The importance of mentoring

Andrew Neitlich

It is a wise business strategy to mentor others and to find a mentor(s).

By mentoring others, you get a source of potential clients as your “mentees” develop and take on more responsibilities. And because mentees are typically younger (although not always as you’ll read in a moment), you keep yourself abreast of new trends, issues, and — sometimes — emerging technologies. You also keep your mind sharp, since a good mentee can challenge you with great questions and creativity.

By getting a mentor, you expose yourself to wisdom and new opportunities. I owe much of my financial success to mentors, and look for mentors in every business relationship. There is much to learn from just about anyone. At the same time, some people have been kind enough to take me under their wing. One has been an investment banker who has taught me a great deal about how true entrepreneurs think. And recently a Sitepoint reader half my age (just about) agreed to teach me a business model he has employed successfully. In the former case, the investment banker received my ideas and “sweat equity” — along with some unpaid labor — in exchange for his commitment. In the latter case, we have worked out a deal that will help everyone (I hope) make lots of money if I succeed.

When I do things on my own, trying to reinvent the wheel, I tend to stumble. Mentors help me find the most efficient path to success.

Do you have mentors? Are you taking on mentees? How do you find your mentors/mentees? What have you found to be the benefits?