How many people have an official mentor? Someone who is an expert in an area that they have weaknesses in? I haven’t met too many people with mentors, however the vast majority of people I’ve met with a mentor have been very successful. While having a mentor is not a guarantee of success, not having one will likely ensure that you have to work harder to achieve what you are trying to accomplish.
Most of my life I did not have mentors. I simply didn’t come from the kind of background where I was taught to seek out the guidance of those who are more successful. It was an unspoken rule that these people are “too busy for you” and you shouldn’t bother them. As a result, I have always had to figure out things on my own, from the simplest tasks to the more complex situations like learning to navigate the highly political culture of corporate America as a woman of color and career planning.
However, ever since I started working in real estate, I have forced myself to break out of my shell and make the right contacts. Developing the skills required to talk to everyone, even those I considered to be out of my league, has been critical in helping me acquire new clients as well as transition out to of a bad real estate firm ran by a dishonest broker who misappropriated escrow funds. I had to learn that no one would think I belonged in the room or that I was entitled to their time if I did not believe it myself. I had to have the confidence that showed them that I was worth the conversation, the introduction, the contract.
With that new found confidence, I accidentally stumbled into a mentor relationship with someone who wants to partner with me and help me acquire more business. While her extensive experience will make her my mentor, we have agreed to work as a team to bring in business and I am projected to do 5 times more sales this year with her help than I could achieve on my own.
I could have very well observed her success and determined that seeking her help would be bothering her. But being open to networking and realizing that I had a lot to offer myself, gave me the confidence to approach the broker for a formal introduction. That introduction has led to a mutually beneficial relationship that will reflect a tremendous increase in my income, getting me closer to my goal of financial freedom, first through debt repayment and subsequently through investments in activities that will generate steady and reliable passive income. Because I built up the necessary confidence to market my skills and show myself to be a valuable team player, someone with the ability to help me succeed determined: I like you! I want to work with you so I will guide you.