Question: What importance would you place on having a mentor in business and in life?
Follow the Parallel Path
"Having a business and life mentor is not only important, it's essential. Entrepreneurs are very close to our business and a mentor is someone who can see things from a distant and different perspective. A key to success is surrounding yourself with people who are further along the life and career path than you are; just remember to choose mentors who are going in a direction you aspire to go."
Your Problems Aren't New
"The best thing for me about having a great mentor is that I always have someone to remind me that my challenges are not new. At our lowest points, we are susceptible to think that no one has every been through our pains. Mentors are there to help us snap out of it and stay focused on achieving business and personal success. Also, hearing how the mentor handled situations acts as a guide for me."
A Piece of Perspective
"A mentor is so valuable for giving you the much needed perspective that we tend to lose in life and business. By reminding us how far we've come and that these challenges can be overcome, mentors can boost confidence, redirect our paths and help celebrate big wins."
It's an Invaluable Investment
"My mentors have provided me with more guidance, strategies, insight and connections than all other resources I've been exposed to combined. Finding the right mentor who is truly interested in your success and your goals is one of the most powerful things you'll ever do as an entrepreneur."
Take the Ultimate Shortcut
"Experience may be the best teacher, but your mentor's experience is the best teacher of all. That's because getting the right mentor is like taking the ultimate shortcut. You can learn from their mistakes without repeating them yourself, and you can model your actions based on their successful formula."
Learn From Others' Mistakes
"Having trusted mentors for your business and life allow you to learn from others' mistakes instead of having to learn them on your own. Some mistakes are unavoidable (if only because we're all too stubborn to learn from others sometimes!) but even a few avoided mistakes will save time, money and sanity."
Mentors Aren't Business Advisers
"Every startup has formal and informal advisers, whether they're professors, investors, partners, family or friends. As an entrepreneur, you will often have to make choices that are good for the business, but possibly bad for you. Most advisers focus on the company. It is critical that you find a personal mentor that has your best interests -- not those of the company's -- in mind."
Accelerate Your Learning Curve
"By running a business while in college, having a mentor has taught me way more than any of my professors have ever. Granted, I didn't pay much attention in class when I should, but there's nothing that beats real world advice, perspective, and networks. All in all -- get a mentor!"
Positively Biased Point of View
"Someone who offers actionable advice and has a positively biased point of view, who really believes in you, is invaluable. Turning to a mentor often means the difference between giving up and moving forward. I don't know if I could have achieved success without my mentors to challenge me, push me, and help me keep my eye on the ball."
Find Your Own Gandalf!
"What would the LOTR hobbits have done without him? Think of yourself no differently. Those with wisdom in this world don't have it to keep for themselves but to share with others, and all are grateful to do so. On this journey of entrepreneurship and this journey of life, the stakes are too high not to have someone to help guide our steps. Mentor: absolutely necessary. Long white beard: optional!"
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.