One of the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs is their ability to leverage mentor relationships along their journey. An interesting observation here that few people talk about is that mentors for one chapter in your journey may not be the most effective for future chapters. Of course there are different kinds of mentors: personal mentors, family mentors, industry mentors, and general entrepreneurial mentors.
From my own experience, I have a ton of love and respect for my mentors along the way. But I admit, and they will tell you, that what I needed to get my very first business off the ground at the age of 20 is different than the mentoring that I needed to grow it and different again for what I need now. Many of my early mentors I now consider my closest friends (more than mentors) and will appreciate them forever.
You too will find that you will outgrow your mentors, and there’s no shame in this, as long as you show respect and remember to pay it forward and help others, just as those early mentors helped you.
A great book on this topic and others is listed on my books page: Necessary Endings. It is a super encouraging book around how we grow, how we prune our lives and move forward when it’s time to move forward.
I encourage entrepreneurs to constantly be evaluating your mentor relationships. Be intentional about them. If you aren’t being challenged and fed loads of helpful value, it’s ok to look around and add mentor horsepower to your calendar.