Despite what you might think, anyone can be a mentor. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only just embarked on your entrepreneurial journey or are decades in… you have value to offer.
At the same time, every entrepreneur has room to grow and can benefit from the experience of having a mentor (or mentors!).
I have learned this firsthand through my experience with creating a community dedicated to this very concept. With my business partner Matt Gottesman and Adam and Matthew Toren (brother founder duo of youngentrepreneur.com and several other businesses), we created Makers and Moguls – a community group that helps entrepreneurs of all ages and industries build the life of their dreams by providing mentorship at scale 24 hours a day. We call it crowdsourced mentorship.
I have learned that there is enormous value in being both a mentor and mentee. In fact, having this mindset of both learning and offering insight at the same time has been immensely valuable in progressing myself along my entrepreneurial journey.
Here are 5 things I have learned from being both a mentor and a mentee—
Everyone has value to offer
Outside of Makers and Moguls, I also run prsuit.com – a daily online publication dedicated to providing perspective that inspires. I started PRSUIT about 2 years ago on the side as hobby but I found out quite quickly that despite my novice status as a publisher and entrepreneur that as I learned (on a daily basis!), my insight was valuable to others. In fact, early on I found myself in the room with some very seasoned online marketers and was telling them about some of the tips and tricks I was using to scale my presence and it was received with “oh wow that’s very smart. We never thought of doing that!”
You don’t have to consider yourself a “mentor” to have value to offer!
The reason you have value to offer – no matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey- is because of your unique perspective.
Inside Makers and Moguls, we have over 200 active members across a wide spectrum of industries and ventures – photographers, designers, bloggers, Youtubers, speakers, business owners, etc. and every single one of them is teaching me something. They all have unique perspectives given what they are working on and that has proven to be invaluable! A Youtuber teaching a designer about content distribution? A blogger teaching a marketing consultant about communication and call to actions? An Instagram influencer teaching a marketing consultant about branding? Value, value, value.
Offer value first
Offer first, ask later. In the day and age of “get rich quick online” and “make $3,000 this week by doing nothing”, it seems everyone wants a handout – an effortless scheme to make money online.
But I have learned that to accomplish anything while learning from others, the mindset you should have is one of pure and authentic reciprocity –hands up with value over hands out asking for something.
If you are a young entrepreneur and are looking for mentors, the best way to do so is to demonstrate the value you have to offer (trust me… you have something to offer).
Everyone has value to offer… no matter the stage of the journey they are on. We have members join Makers and Moguls all the time and even seasoned entrepreneurs like the Toren brothers are learning from them.
Lead with this, lean on your unique perspective, show your commitment to helping others and watch your network and influence grow.
Ask for feedback
Once you establish the value you have to offer, it’s time to truly benefit from a group of mentors. You not only have your own dedicated focus group, but you also people who can provide detailed feedback AND offer guidance, immediate pivots and optimizations.
Being able to create a landing page, for example, and then immediately getting feedback from 200 intelligent entrepreneurs is incredibly valuable. You can’t put a price on that!
That is the potential of 21st century mentorship.
Have more than one mentor
You are not limited to just one mentor in this day and age. Yes, it is great to align yourself with a singular mentor who you can be extremely close and vulnerable with, but in the age of the internet and crowdsourced everything, there is no reason why you can’t have 3, 5 10, 20, or 50 mentors.
That was the idea behind Makers and Moguls.
Community is everything nowadays and if you can find the right people, your circle of influence can change immediately and to great effect!
Embrace the sense of community
When you are an entrepreneur or creator of any kind, things can get lonely.
Late nights, early mornings, missed social events. It is the life you chose, but it can weigh on you. That is why it is so important to surround yourself with people who get it. People who understand why you put yourself through it. People who support you.
Having a network of fellow creators, hustlers and entrepreneurs that you can turn to at any hour of the day or night is incredibly helpful and helps minimize any feelings of alienation.
I get so much out of knowing that I can turn to over 200 people and that within a minute or two someone will have my back and is there.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.