For me, starting my own company back in 2003 was a tremendously scary time. I was only 23, very inexperienced in almost every aspect of business.
I had little confidence in developing the right skills needed to run a company, and I did not know how to obtain these essential skills.
I knew I wanted to work for myself., I was very good at my JOB. However, that’s where my business plan started and finished, unfortunately.
I knew without question that if I was to succeed with my vision, I needed to enlist help. I contacted the Prince’s Trust, who had helped me with a grant application, and they put me in touch with a business mentor.
This was, up until 2016/2017, the best decision I ever made in my business life. It also happened to be one of the first decisions I ever made. Talk about peaking early!
I can say without hesitation that the help and support received in those early days was instrumental to my success. I learned things from my mentor that proved to be pivotal to my development as a businessman. In fact, I still implement many of his teachings today.
Personally, a mentor was someone who helped me overcome my initial fear, helped with my education and crucially awareness, which gave me the confidence to take the appropriate action to drive my business forward.
Today, this is principally what I use to run my mentorships. I know from experience that fear, lack of confidence and confusion is the biggest inhibitor to taking action.
Before we get to our top 10 reasons of WHY, we need to answer a couple of questions…
What is a Mentor? A mentor can be paid or unpaid. A mentor is someone you should want to emulate. They are someone ahead of you but are usually on the same journey you. They are someone who not only has the knowledge to help you but have the proven experience too. They should be able to educate you, motivate you, raise your confidence, open doors for you, observe and offer perspective. They can help you obtain clarity by answering questions honestly and ethically. Often you’d struggle to get a straight answer elsewhere.
One of the trickiest things about mentoring is that it’s often an informal approach, at least initially. This can make it challenging to find an entry point and determine how best a mentor fits into your life situation.
It not a question of ‘if’ a mentor will fit into your life and help you but more so ‘where’ they fit into your life. Consider much of the value and experience a mentor can give you ripples into all aspects of your life. I’ve helped many mentees throughout my career. Encouraging them to go after goals they never thought were achievable to them. Today, they are successful individuals.
All it took from my side was a little bit of guidance, push, faith, and to foresee the potential they had. Regardless of their geographical location, stage of development and experience.
Think about what you’ll learn from this? What behaviours, skills and influences will you pay forward and use with others. Peers, family, friends, even your kids will benefit. A mentor can teach you the little tricks of life that put you on the fast lane to success.
Finding an outstanding mentor is not a mere stroke of luck; it should be a part of your life strategy. And the relationships you build in your life. If you want to be more successful in life, it’s time that you get yourself a real mentor.
How does a mentor work? A mentorship works much like an agreement. To be effective, there should be no hierarchy but rather a firm understanding that they are there to help you as you progress. A mentor should be adaptable to the mentees requirements and, as such, be flexible throughout the relationship, altering their approach as the mentees needs grow or change accordingly.
The level of formality will depend on your desires and should be established early on in the relationship. A mentor should educate you continually, but it’s essential to understand that they are there to show you the path. It is up to you to walk down it. They are not employees but rather a guiding hand.
Why should I not just go it alone? Ok, this one is easy to answer. Being a property Investor these days is no longer about simply buying a property and renting it out. It’s far more complex than that. The rules have changed so much in the last ten years that, although it still can be a passively run business long term, it is still fundamentally a business and, as such, needs a great deal of respect and effort if it’s to be successful.
Simply put, if it’s done right, it can create excellent passive income and freedom from both financial and time constraints. However, done wrong can create a very time consuming and stressful JOB. As far as we are aware, no one gets into property as a job; they get into it for freedom.
If we could get a JOB, take an apprenticeship or complete a degree in property investing, then we may be half-way there without a mentor. However, let me ask you this? Would you start any other business without the skills, education and experience needed to succeed in your chosen field?
Many businesses require little to no money to get off the ground, but with the exception of a couple of strategies, property investing requires tens of thousands of pounds of your own money. So ask yourself, how will you establish the required skills, education and experience needed to be successful without this guidance?
