The Cost of Mentorship

9 years ago

I’ve had more questions and more requests for mentorship in the first part of the year than I could possibly handle. Think about it. In January 2015, over 500,000 new businesses were started. These 500,000 business owners aren’t all seasoned entrepreneurs. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that a lot of them are terrified about what to do and how to do it. An even smaller percentage of those people are aware that they need help and that they might have a better shot at real success if they had a mentor; someone they can lean on when the heat is on.

Personally, I don’t like the “Mentor” label. I like to take on strategic partners and create an environment where we work together, rely on each other and ALL learn how to succeed in this business. But, I realize that most people call that a “Mentor”, so I just accept it. So, why do you need a mentor?

First, let’s start simple. You need a network and your mentor has one. Simple. You might remember that your network is your net worth. Your mentor can open doors for you that you would have a difficult time opening, or even finding, on your own. A mentor can build bridges where gaps used to be. They can make introductions for you to reach people that would otherwise be too far away to touch. Imagine that someone is cold calling you about your services. Would you react better if the voice on the other end says, “Hi, my name is Mark and I would like to talk to you about my business”, or “Hi, our mutual friend Baile told me that you would be a good person to talk to about my business”? Mentors can accelerate your network.

Second, there is the “been there, done that” factor that a mentor has. I’m not saying that mentors have done and seen everything, but they have enough experience to be able to handle things as they happen. Without a mentor many people fall back into the analysis-paralysis purgatory when problems occur and lose valuable time trying to figure out what to do next. A mentor can guide you through all of the rough times that you would otherwise stumble through or be too afraid to even approach. They’ll hold your hand, walk you across the minefield, and tell you that everything is going to be okay.

Third, and likely the most valuable aspect, is that if a mentor is in it to help and guide you, then you are creating a long-term relationship that will help you throughout your career. If your mentor doesn’t have an ulterior motive or a product they’re trying to shove down your throat, then you’re in a position to build a friendship. I would avoid anyone who only wants to sell you other services or products, because, well, that’s not a mentor is it? With a good mentor, as the relationship matures you will develop a level of trust in both the personal and professional aspects of that relationship. Over time, your mentor will get a very good grip on who you are as a businessperson, allowing him or her to better advise you along the way. In turn, you will develop a level of trust with this person that could open the door to a potential partnership. Both of you will grow together and you will eventually begin to think of him as a partner more than a mentor. My plan is to continue in business with the people that I work with as partners and not just have a short lived mentorship.

I have to say one thing, though. Not all people who put themselves out there as mentors are right for you. They may be extremely competent and great businessmen but they cannot teach or have the patience to work with someone new. If you are very high-energy and they are very laid back – or the other way around – your personalities may clash and you just become frustrated. Sometimes, and it bothers me that this is true, there are some people who just want to take your money and not provide good service. You need to interview them as much as they interview you. Look for people who are ready to give back and not be so guarded with what they’ve built.

My personal method for partnering with new investors – which they usually refer to as mentoring – is different. I want my partners to have some skin in the game. Some mentors charge a sum to be part of their mentorship – a LOT of money in some cases. Many want “sweat equity” out of the people they are mentoring. I think that it is best when the person being mentored puts something up front then puts in the “sweat equity”. In my case, after the first property, they get their money back and we split the profits. I don’t really get paid, but I make sure that the individuals are truly serious about partnering up because they have something to lose if they don’t continue working as a team. Find a mentor with a business model and personality that works for you. Remember, it is YOUR business, not theirs, so you have to be comfortable with the individual you are partnering with.

If anyone has more questions or wants more one-on-one coaching, don’t hesitate to contact me. This is a passion for me and I truly enjoy sharing what I know with others. Thanks for coming by and getting a bit of the education. Until then, remember that you, too, have that inner warrior that it takes to achieve greatness and success. Feel free to drop me a line at Coaching[at]


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