According to Entrepreneur’s Editor-in-Chief, Jason Feifer, he admits that many times, he’s asked to mentor, he turns down the request. It feels like a burden to carry when someone asks that you become their mentor. The more I think about it, the more I realize how it makes a lot of sense. Asking that an individual become your mentor is a lot like asking a celebrity or influencer to become your role model. They’re forced to shape their lifestyle in a way that isn’t detrimental to yours so you don’t take on their negative traits. Sometimes, where they fail at this, it hurts doubly because they know that they’re being idolised.

Mentorship, however, isn’t the same concept. It is defined as:

the guidance provided by a mentor, especially an experienced person in a company or educational institution.

But, many entrepreneurs do not know this.

Feifer admits that he was shocked when a number of people admitted to him that he was, in fact, their mentor. This was because it hadn’t felt like mentorship; for him, it had felt like relationships being built with a frequent exchange of ideas and beers that could be as few as two meet-ups a year and some phone calls in between.

Mentorship doesn’t always have to be stiff and high strung, sometimes, it could just be as little as a phone call. Recently, at a conference, the speaker went as far as saying that mentorship could even be from a distance. You could read your mentor’s books, articles and follow up with what they’re doing on social (linkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram). Relationships could even be developed through DMs.

Now that you know that mentorship isn’t dependent on actually making those formal requests, don’t you also just feel a wee bit relieved that you can become a store of knowledge from all these various sources without feeling the need to depend on a particular person for information that they’re more than likely feeling rather burdened to oblige?



Photo credit: rising generation

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