Everyone has someone in their life they turn to for advice – a person that always knows not only what to say, but how to say it. Someone that looks at your problems objectively, and doesn’t simply tell you that your decisions are always right because they are trying to be supportive.
It’s always nice to get free advice from a best friend. But your best friend may not be the person that gives you the best advice. Your best friend wants you to be happy, and may be supportive in a way that isn’t in your best interests. What you need is a mentor. You need someone that will give you business advice, life advice, relationship advice and more.
There are some professional mentors, but let’s be honest – you need someone that knows you that you can trust. Asking or paying a friend to be your mentor can have some great benefits.
Best friends give some of the worst advice possible. They never look at something objectively. If you’re mad at someone then it must be that other person’s fault. If you ask them whether or not the shirt looks good on you, they’ll try to figure out what you normally like and tell you that it does. Best friends are great for support, but they are awful for advice. Mentors will help you see things from an alternative point of view. They’ll have your best interests in mind, but otherwise take their feelings for you out of the outcome.
How often have you come up with a plan or a goal, only to let it fall apart? A good mentor is someone that will check in with you and see where you are on it – and a mentor that’s a friend will also be more willing to nag you about getting on it, so that you don’t let your goals pass just because of your own laziness. Accountability is a mentor benefit that should not be ignored.
Working With Your Personality
The generic idea of a mentor is someone that is in a position of power that is willing to take you under their wing. But those people want you to be more like them. What if you still want to be you, but get the same good advice and help? Mentors that are friends of yours already are people that know you. They understand what you’re like. So they work with that to try to make you excel, without sacrificing your personality.
Choosing a Friend You Know
When you have someone in your life that has always seemed like a mentor to you, ask them to become a real one. They don’t need to be rich. They don’t need to be close friends. They simply need to be intelligent people that are willing to give you the assistance you need when you need them. Friends can be mentors, and more people should be willing to ask good friends to take on that responsibility.