Having a mentor is great in all aspects of life. Receiving business mentoring is even greater, because it allows you to avoid minor mistakes. These mistakes could be detrimental to your business growth, saving you a lot of hassle. However as great as mentoring can be, it can also cost you your business and even self-esteem.
I am a strong believer that we should all have at least one mentor in our lives. A recent experience has taught me that not all mentorship is good mentorship.
Here are four ways a lousy mentor is destroying your career:
Are they invested in you mentally?
I am somebody who has been getting regular business mentoring for the last two years. Therefore, I’ve acknowledged there are certain traits that come with mentoring. One of those traits is mental investment.
Mentoring is not just a business deal. You start to grow a strong bond to that person and they shift from becoming your mentor to your older brother/sister. Ultimately, it is this bond that allows the two of you to grow deeper in your relationship. As a result, what was once a business relationship has increased to something more meaningful.
A mentor has to care about you because ultimately you are your brand. They will care about your mental health, because they want the best for you and understand that for you to grow, you need to be in the best headspace.
Are they making time for you?
If you’ve gone to seek out mentorship and you find that your mentor barely makes any time for you, chances are you’ve chosen the wrong mentor. Although that person originally said that they were available to help you on your journey, if you feel that they can never find the time to make for you, then you need to seek help from another professional who will be able to make time for you. It’s no good sitting around waiting for somebody to help you out. Go out and do the work with somebody else.
Don’t take it as anything personal, just get on with your vision and the right person will come along
Do they believe in your dreams or are they just cashing out?
There are different types of mentoring out there. Some are monetised-mentoring programs and some are people who genuinely believe in your dream and want to help you achieve them.
Monetised mentoring is when you enter a mentoring program and pay a fee to be a part of that program. They teach you how to grow your business and then you implement the knowledge you gained from the program onto your business after the program is done.
However, there are some issues around monetised mentoring. Sometimes you can come across individuals who are just in it for the money, therefore they won’t actually give you the advice or tools you need as once the program is done so is the mentorship.
There are great programs out there that do help towards business growth, but there are many individuals out there who would like to invest in your vision long term for free.
Is it a leadership or is it a dictatorship?
Mentoring is great because it allows you to learn from somebody who has done it before. That person understands how business works and can guide you towards your journey to success. On the other hand, it can also do the opposite. What about when they’re not as great of a mentor as you thought?
Having a bad mentor is like having a lousy manager who drains you mentally and emotionally. You spend so much time working to please them that you have no energy for yourself because everything you do is not good enough. They think they know it all due to their experience in the industry. They shut down all your ideas to grow your business without helping you find an alternative. As a result, your self-esteem is shattered because this mentor talks down to you instead of talking with you about your plans. This will make you even doubt your vision and your goals.
A mentor is supposed to lead you towards your goals and direct you to your path. Please remember that regardless of their experience in the industry, they are also people like you who make mistakes. Not everything they will advise you is gold. As a result, if your gut feeling is telling you to trust in your vision or those specific ideas then do it. At the end of the day, only you will understand your vision and its direction.