I have had the fortune of having mentors in many areas of my life. Some were unconsciously mentoring me and others went about it very deliberately. Let me explain.
The unconscious mentors were mostly parents, relatives and teachers in school while growing up. They taught me by default, with little or no conscious effort to determine if what they were passing along was beneficial or not. An example in regards to money that I heard when I was younger: “We don’t have the money for that!” Or, “Well, that’s just not for us,” and, “Who is going to pay for that?” These messages created in my young mind a lack mentality. We didn’t have what others had and we were somehow not worthy to have those things. And where is the money going to come from, because we don’t have it! Can you relate?
How about relationships? What did you learn from your parents growing up about how to be in a relationship? They did teach you that, whether you are aware of it now or not. Did you have an abusive father or mother? Where do you suppose they learned it from? Are you walking in their footsteps today?
The same can be said for virtually every aspect of your life, even if “nothing” was instilled early on. If investments, saving money, tax strategies and the like were never discussed, what is the possibility that today, you are really proficient in those domains? The likelihood is zero.
Again, these are examples of what I call unconscious mentors. Although many of these people were probably well-meaning individuals, they were misdirected in their actions, because no one showed them what to do either! And, the results speak for themselves.
Fortunately, in today’s highly technical world, access to really great (and not so great) mentors is at hand…literally. And that is where the Conscious Mentor comes into play. This is the individual who is consciously teaching and directing another person via their own wisdom and experiences. The benefits of such a mentor is oftentimes immeasurable in terms of value.
When I was an exchange student to Germany, which I talk about here, I had a mentor at the school I attended. Hilke had just returned to Germany as an exchange student to the USA. She had a year experience living with a family in another country, spoke English very well, and obviously knew the school and many teachers. She was the perfect mentor for me: I had just arrived and everything was new: family, language, school, customs, etc. Through endless talks and discussions, Hilke was able to steer me in the right direction on many instances that I otherwise would have stumbled through like a lost puppy. Over time Hilke and I became very good friends and just a couple years ago I attended her 50th birthday party in Germany: Friends for life!
Upon returning to the USA I attended University in Wisconsin where my German professor, Karl Rübel, mentored me throughout my years at that college. He literally took me under his wing, as I had tested through several levels of German and had speaking and writing skills that surpassed most students in his classes. He quickly realized that for me to stay interested in his class, he would have to challenge me a bit more. Soon he had me thinking about a college level exchange experience, something I didn’t know existed. At some point, we began having coffee at the local University coffee shops where I could continue to practice my German skills. When it came time to fill out applications and write papers for the University exchange program, he was right by my side, helping to improve my use of grammar, etc. Needless to say, his mentoring really propelled me into the program and soon I found myself back on German soil attending the Universität Marburg in beautiful Hessen. I wish Karl were still alive today so that I could thank him again for all the mentoring during those 2 years. I cannot put a price on those mentoring experiences! Again, go here to get a glimpse into some of the experiences I had during those years living in Germany.
Fast forward to today and I will willingly admit that in the last few years alone I have had at least 12 mentors, in various fields, helping me move towards my goals and dreams more quickly. This blog, the website in general, my music & recordings, my businesses etc, almost everything I do, I have had, or still have a mentor to assist me along my path. And it has been worth every penny spent! Again, the results cannot always be measured in dollars, although that was the case with a couple financial mentors, and my income did go up significantly as a result.
Because of the early childhood “Unconscious Money Mentoring” I was not making a lot of money as an adult and what I did make I spent quickly. It has only been in the past several years of consciously working on changing my money paradigms that I have gone from employee to employer, growing a business from a part time income of $28,600/yr to now over $100,000 all in about 2.5 years. This may not seem like much to many, but in relation to the path I’ve been on, it is huge. And the confidence that comes with that translates into every other aspect of my life. That all came through mentorship and getting the proper training.
Being a Mentor
Now, I have evolved to the point where I am able to mentor others. That is some of the most gratifying work I’ve ever done! When you learn something so well that it’s second nature and you can then teach someone else that thing, the rewarding feeling you get is incomparable. Plus, it puts that knowledge even deeper into your “knowingness”, or unconscious mind. And this is where the rubber meets the road when you learn anything. Having knowledge at your mental fingertips is the key to success at everything and anything. That is covered in another blog post more in depth.
Needles to say, having a mentor is one of the best investments you can make in yourself that will pay huge dividends for the remainder of your life. To read up on finding a mentor, check this out.