Mentors have been really fucking important to my life. Mentors CHANGED my life with their wisdom. If not for mentors, I would not be the man I am today.
At 14 years old, I met one of my best friends, he is still one of them to this day. He’s ten years my senior, but I’d like to think he saw my maturity and what I was capable of from a young age. He took me under his wing, and while I had trouble following his advice about girls for many years, he was essential to me getting my first job. At the first job, we worked well together (he showed me the ropes and gave me all the shortcuts), and I kicked ass. So much so that I walked out and got a senior engineering position at the ripe age of 23 – which I then hated so much I quit to start my own company.
None of it would have been possible without him.
(He now reads This Is Trouble – I gave it to him a few weeks ago. I’ve been trying to get him on the podcast – so leave a comment below telling him to get on it!)
He’s not the only mentor I’ve had that has helped me at some point in my life.
Even now, I have a pretty big blogger who was kind enough to take an entire evening and sit down with me, and critique everything I’m doing. I won’t mention his name because I don’t want him swamped with requests – but he’s probably reading this and so I’ll say again – thank you.
You cannot feel guilty about being the mentee.
All you can do is appreciate, help them out when they need it, and thank them profusely (but not so much that it seems you’re kissing too much ass).
But with mentoring, you are paying it forward.
The blogger I mentioned has had great mentors in his life. Even now, I have a couple of guys I mentor as far as girls/dating/blogging/motivation goes. I pay it forward. There is no way I can repay the mentors that I’ve had in my life, all I can do is pass it along and help some other guy become the best man he can be. The guys who I mentor, I do not expect it to be 50/50. But it is a sacrifice well worth paying. It’s extremely rewarding to see someone you helped succeed.
We are men, after all. We are a brotherhood. We are not petty women who stab each other in the back over an Oreo cupcake. We need like-minded men in our lives to form our crew. To not have this crew is to be missing a critical component of your happiness as a man.
Mentors changed my life.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
It just won’t happen.
There is a reason I wrote what I did above and that I’m writing it again here.
The men I mentioned above I am in eternal debt to, forever. That is how it is. But I do not feel guilty about it. Why? Because I listened to them and used their advice to kick ass.
the blogger, for example.
He gets hundreds of emails a month asking for his advice about everything. How many people do you think actually listen to him and take his advice? I’d guess it’s less than five out of every hundred emails. And out of those five, how many do you think actually write back down the road to tell him about their success?
On average it’s probably ONE.
But I took his advice.
He said my logo looked too faggy, so I ripped it down and designed a new one. The new one was live within twelve hours of him leaving my apartment the night before. He texted me two days later:
“New logo looks way better.”
You see, I’ve always been open to learning. I’m the guy that men want to mentor because I take action and apply their advice. They get to see the fruits of their labor.
If you can’t be that, you’ll just piss your mentors off and lose them.
What worked for them may not work for you. The important thing is that you give it a fair shot.
For example, my childhood mentor was a real player before the Internet gold age of pickup information. He estimates he banged 300+ girls in his life. But, he was also a rebel child who was tall, athletic, and played sports up through college.
Some of the advice he gave me about girls just didn’t work for me. At times, the advice he gave me he could hardly articulate. He was a natural. So while not every word of wisdom he gave to me was golden, I did implement many aspects of it some way into my game and persona.
That’s really what mentoring is about – helping someone else find their way and improve themselves no matter what path they take. Do you think my mentors care that I don’t do things exactly their way? Fuck no. They only care that I’m successful in what I do and that I learned from their experience in one way or another.
As I said, it’s impossible to pay it back. You should do what you can, though.
My childhood mentor has two kids now, and was in a situation not long ago where he had to move on a moment’s notice (ten days to pack a 4 bedroom house and 2 kids is not a walk in the park). Of course I helped him move, even though I had just helped me move into that house less than a year before. I spent the entire day lugging his California king size bed and rolling his hot tub down driveways, but I was happy to.
With my blogging mentor, I’ve been sure to give him a heads up when I find a new helpful tool, or if I have a connection that can perhaps help him. And if he came to me tomorrow and said, “I need my new book edited yesterday, can you help?”, I wouldn’t hesitate to forgo sleep and get it to him the next morning.
Just do what you can. It’s the least you can do.
That’s the thing most men get hung up on. They’re scared of mentorship. While I’ve been bragging about my mentors and myself in this post, it’s only to illustrate how my relationships with them have worked and to give examples of how to handle it. Your path will vary, but this is a good foundation to finding, securing, and continuing a long-term relationship with like-minded men who have been there, done that.
They are essential to your life. They can make a difference and help you change to succeed.
Mentors changed my life. Don’t wait to find yours.