Well, here’s ten reasons why we think YOU NEED A PROPERTY MENTOR
Remember, your education does not have an expiration date. This is something that will stay with you and can be applied for many years to come.
Increasing your education has countless advantages, but perhaps the most significant advantage of all is that it will open your mind to understanding an entire industry, rather than a small part of it. Remember, most of what you don’t know at the minute will remain unknown for many years to come, and once you learn what it is you don’t currently know, you’ll wish you knew it long before you did.
A good mentor applies accountability as they help you to grow and develop. It’s what every mentor learns immediately; it’s mentoring 101. In fact, some mentorship programmes are sold on this trait alone.
But what most people don’t understand is that accountability is a two-way thing and, as such, has a compound effect. They keep you accountable by questioning, encouraging and challenging. You create accountability by asking questions and ensuring that your mentor offers what it is they said they would. This, in turn, creates a self-perpetuating cycle of accountability.
However, there is a third, and some would argue a fourth wheel.
Not only do you keep each other accountable, but you create your own accountability since you are now financially obligated to yourself to make the most of your investment. Not only that, but you may then have a conscience-based obligation to make the most of your investment for your partners or families sake. Whatever the reason is, it’s a plus since accountability is now driven at you from all angles.
This is a win, win scenario for anyone involved.
A lack of confidence is one of the biggest inhibitors to action. Action is pivotal to momentum, and momentum creates growth. A lack of confidence is a serious issue in any business and especially dangerous in property investing. It’s like expecting a tree to grow without planting the seed.
It all comes back to confidence, and Increasing your confidence in your ability through your education and your understanding of an action-based mindset is vital to your success. Without confidence, you are destined to stay where you are, afraid and falling way short of your potential.
A mentor offers confidence on a multi-level platform. They build your confidence by, as in point one, increasing your education which builds confidence as a by-product. They build confidence because you know that you are no longer alone. You no longer have no one to turn to when you face a new challenge.
When we go it alone, accountability for our actions stops with us. When we have support from a mentor, we can share this load. This, on its own, is worth your investment. However, we’re also now, because of this, more confident with our decision making, enabling us to truly move forward with our dreams and visions.
Who else can you ask that tricky question? Who has no other agenda except that of your success?
Because mentors play a neutral role in your life, they can give unbiased opinions on important life-changing questions. If you were to ask your friends, family, the internet, an unpaid coach or a so-called expert on social media the same question, they would all give different answers based on how emotionally involved they were, how they could benefit financially, socially or even just offer some form of confirmation bias.
A mentor has one single aim, and that is to help you unconditionally achieve your vision. There is no hidden agenda, no muddy water and no emotional response. They will give you the most direct answer offering clarity to the question at hand. This brings us nicely to point
Most people think of success as a steady line on a graph, a gentle incline up an X-axis until we reach our vision. That is not exactly accurate. The reality is that it’s more like a polygraph with a mass of peaks and troughs with some strategically placed obstacles to through you off course from time to time. This means our journey ends up being far longer than we anticipated.
Now lets then throw in our learning curve, the time taken to develop our education, build our systems and create our tools and resources essential for success. Remember, though, these are all based on our current knowledge, so there is a good chance that they may just possibly suffice for now but will almost certainly need developing further at a later date.
Now let’s imagine this is all set up for us, waiting to go, and what’s more, we’re going to get trained on this all too. The question here is, which one will make your journey more efficient? This, of course, provides a more direct route, saving time, allowing you to focus on development and helping with decision making too.
What’s more, carrying out the proper due diligence is more likely because you now have the correct tools and resources to do so. You know where to look, how to look and what to look for. Again this is multi-layered since doing things correctly from the start is more efficient because time will be saved from chasing your tail and correcting avoidable mistakes.
Fundamentally, being efficient saves your money in the long term.
Your mentor has the experience you crave so much. They say knowledge is power, but in the property world, experience is power. Knowledge emphasises theory, whereas experience emphasises practice.
