Yes, you need “You” to hone your skills, you need to invest in yourself even when you cannot get someone to help you out with what you are doing. As I have discussed in my previous post, titled “You Still Need “You” to Hone Your Skills”, I made mention of self-teaching, which is an area you cannot separate from being educated. But even when you self -teach yourself with the resources available to you, you will need an advisor, teacher, or colleague to serve as a mentor.
A mentor is an individual who acts as a teacher, counsellor or an advisor. This individual guides you through the part you want them to help you with. He or she gives insights, ideas or resources on how you can get better at what you would like to develop strength in. While mentors are available to some people, a large number of people still find it hard to get mentors to guide them.
I have personally found it hard to get a mentor who I can meet with on a daily basis, monthly, bi-monthly or even annually, thus, I seem to understand how hard it is to get a mentor. Although, some companies ensures employees are paired with a senior colleague to educate them on what they do not know but this is often rare. unfortunately, we rarely get lecturers or teachers to fully dedicate themselves to students at the university or school.
But, obviously, there are things you can do to get mentored even without the mentor knowing he/she had mentored you in disguise.
The era of social media has made things easy, everyone is so interested in getting connected on social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Google plus, Medium are platforms for you to connect and so this means you choose your friends wisely. You make people you believe are doing what you like as friends on these platforms – send them friend requests, follow their posts, read more about them and unknowingly, the mentoring process you desire to start between you two has started in disguise. And later, you can send them a Direct Message (DM) to express your love for them and what they do. There and then you might probably nail a hang-out with this person, I guess this sounds nice? This could be a classmate you admire from afar, a colleague at work who you feel shy to walk up to, your teacher, your lecturer, a church member or even your cousin.
You see these people on a daily basis or often, but you are scared of walking up to them? No, you need not to be scared, forget about what their reply could be or what their facial expressions could be after walking up to them, just take the bold step, walk-up to him or her, introduce yourself, tell him/her what you like about him/her and what you want him/her to be to you. For example, you can follow this pattern- the “Request Elevator Pitch” (this is personally coined): “Hello, my name is Oluwafisayo Ogundoro, I am an aspiring writer, I read most of your write-ups on Medium and I love the topics under productivity very much. I would like to request that you be my mentor?” then, wait to hear the “Yes” or “No”. This might be a pretty awesome process. This can also be done through the social media platforms; a message would do!
Finally, buy books. By reading books from authors you like or people you would like to mentor you, then, you are steps ahead of breaking barriers. Also, you can watch YouTube videos as TedTalks, where you can upscale your learning.
However, it still takes “YOU” to achieve a lot, never stop investing in yourself and never stop acting.