The Power of Mentorship – We All Should Have Lots of Them

by Michael Simmons on Jun 19, 2010

Nothing is guaranteed.

I could eat perfectly, go to the best schools, and generally do all the right things and be hit by a drunk driver tomorrow who drives on to the sidewalk. In other words, there is no way to guarantee the results you’re looking for.

However, mentorship is one of the core best practices to putting the odds in your favor when it comes to success.

In my mind, success is about putting the odds massively in your favor. Mentorship, or learning from people who have already accomplished all or part of what you want to accomplish, is one of the best tools to stack the cards. If you’re resilient, able to learn from and adapt to a constantly changing environment, and matched with the right mentorship, the odds of achieving your wildest entrepreneurial goals over your lifetime is extremely probable.

I think statistics about success are complete BS. For example, have you heard the statistics about the number of startups that fail in the first 5 years…something like 80%.

Numbers like these are misleading. First, they don’t take into account people who die and people choosing to move on to better opportunities. Secondly, who cares if most first attempts fail? I personally expect most of my first ideas to fail in the market. However, the feedback I get and lessons I learn help me be more successful the next time. Finally, these statistics are for the overall population. What about people who get mentorship, are as resilient as I am, etc. What are the odds of success then? I believe they are very good and that they increase over time.

One of the biggest mistakes I see first-time entrepreneurs make is not appreciate the power of mentorship. Ironically, the more of a newbie one is, the less one realizes the power of mentorship. Newbies don’t know what they don’t know. They can’t grasp how big the world of knowledge is that they don’t know is.

In a future article, I’ll talk about specific strategies to find and build relationships with mentors.


Please enter your email address to receive intermittent updates.


Please enter your email address to receive intermittent updates.

I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…