Your mentor is more than an open book for you to gain knowledge from. They will have experienced all the same challenges, fears, thoughts, and desires you have and will face in the future. They not only have the experience in investing, but they have the experience on how to deal with the emotional side of the business, how to mitigate those and crucially, how to turn them into strengths.
Your mentor has a wealth of experience across a broad spectrum. You will find that your mentor will help you in more aspects of your life that they are employed to.
How we all love to listen to the hype, the dream-selling, the get rich quick schemes that sound so good, too good to be true. We all know deep down that anything worth having means hard work, but still, we all want to believe. This is because we are hard-wired to believe what we want to believe. We actively seek out what we believe in, a thing called confirmation bias.
This is how the likes of googles, facebooks, amazons & YouTubes algorithm works. It gives you exactly what you seek, even if you don’t know you’re seeking it. A mentor will keep you grounded, they will stop you from making rash emotional decisions, from jumping on the bandwagon and making the kind of mistakes that will rock the very foundations of your property business.
If this wasn’t enough, they can protect you from the sharks that naturally circle anyone who has any kind of disposable capital. They will protect you from bad deals and investments and can even protect you from rogue tenants. Need we say more?
If we don’t know where we are going, how do we expect to get there? Direction is the answer. Direction helps us create goals and objectives, which allows us to create a coherent strategy. One of the primary roles of a good mentor is to establish direction.
They do this by mapping out the route to achieve your vision, working back, assessing your current position, Identifying your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to mitigate any threats. Only once this is established can direction can be created. Once you have direction, you increase your chance of success exponentially.
Let’s face it, none of us are perfect, right?
We may all want to believe we are, we know we can clearly see failings in others, we’re very good at that, but can we see our own?
Having a mentor offers a new perspective on our learning, our methods, and even our belief systems. We are all somewhat restricted with our beliefs because our perspective is limited. Once we are presented with an alternative perspective based on experience, confidence, and knowledge from someone whose opinion we value, we may be able to alter our own beliefs.
Once the boundaries of our belief system are widened, the possibilities are endless. Having a different perspective presented to us or by adopting a new one as a by-product of someone else’s helps us see things a little clearer.
Couple that with our mentor’s observations, evaluations and constructive criticisms, which are all there to help us improve our thought process, and we can expand on our existing beliefs.
10. Creates a hedge against procrastination
What if I was to tell you that procrastination can be ok? Would this shock you?
We know this goes against all the self-help articles you’ve read, the gurus ideologies of progression and destroys a measurable chunk of a multi-billion-pound industry. However, before you stop what you’re doing and head to your phone to watch endless videos on TikTok, please note there is a caveat.
Procrastination CAN be ok once you have identified that it is an issue. We all procrastinate in one form or another on a scale from a short term ‘I’ll do it later’, delay to a ‘once I have X, I will start’ longer-term delay.
However, we need to understand that there are two forms of procrastination. The first is contained procrastination. This is the kind of procrastination we have when we know we have a job to do with a deadline. The second type is long term procrastination. It’s this long-term procrastination with no time boundary or deadline that can often be the source of our unhappiness.
This is the procrastination that will prevent us from living our life the way we want too, from chasing our dreams and achieving our goals. This is the procrastination type that having a mentor mitigates since it turns long term procrastination into contained procrastination. It’s then the job of a good and experienced mentor to limit the damage of the contained procrastination.
How long have you been thinking of becoming a property investor? How long have you thought about starting to build the kind of life you want? One that enables you to live on your own terms and not those that are handed to you by sources beyond your control?
If any of the highlighted points above are preventing you from achieving your vision of a successful life, then ask yourself this question, would this be money well spent? Would I benefit from a mentor?
So we have answered the what, the where, the how and exhausted why. So, the next logical step is the WHEN!
Well, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW!
We will not get anywhere of our thoughts, ideas, dreams or fantasies. Only acting on them allows us to achieve what it is we want.
To watch a short, fun video on procrastination theory from author and Tedx speaker, Tim Urban, click the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arj7oStGLkU