Gary Vaynerchuk's Best Advice on Self-Awareness and Mentorship Do you need a mentor? First, figure out where you want to go and what it will take to get there.
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Do you need a mentor?
According to Gary Vaynerchuk, professionals don't need mentors; however, they should be self-aware of the areas in their business or careers where they're personally not as strong in as others.
The debate over mentorship is a hot topic frequently discussed on social media forums such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
While it's a 50/50 matter of opinion, there's a misconception that by having a mentor, you are inferior or weak, while the other common denotation is that a mentor cannot do the work for you – which is true in itself – so why have one.
Speaking from experience, mentors have been pivotal to my success at various stages of my career. I have turned to mentors for wisdom and advice on potential career opportunities and offers, and leveraged my mentors and their professional pedigree with employer references. As I grow my agency, my mentors have been influential in referring me business and even pitching my company within their networks.
My advice to anyone seeking a mentor and going back to Vaynerchuk's key point in the video above is to be self-aware of where you need help (e.g. introductions, business operations, sales, marketing, etc.) and then find others in your professional circles who can potentially serve as such.
However, the relationship between a mentor and mentee, as with any other relationship, is one that should happen organically and not feel rushed.
So, how does one find a mentor?
Going to industry events and conferences and networking with speakers (like Vaynerchuk) is a prime opportunity to get face time, which can potentially lead to an in-person meeting, which is where you should open up about where you could use some advice or guidance. The other tactic is to leverage social media to follow and interact with a potential mentor's content and form dialogue directly through 1:1 direct messaging.
Remember, potential mentors are typically individuals who are running businesses and don't have time to directly mentor others in a formal, organized manner. That's why luminaries like Vaynerchuk actually serve as virtual mentors if you consume and pay attention to their content.
My closing piece of advice is to give value in return to your mentors. A mentor-mentee relationship should not be a one-way street but rather a relationship where it's mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
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