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Why You Should 'Collect' Mentors Throughout Your Life
An essay about why 'collecting' mentors through life is a critical idea. We come into the world with a sense of wanting to accomplish, but there is so much to be learned from others.
Idea Source: "If you go through life making friends with the eminent dead who had the right ideas, I think it will work better in life and work better in education. It’s way better than just giving the basic concepts." - Charlie Munger
Stop trying to figure things out on your own.
As far as our human development goes, we have evolved to emulate our parents, and learn by example. But for some strange reason, our education system penalizes us from doing just that.
I would argue that the most important people in our lives are those who have gone before us and can show us the way. They don't have to be perfect, or even particularly successful - everyone has lessons worth learning.
Here's 5 ideas worth cloning:
1. Think of those you choose to learn from, as "your" mentors.
This mental model opens your mind to their ideas. Whether you read @Naval on twitter, or Charlie Munger on BRK annual meetings, or reading Guy Spier's book (@gspier), think of them as "your" mentors.
I'm not saying that you should agree with everything they say, but their ideas are worth considering.
I'm not sure when I first realized how important mentors are, but I know that their impact has been profound in my life. Looking back, I can see that the people who took the time to invest in me - whether it was through offering advice, sharing their expertise, or simply listening - played a vital role in helping me to grow and learn. And while I'm still on my journey, I now understand that mentorship is something that we all need throughout our lives. No matter who we are or where we're from, we all have something to learn from others. Mentors can help us to develop new skills, gain confidence, and find our purpose in life. They can challenge us when we're stuck in our comfort zones and push us to reach our full potential.
I consider this 'idea' to be the most important "Idea Worth Cloning" in my life.
2. Don't follow people, 'collect' mentors.
Life has themes of challenges. Collect mentors who can guide depending on the theme. I've learned from @perell about writing, @syedbalkhi taught me about entrepreneurship and from my dad @juliantaborda about hard work and resilience.
You should never stop collecting mentors, even if you're already successful
One of the early lessons my father taught me, was that I'd stop learning the day I die. And equally when it comes to learning from others, you'll benefit from having mentors at every stage of your life. As we go through different seasons and transitions, the people who we look up to and learn from will change too.
In my experience as an entrepreneur all my clients have become mentors in one way or another. I learn from them, their businesses and their journeys. And you'd be surprised at how willing they are to share their knowledge with you.
But it is critical to understand that there's people who are able to see your situation from a different perspective. Like my good friend (and mentor) Joe Rinaldi often says "You can't read the label from inside the jar". This is exactly why talking to someone who can understand what you're going through, and hopefully provide insight is very valuable.
Lastly, let's not forget. These problems have already been written about. So whether they are alive or not, find them.
3. Age is not important.
We default to looking up to older people than us. We tend to think older people are the ones who it all. But truth is, you can find mentors who are younger than you, with different life experiences. Age is not important.
A mentor can help you in many different ways, both personal and professional
One of the most powerful lessons I learned with one of my mentors was that everything I was trying to do in my professional life, was in the quest of finding happiness.
I've never been a feelings-soft type of person. But this was a hard realization. I thought that if I could just make enough money, or get that big promotion, or start my own company, then I would be happy. But it turns out that happiness comes from within, and no amount of external success can change that.
This was a big shift for me, and it's something that I'm still working on. But without the help of mentors I've collected along the way, I would never have realized it.
4. Build the habit of collecting 'ideas' from your mentors and expand on them.
That's what I'm doing now. I collect ideas from mentors and add my interpretation of them. To read more follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my free substack: https://ideasworthcloning.substack.com/
It's important to find the right mentor for you, someone who you can trust and respect
This goes without saying. You have to have a strong filter when it comes to collecting mentors. Not everyone will have your best interest at heart, and some people will try to take advantage of you. It's important to be discerning, and only take advice from people who you trust and respect.
Be wary of 'takers'. These are the types of people who will always be asking for favors, but never giving back. You want to find mentors who are generous with their time and knowledge, and who are happy to help you without expecting anything in return.
5. Don't be afraid to reach out to your mentors.
I used to think this was a bad idea. I was wrong. I reached out to one of mine earlier this year, and my life changed forever. He inspired me to write and be more generous with my thoughts.
I'll expand on this one - I let serendipity play a big role in my life when it comes to finding mentors. As recent as early January 2022, during a trip to Switzerland, I wrote to one of the humans I admire the most.
This Guy has provided value to my life without him knowing so. I've read his book, watches all his lectures, and little by little he became a huge influence in my life.
So I decided to take a stab at it, and wrote to him. I was honest and told him how much he has helped me, and that I would love to take the opportunity to meet him, and just thank him.
To my surprise, I was received with arms wide open.
This goes to show you that you should never be afraid to ask people for advice or help. People are generally good, and want to help you if they can.
You never know, the person you want to be your mentor might just say yes.
6. Bonus one: Be a GIVER:
As you progress through life, turn around and mentor others. Share your knowledge, and help someone else on their journey.
This is something that I'm still working on. But without the help of mentors I've collected along the way, I would never have never started.
And remember; there's no reason to go at it alone.