Some great quotes:
“For example, when I taught baseball camp, we never said to any 5- or 6 year-old, “Nope, sorry, you’re not qualified to learn from me” (a high school hero, college zero). No one wonders if the 6-year-old is ready. The ball is one third the size of their head yet they still fling it and catch it decently well.”
“Mentorship is like school but in a more extreme, wilder, crazier way. There is no normal path. For months, a VC (Venture Capitalist) might ignore you, be mean to you, never email you back. And then he starts mentoring you so much, he sleeps on your sofa.”
“There will also be a time when your mentor drops off. You are no longer on their immediate radar Just because you’re no longer tethered to your VC mentor does not mean you should panic. Maybe he doesn’t know what to say. Maybe she is unfocused right now. Being off their radar is not off the grid, so be patient.“
Linear relationships always produce linear results; your fourth grade teacher is accountable to teach you only what the average fourth grader is supposed to know. You both show up 5 days a week for 9 months and get exactly what was expected.
A relationship with a mentor is non-linear; as Larry mentioned you may not connect for months, but then when you do they share tips or wisdom that literally changes your life.
How to Maximize a Relationship with a Mentor:
- Have more than one; spreading out your bets mitigates the gaps in communication, and rarely will all want to meet at the same time.
- Email, email, email; didn’t hear a response last time? I’ve found that has almost no bearing on whether a mentor will answer the next one. If you really want to break through email them once a day for four days: this may seem obnoxious but if you are polite in each email it will communicate a strong desire to meet.
- Do 98% of the work; don’t wait for a mentor to give you advice. Have lots of questions, diagrams, books, links, etc to bring up and get their thoughts. Most mentors want to help you with what’s most important to you and don’t like giving general advice.
Have you pursued a mentor? Any of this ring true? Anything that’s missing?
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