One of the most effective ways I’ve found to save a lot of time and energy is using mentors. While nothing replaces experience, mentors can help guide you to the right experiences and avoid some unnecessary experiences. They can also help you make meaning from the experiences you have, by providing a new lens or vantage point. They can also help you find the most effective path through a problem. A good mentor can also help tailor information to make it more relevant for you. It’s one thing to see good ideas in a book, it’s another to have somebody who can take you through the ideas in a way that resonates for you.
Here are some key points:
- Mentors are all around you. Imagine if everybody you know, has one great thing to teach you.
- Find people with results. You can’t argue with results.
- Ask better questions. If you’re not getting the information you need, try asking deeper questions. One simple question to ask is, “who’s the right person to ask for advice on this?”
- Think in terms of motivation, skills, and feedback. Sometimes, you might just need somebody who helps you find your motivation. Other times, you actually need hard-core skills or techniques. Sometimes, you just need more actionable feedback. Sometimes, you need it all. Know what you need to find the right mentors.
Here is a simple example. One of the ways I find out which ways to make money work and which ones don’t is I check with accountants. Since they do the taxes, they get to see what’s working and what’s not. I’d rather pay an accountant for a few hours of their time, than spend a year down a path that has a poor success rate.