1.) Having a mentor in your corner can shortcut your path to success.
2.) If you’re struggling to find a mentor, remember that mentors can come in many forms. Yes, having someone you can reach out to in person is ideal; however, you can find powerful mentors in the pages of your favorite books, videos, podcasts, speeches, and really anywhere there is someone who has “been there done that!”
A great mentor is someone who has been down the path you are taking, they have experience, success, perspective and insights that only someone who has walked the path could have. They might have even had some failures along the way. Bouncing back from a setback provides a level of insight that success isn’t able to!
A mentor doesn’t need to be older than you; they simply need to have a bit more experience than you do in the area you want to find success.
The first mentor I had was during my days as a DJ in Calgary. When I began DJing I remember practicing in my parent's basement for hours. The beats were rockin’ and my parents didn’t mind at all.
But no matter how much I practiced, there were things that I couldn’t learn on my own. I knew I had to get out of their basement and into the real world of DJing.
My breakthrough came when I entered a contest for a chance to be the opening DJ for Armin Van Burren! If you’re into electronic music then you definitely know who he is. If you’re not into electronic music then just know this guy was and is basically GOD when it comes to dance music. Getting this opportunity would be a game-changer!
I played my heart out in the contest but despite my best efforts, I placed 2nd. I was proud to have made it that far and basically wrote the contest off as a great experience that didn’t materialize into much, or so I thought!
As it turns out, the head judge in the contest was a bit of a local legend in Calgary. This guy was the man on the scene! He approached me after my set and said, “If this was my contest you would have placed 1st, unfortunately, my vote only went so far. But, here’s my card, give me a call and I promise to get you at least 1 gig.”
That 1 gig turned into well over 100 and the chance to play in front of 10’s of thousands of people over the years! Not bad for second place I guess. ;)
As much as the gigs and exposure were a turning point for me as a DJ, the relationship that formed has provided 10X that impact of what the gigs have been worth. It was the basis of my first real mentorship relationship.
Over a period of 3 years, he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. The lessons I learned from him not only helped me improve as a DJ but as a human being as well – that’s the sign of a great mentorship relationship!
This experience taught me the true power of having and being a mentor. He often said that he learned as much from the experience as I did from him.
Having a mentor in your corner not only shortcuts your path to success, but it also allows you to move to a level of breakthrough that positions you to mentor and assist others on their journey as well. To me, this is the real magic; when the mentee becomes the mentor.
One of the biggest learning moments for me was the realization that a mentorship relationship doesn’t need to be this “official” thing signed in stone. It can be as casual or official as the situation entails. I’ve found that the more organic the better. When trying to force a mentorship relationship I’m always left disappointed.
If you’re struggling to find a mentor, remember that mentors can come in many forms. Yes, having someone you can reach out to in person is ideal; however, you can find powerful mentors in the pages of your favorite books, videos, podcasts, speeches, and really anywhere there is someone who has “been there done that!”
Whatever path you’re on is a path worth travelling with the support of someone who has made it to the level you aspire to. They’re not going to run the race for you, but they’ll run it with you or they’ve already run it and can show you what worked for them, and what didn’t.
As always, go out there and dream BIG my friend! Your goals and dreams are worth it and YOU are worth it!