The Lifetime Value of a Mentor
In my entrepreneurship course tonight we focused on the lifetime value of a customer. Lots of lightbulbs went off and even managers of existing successful businesses thought this concept needed to be taught inside their companies. The group played off each other as they thought about what they needed to do to attract lifetime customers and remarkable referrals. The value was typically 15-30x their expectation.
The synchronicity for me of the two situations was the lifetime value of a mentor. What would it be worth to someone to have a mentor who was further down your chosen path sharing his/her wisdom with you? What price would you pay to avoid certain mistakes and, more importantly, have someone to lift you up and tell you about what they did after a similar mistake befell them?
I was fortunate to have such a mentor in my Dad. Ever the optimist he reinvented himself without losing his core values and succeeded in three careers, the last one started at age 55. My only regret is that I chose to not look to him for advice for most of my early career. He’s been gone a few years yet I think he’s a consultant to my current mentor, the Holy Spirit.
So I am working on developing a mentorship program for my students and know the value will be 20-40x on the success scale. Finding mentors is the easy part. Every successful person I know when asked if they would help someone who is humble enough to ask to learn from their success has always said yes. Successful people I know are that way.
Here’s the hard part. Most people have a hard time asking for guidance. And for those that do, only a small portion actually take advice and act upon it. And those 20% who do will reap the 80% harvest.
So if you want to accelerate your growth and success follow these five success principles:
1) Find someone who is where you want to be in 10 years.
2) Humble yourself and ask them if they would give you advice.
3) Explain where you are and ask, “What would you recommend I do in the next 30 days given my situation?”
4) DO WHAT THEY SAY!
5) Reevaluate and book another session. Repeat 3) and 4).
And when that works for you, please let me know. I can always use some fresh success to liven up my classes.