Mentoring is more than just sharing information. It is sitting down with someone and sharing experiences, learning from each other and growing together. Having apprentices creates in us a responsibility and desire to do our best because they depend on us succeeding to be successful themselves.
Building your brand takes a lot of determination, skill and productivity. We may think we know a lot of stuff, until we actually try to apply what we know to making our brand successful, and discover we know very little. We plug away at it, though, gathering new information through trial and error as we go.
There is an interesting thing about learning: We absorb information better ourselves if we teach it to someone else. There's something about showing another person how to do something that adheres the information to our brains. We grasp it and retain it better than if we had just studied alone. Bringing in someone who wants to learn can be a substantial benefit to both parties, for learning purposes alone. It is not the only benefit, though.
Many people go into business on their own to get away from having to answer to a boss. There is an issue that comes with this. Being our own boss leaves us free to procrastinate, ignore and otherwise blow off important tasks that are key to success. Having a mentee or protégé gives us back that accountability, without a sense of answering to an authority figure.
Protéges and prodigies are excited to be doing the thing. They are new to the process and still have a taste for the work, even the mundane parts. They show up wanting to know what needs to be done next. This pushes us to do the things that need doing. Their excitement is highly contagious.
Apprentices and mentees question everything. This can seem overwhelming at times, but don't discount the value in questions. Asking questions can lead to opportunities and information that could prove to be extremely valuable. Investigate their queries instead of just giving a simple answer, and expand your knowledge as well as theirs.
This is more of a silent benefit. Having someone else want to do what we do strengthens our inner desire to be successful. It pushes us to want to do more, do better and do it a lot. It can reignite our drive, the thing that got us to jump out of bed in the morning, eager to get to work.
There is nothing like reaching a major milestone and having no one else be as excited as you are. Having a mentee gives you someone to share the excitement with, someone who knows first-hand how hard you worked.
Consider being a mentor to someone just getting started. You give them the gifts of knowledge and experience, but you get so much more in return. Use their excitement to motivate you to do your best, learn from their questions and spark that ambitious flame that got you started in the first place.