Apprenticeship, then, isn’t a class you take or a mentor you meet – it’s a choice you make… It’s the intentional process of choosing the opportunities you need to create your life’s work. – Jeff Goins
I used to think that mentorship needed to look a certain way. I thought I needed an older, wiser man to take me under his wing and walk down the path of growth with me. And it had to be done with a once-a-month coffee or lunch date or it wouldn’t work. But I was wrong.
Having a regular time with someone who’s agreed to come alongside you is obviously a great thing, and if you’re in that camp, you have something truly special. I see the value in it and I too would jump on the opportunity if it presents itself.
But it’s the whole searching thing that I’m learning just doesn’t work. It’s the sizing up of anyone who’s older or further along than I am, you know, like in college when you meet a girl for the first time and think, “be cool, this may be the one!” That’s the part that just doesn’t feel right to me. But rather than remaining in that mentor-less space, I’ve taken a look around and realized something: I’m already being mentored.
Choosing the Mentors That are Already There
If mentorship is for the sole purpose of growth and development, whether that be in business or life, then the opportunities surrounding us are astounding. But they must be recognized and identified. Once I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I began devouring podcasts. I asked other entrepreneurs, searched online and found some amazing people with incredible podcasts telling the stories of people just like me who learned to do business well. And so my mentorship began.
Over time a shift began in my mind. Instead of feeling sorry that my mentorships were not traditional ones and that I’d spend more time in Atlanta traffic than in Starbucks soaking up wisdom, I decided that I was going to do everything I could to learn right where I was at. With the time I did have. I spend almost 2 hours in the car commuting each day. I was feeling trapped like I was wasting my time away. Now it has become my university, the podcasts, my professors.
A frustrating commute became a launchpad for success with a simple shift in perspective.
My Current Mentors: Podcasts
There really is no shortage of great podcasts out there. Whatever your passion is, chances are there’s someone online talking about it. Below are the top five podcasts that I’ve been learning from lately:
The Smart Passive Income podcast is by far the most informative one I listen to. I sometimes want to pull the car over and take notes on marketing ideas with this one. Simple and fun interviews with people, some high profile, some not, about their businesses and what they’ve learned. I like Pat because of his humility. He’s just a regular guy trying to figure out what works in online business.
Dale Partridge, of Sevenly t-shirt fame, uses his podcast to interview successful entrepreneurs. Dale is fantastic at getting to the person’s story and how their business affects their life and family. He’s a family man, and preaches that being successful in business and at home does not have to be mutually exclusive.
If you’ve read some of my other posts about Jeff Goins, you know I’m a fan. His podcast is shorter in length than the others I listen to, but covers all aspects of what it means to pursue the work you feel called to. Jeff is an author at heart, so has great insight into building an online audience.
Professional athlete turned online entrepreneur, Lewis Howes’ podcast is the most diverse in the list. That’s mostly because of the wide range of business leaders he interviews on his show. It can range from very instructional, to much bigger picture wisdom for your life.
So, Who Are Your Mentors?
Mentors are everywhere. In the right light, and with a little awareness, you can choose to grow in every opportunity. So if you’re struggling to find a traditional mentorship, relax. The time will come. But in the meantime, don’t neglect the mentors that are already there.
Do you have any untraditional mentors? Let me know who they are by leaving a comment!