avatarBill Abbate


Personal Development | Mentoring

Why You Need a Mentor

What a mentor can do for you and how to find one

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Have you been mentored since you entered adulthood? If not, you may wish to find one. It is never too late, regardless of your age. If you had or have a mentor, you will likely be forever grateful for their impact.

Let’s look at what a mentor can do for you, your life, your career, and how to find one.

What is a mentor?

Everyone is familiar with the term mentor, but unless you have had the good fortune to have had one, you will be grateful you came across this article. Let’s delve into what mentoring is all about and how it can help you achieve far more.

A little background first.

Mentoring has been around since the beginning of humanity. Every child leans on and learns from a parent or someone older and more experienced. It is part of the natural course of life. Look at this definition of a mentor from the Oxford Languages online dictionary:

Mentor (noun) — an experienced and trusted adviser.

Mentor (verb) — advise or train

At its most basic, everyone needs someone they can trust, with experience, to teach and train us in the way we should go when we are young. Parenting is a form of mentoring, whether the parents realize it or not. How would we survive those early years otherwise?

What can a mentor do for you?

As we age and gain independence, most of us move away from being mentored. Hopefully, someone like a responsible parent, grandparent, relative, neighbor, family friend, or boss will take us under their wing.

At times, that drive for independence can become so strong it can move us away from taking advice from others. Speaking from personal experience, we do so to our detriment.

Since most mentors are usually older, they can bring wisdom from their experience to help you avoid some of the mistakes many make and to help you get on a better path.

A good mentor will listen carefully and want the best for you. They can provide different perspectives as you traverse your career and life. Some mentors become lifelong relationships and are valued tremendously.

A great thing about most mentors is they usually cost nothing but time and attention. Talk about a great value proposition! How many things are free today?

Why would someone mentor you, asking nothing in return? For most, it is because they have already achieved much in life and are at the point they want to give back. What better way for an experienced, successful person to give back than to mentor? Another benefit for the mentor is there is a good chance they will find it life-giving as well.

“A good mentor offers directions and driving tips from the back seat. You still have to drive the car.” Michael Johnson (1967-present)

Why you need a mentor

A mentor becomes a tremendous asset if you want to grow and mature more quickly.

No one is entirely self-reliant, as we were all created to be in relationships. The quality of those relationships will significantly impact you. A mentor can help you build better connections and may introduce you to others who can play a helpful role in your life.

Many mentors have usually been there and done that, with experience to share that will help you navigate life more effectively. For example, they may help you in your marriage, career, health, finances, and any other area you wish to grow.

Many of us have more than one mentor during our lifetime. Some will help you with a situation, phase, or specific task in life. Other mentors can be in your life for many years.

An example of one of my lifelong mentors is a pastor who is younger than me but filled with wisdom. His insights are always welcome, and I have learned much from him. I would not be who I am today without his mentorship.

Another example is a boss who mentored me. He has since passed, but I could never repay the tremendous value he added to my life and career. I wrote an article about him and how he impacted me, which you can read here: Are You All You Can Be?

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” Bob Proctor (1934–2022)

How to find a mentor

The obvious places to begin looking for a mentor are those where you regularly spend time. Examples include at work, in church, among friends, at the gym, and any social events you regularly participate in. Potential mentors are all around us and are usually more than happy to help.

With modern technology, it has never been easier to find a mentor. You can find many mentoring websites that are free, and don’t forget YouTube! YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google (which happens to own YouTube), so why not use it?

It’s best to start with someone you trust as you search for a mentor? For example, my wife, Jane, sometimes acts as my mentor. She has a solid leadership background, serving as a high-level executive for many years. She is also a professional coach, teacher, and mentor to many, with a great depth of experience in helping people build better lives.

Like me, Jane is at a time when she is pouring her years of experience and expertise into others, expecting nothing in return. You can find her YouTube channel at My Mentor Jane.

Following Jane’s example of paying it forward, I have been on the same track for the past few years. I have written and published well over 1000 articles on leadership, life, inspiration, and similar subjects to pay forward the extraordinary blessings I have received.

Also, like Jane, I have no ulterior motive and only wish to help others live a fuller, more rewarding life. I intend to start a new YouTube channel with the same model soon. Like Jane, I only ask if you like my articles and videos that you hit like and subscribe.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask someone to mentor you. Some will welcome the opportunity, while others may not, but you never know unless you ask! If someone turns you down, fear not. They are not who you want anyway, and as the old adage advises, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” Oprah Winfrey (1954-present)

Final thoughts

Find a mentor if you want to get more out of life, improve your career, and achieve more than you dreamed possible. Many of us who have had or currently have mentors experience going further and higher than we ever could have on our own. Our mentors changed our lives for the good!

If you wish to learn more about some of the many benefits of a mentor, check out this brief article: The Value of a Mentor

Heed the sage advice from a well-known and famous actor:

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” Denzel Washington (1954-present)

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Bill Abbate Leadership Writer and Editor in ILLUMINATION

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