getting angel investors, they become your mentor because they’ve got an investment; they got invested interest in there.
So, but, finding the right ones, going through and making sure you’ve done your homework with the values and how they show up and all of that and then figuring out what category they’re going to be in your life will leapfrog you when it comes to success.
So, I’m a true believer that money spent on the right mentors, the right coaches, the right confidants and the right allies is money well spent. Because it’s going to shrink your learning curve, it’s going to allow you to be supported in your journey. They become your champions, they become your cheerleaders and they become the people that will move you forward and as you stand on that top of the hill that you look at—at that mountain top of success that you’ve had—you can look back and say, “I did it because of you, you, you and you.”
I know for me, for there’s no way that I would be where I’m at if it wasn’t for a lot of people in my life. And I’m truly, truly honored; truly, truly grateful for that. Just the same as I’m truly grateful and honored to have you sitting here listening and watching and being part of this community because I couldn’t do what I do if you weren’t there.
And so, I feel blessed. I hope that you found this of value. Go out there and create that cocoon of mentors and people in your life that will support you on your journey. Reach out to them, build those relations; build it up because it is an investment of time and an investment of money well worth making.
I hope you found this of value and if you found it of value, please do me a favor. Share it with a friend, specially this episode because so many people need guidance in their life and not because they have problems but because we get caught in the details. But let’s give them some tools, let’s give them some perspective, let’s allow them to get people in their lives that can make a difference. So, share it with a friend.
Do me that favor and if you haven’t subscribed already, subscribe so you make sure that you get all the training, all the tools that I can get to you. That’s the only way I can be your entrepreneurial mentor. Like I said, I don’t take on too many one-on-one mentoring clients anymore. I do have my programs but this is the best way to connect with me and allow me to connect with you on a regular basis.
And if you have any questions that you have, you can ask them. Just go to AskMelNow.com, leave me your question and I’ll make sure that I get it answered on one of the upcoming episodes. And remember to get the downloadable guide for this episode by going to MelAbraham.com/session028. And if you’re not at your computer right now, you can text MYLEGACY one-word no-spaces, MYLEGACY to 38470. We’ll send you the download link so you can make sure that you have it when you get back to your desk or to your computer.
So, again thank you for being with me on this. I hope you found it of value. I’ll sell you in the next episode and until we get a chance,
May your vision be grand, your journey epic and your legacy significant!
See you soon. Cheers. Bye!!
— End Transcript —
Like this? Please share it and help a few more people bring their dreams out of the darkness and give life to them again. Cheers, Mel