According to the successful people the one major influencing factor for success is the need for a mentor.  Someone who can lead by example with the personal interests of the student at heart.  In ministry terms they are called fathers. In sport terms they are known as coaches and in business terms they are often called mentors.  So, who are they, why do we need them and where do we find them?

For the young entrepreneur it can be like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack when it comes to finding a true, life mentor.  To find a human source of wisdom who will be available when the going gets rough is not always an easy road to climb. When looking for a mentor or coach you prefer, there are a few characteristics that need to be part of the package.

Integrity is at the top of the charts.   Being as you will take on a lot of the traits of your mentor be sure they have a clean record that includes trustworthiness and honesty.  They should be respected by their peers and in the field you wish to enter.

A self-made success is better than an inherited one. It’s nice if you know someone who is at the top. But if they didn’t get there on their own, they may not have all the know-how to pass on to you.  Be sure your mentor has been where you need to go.

They should be what you want to be.  If you desire to be well known for good business skills and corporate success, then follow someone who fits the description.  No use having a leader who is not going where you want to be.

Many people seem to think they can make it on their own. Truth is they can. But why take the long route if someone can show you the shorter road to success?  Each student will have a different reason for a mentor.  Some just need a sound board for their ideas while others need specific direction and for some it might be the need for a push into the deep end. 

A mentor can be of great assistance in making the right decisions and for getting advice on the best deals.  They are a source of caution and direction when the pressure builds.  Often the new upcoming success needs help in making contact with the right people or just advice in what’s the next move?  Perhaps the greatest value a mentor can bring is the saving of time.  By having someone guide you in the decision process and planning, a great deal of time can be saved as you travel the road to success.

So where do we find these icons of society? 

Begin at home. Learn from your parents.  If they have made it and you feel they are worth listening too then don’t miss out.  On the other hand, if you feel as if your parents have totally missed the mark then learn from their mistakes. Learn what not to do.

Next take a look at the field you desire to enter.  If you wish to make it big in the tourism industry, offer your skill and time to an agency in exchange for knowledge and experience. 

Learn to love to read! If there are no real-life characters in your neighborhood study the lives of the rich and famous.  Get as many books and magazines that tell the story of their success then follow the examples worth following. To make personal contact with the success of the land may be a bit tricky but well worth the effort.  If you want to make it big then you will have to hang around with the big guys.

So why is it that we don’t make the effort to connect with the names behind the success stories?  Because we are comfortable!  We don’t need to change, and we are accepted by our peers just the way we are.  No one challenges us to be better and if we mess up its ok because all my peers mess up on a regular basis.  We all get our turn.

People who wish to make it to the top know they need to get out of the comfort zone and their mental box.  To do so, they know they need someone who will stretch and challenge their thinking and ideas. As the saying goes,

“It’s hard to fly with the eagles,

when you are hanging around with turkeys.”

Dave Boreham