Got a Crisis? Get a Mentor
April 12, 2012 | Posted by Jay Kubassek | Tags: Entrepreneurship, Personal Development, Perspective | 1 Comment
Entrepreneurs are programmed a certain way to deal with a crisis. When the crisis first happens, we’re all about fixing it immediately. We, by nature, are problem solvers. And the immediate reaction we tend to have when we cannot fix things is frustration. We tend to dive into the most immediate problem in our way. That’s not good for our productivity – and that’s where a mentor comes in.
A mentor is not a coach or friend. A mentor is someone who can give you perspective and focus on the big picture as you pursue what you really want, even when they have to do in ways that you won’t like
. They’re not there to make you like them. They are there to do what’s good for you. And a good mentor can help you separate what’s urgent and a true crisis from what is not worth distracting you right now as you build towards the life you want.
A mentor is not the same thing as a coach. A coach is someone who goes through the drills with you and gives advice. A mentor serves a different role – instead of giving advice, a mentor shares experience. In a mentorship and protege relationship, the protege has to be empowered to share the results. The goal of the mentor is to empower them and give them that shot in the arm to keep going – plus a kick in the butt when needed.
Mentors aren’t there to get you to like them.
They don’t do what they do for your approval. That’s not a facet of a mentor-protege relationship. Anything that comes in the way of you reaching your goal is what a good mentor will help you get over. They are there to cover your blind spot when you cannot see something that is holding you back.
Life happens, and crises come with that. You’ll be drawn to a crisis and want to problem solve when it happens. That’s something all entrepreneurs share. If you find yourself focusing on your problems and challenges, that’s different than taking inspired actions that are driving your business forward.
Mentors keep you focused on driving forward. That’s how they can keep us on track.
A sports analogy works really well here. When a pro baseball player steps up to the plate, they’ve got less than a second to react. The reaction to swing the bat has to be second nature, and must be something they can execute without the conscious mind processing it first. There’s no time to think that quickly. When you get good at batting, the subconscious mind takes over and thinks quicker than the conscious mind possibly could.
That’s no different than every reaction we have on a daily basis. These reactions get us frustrated about a crisis quicker than we are able to think about it. If that happens, what you do is wipe the slate clean and stay focused on the next pitch (so to speak). It’s a long season. If you swing and miss, put extra time in the batting cage to be better prepared for next time. With the help of a mentor, you can keep that perspective better. If it’s just you, you start to feel alone and the swings and misses weigh on you more. That’s how most entrepreneurs fail
With the right mentorship, you can create the circle of influence around you that picks you up after each miss and says “tomorrow is another day. We’ll get the next one.”