A trusted adviser, counselor or guide. That’s how the dictionary defines the word mentor, an often overused (even misunderstood) term, especially in the entrepreneurial space. In my opinion, the impact and importance of a mentor can not be emphasized enough.
Remember that teacher you had in middle school who, by the magic of his presentation and authenticity of his interest in you as a person and a learner, helped you learn to love math.
What about that senior on the varsity swimming team whose patience and compassion guided you through a successful freshman season. Your elderly neighbor whose stories tied you to a simpler, more connected place and time. A boss, a colleague, an acquaintance you made on the bus. All of these people create the fabric of your unique mentor network. They’ve helped to design the human being you’ve become, both personally and professionally.
Some of them you call when you have an issue you know they’ll help you solve. Others, you have for a finite amount of time and are forever changed by their influence. Still others, you may meet only once, but they’ve given you a single piece of advice that stays with you forever.
I have them. You have them. And, hopefully each of us are considered one.
Mentors are a powerful force in the universe of our growth.