Pros of Mentorship
You get access to networking that you normally wouldn’t have on your own. If you choose your mentors wisely, they will have connections vastly superior to yours. You can shortcut your way into an ecosystem by being tied to this mentor. For example, many of the entrepreneurs in the Las Vegas Downtown Project, have shortcutted their way into meeting with Tony Hsieh and the rest of the local tech investors.
Cons of Mentorship
Loss of Authority
In a mentor-student relationship, the mentor takes on the role of master. There is a certain level of authority that you give up by becoming a willful follower. Without the relationship, you may be more on an equal level, but once you take on the role of student, your authority can be seen to drop below that of the master. This loss of authority can be short-term, or could last for the life of the relationship and beyond. Additionally, in the eyes of others, it can be hard to position yourself as an expert when they know you are taking guidance from a superior teacher.
Keep Family (and Friends) Out of It
In my experience, it can be detrimental to a personal relationship when you ask a close friend or family member to become your mentor. There is a definite authority shift that occurs when you become the student, and they the master. This could erode your perceived authority and reputation in the eyes of the mentor, which is a recipe for relationship disaster.
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