You Don't Need A Mentor To Succeed
"I need someone to guide, help and direct me to become successful"
That is a very problematic way of thinking and something that I try my best to stay away from. Nowadays, I feel like a lot of people are looking for easy and straightforward answers and value the peak more than the hike. They think that if they get the right person teaching them the right stuff, then they will become successful. That is SO not true.
For one, success is not teachable. There are definitely certain aspects of it that can be shared as teachable materials, but success can never be fully taught.
Success heavily depends on the accumulated learnings we gain as we experience challenges and problems. But when we see someone who in the eye of society has made it (a millionaire or a seemingly successful guru), we are just desperate to pay thousands of dollars in order to obtain their knowledge through mentorship or paying for their courses. This is the effects of a "Hustle Culture" or in better words "Hustle Porn" that makes people focus on the SHORTCUTS rather than the important thing, which is finding your skillset, passion, and an outward look in the world to see where you can add value.
Still not convinced? Then let's discuss more in detail why you should not seek mentorship in order to solve your problems or justify your shortcomings.
Before reading on, just remember that I am not saying learning from others is a bad idea. You need to learn as much as you can; through books, podcast events, conferences, videos. But don't expect that someone will take your hand, guide you and show you success. It never even comes close to that. But with enough effort and persistence, learning from others, and also a bit of luck, hopefully, you will make it.
You need the mistakes
Whether we like it or not, we need mistakes to grow and learn. A lot of stupid and obvious mistakes can be avoided by taking lessons from others (and again not from the perfect mentor as they don't exist), but our biggest successes usually come out of the back of our previous mistakes. But what does it mean?
Few things actually.
First, don't be afraid of making mistakes. You just need one big win to prove all the naysayers wrong and that is really motivating. This simply means that you can do a lot of experiments, get better at what you do, and take bolder actions when necessary. On the other hand, if someone is waiting for the right person to come and tell them what to do; well I guess that person will be waiting for a very long time. The game is changing constantly and the best investment you can do is to teach your mind to learn the patterns, and pattern matching for most people is achieved through the first-hand experience and not listening to someone else.
The irony here could be that you are reading this piece to learn something. I never claim to teach you anything but rather make you think. The goal is that after reading this piece or any of the other pieces, you test it yourself in life and take it from there.
You get misguided
When you believe that a single (or limited group of people) hold the key information that you seek, you can get misguided in a significant way.
First, you only trust and value the insights from those you call mentors. But nobody is perfect and can have a combination of wrong and right ideas. It is only when we get information from a lot of different sources and put them to the test that we can distinguish the good and bad ones. Also, the insights that made someone successful cannot be exactly copied into your life and make you successful as well. Success is very context, skill, and luck dependent.
Second, by only following a selected group of people, we lose the chance of learning from a lot of other folks. It is only through re-defining the process of learning that allows you to learn from anybody, anywhere, and at any time while you are at the navigation wheel, directing the whole thing. Have this in mind next time you are talking to your family, friends, colleagues, partner, or literally anybody else that encounters you in life; don't take advice at face value but take it as an input that can be used in your life after some further thought and experiment. Your next big life lesson could come from the most unexpected source.
You waste time
Nothing speaks louder than action. And the best type of actions is the ones that are combined with reflection. But when you are constantly looking for mentors in the hope that they tell you what to do, you are wasting precious time that otherwise, you could have spent on actionable tasks that could potentially get you closer to your goals, even if they are mistakes.
When obtaining knowledge becomes the goal in itself without any action, that is when the problems start to occur. In that sense, you become the person who is hoarding knowledge by buying any available course on the Internet in the hope of launching a business without writing a line of code or talking to a customer. This is sadly something that happens a lot, as people love the image of being successful more than the process that it takes to get there.
So my advice:
Don't waste time looking for anybody. Educate yourself as much as you can and with the best sources, you can find, seek accountability partners that poke you if you are going stray; And most importantly start DOING stuff. Experiment and then look back to see what you can improve. It is in this process that you can get advice from the people that pass your way (they usually don't charge you if you meet this way). Get their advice and also advice from all other possible sources, rely on your instinct and view of the world, and repeat the process. I'm sure you will make it; at least 99% percent sure :)