Mentoring and Career Success

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on a career success mini course on Attracting Positive People.  That got me thinking about mentors.  In my book, mentors are positive people by definition.  It takes a positive person to give of himself of herself to help another learn, grow and succeed.

Tweet 51 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Find a mentor.  Mentors are positive people who will help you find the lessons in your experiences and use them to move forward.”  You can download a free copy of Success Tweets at

The term “mentor” comes from The Odyssey.  Odysseus entrusted the care of his son, Telemachus, to Mentor when he set out to fight the Trojan War.  It turned out to be quite a long relationship. 

The best mentors will help you learn and grow by sharing their knowledge, experience and wisdom with you.  In this way, you can benefit from their experience without having to suffer the consequences of gaining that experience firsthand.   As the old saying goes, a mentor’s hindsight can be your foresight.

You’re never too old to benefit from a mentoring relationship.  I’m 60 years old and I’m working with a mentor who is about 30 years younger than me.  Jason Fladlien has specialized knowledge about internet marketing and social media that I don’t.  I can accelerate my learning, by taking advantage of his knowledge and wisdom.

What makes for a good mentor?  A good mentor…

M  Motivates you do accomplish more than you think you can.

E  Expects the best from you.

N  Never gives up on you or lets you give up on yourself.

Tells you the truth – even when it hurts.

O  Occasionally kicks your butt.

R  Really cares about you and your success.

I don’t know about you, but anyone who motivates me, expects the best from me, never gives up on me or lets me give up on myself, tells me the truth, kicks my butt when I need it and really cares about me is a pretty positive person.  I want as many of those kinds of people in my life as I can get. 

Jason is one of those kinds of people.  That’s why I rely on him.  He goes out of his way to provide me with the kind of advice I need to move my business to the internet.  He is incredibly responsive.  Even though he is really busy with his own work, he responds quickly to my requests for help and information.  He’s a positive person who over delivers – that’s why I am happy to have him as my mentor.  Find people like Jason Fladlien to mentor you and you’ll be on your way to life and career success.

On the other hand, you can enhance your self confidence and career success by mentoring others.  It’s never too early to become a mentor.  We all have something to give. 

The sooner you begin giving the better.  If you’re in college, you can mentor high school students.  If you’re a recent graduate, you can mentor others still in school.  If you’re a professional with a few years experience, you can mentor young professionals.

Mentoring is a great way to serve others.  The more you serve others, the more confidence – and career success – will come your way.  Besides that, you’ll find that you’ll grow personally by mentoring others.  As you reflect on your life experiences and distill them into some nuggets that you can share with others your knowledge will become wisdom.

Remember to focus on the person you are mentoring.  Its’ not about you – it’s about him or her.  Accept him or her for who he or she is.  Help him or her proceed at his or her own place.  The best mentoring relationships are guided by the person being mentored. 

Mentoring should be a positive experience for both of you.  Never treat someone you are mentoring as incompetent or incapable.  Rather, think of him or her as someone lacking in experience who needs guidance – exactly where you probably were when you were in his or her shoes.  Don’t criticize.  Help the other person think through the consequences of his or her behavior and to identify more positive ways of handling difficult or troubling situations.

The common sense career success coach point here is clear.  Successful people are self confident.  Self confident people surround themselves with positive people.  Mentors, by definition, are positive people.  Find people to mentor you whenever you are engaged in a new activity.  Give back by mentoring others.  The more you surround yourself with positive people, the more self confident you will become.  By being a positive person, you will help others build their self confidence and career success.

That’s my career advice on mentoring and self confidence.  What do you think?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading my thoughts on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.  Don’t forget to download your free copy of Success Tweets.  Go to


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