The Value of Experience and the Importance of Mentoring
There were many difficult times for me when I started my business at a young age. As I look back, I am amazed how I overcame those many hardships. At that time, it seemed that because I did not have any proper preparations nor a wealth of experience to rely on, whatever I attempted first resulted in failure. I had to learn from success and failures, so even if I worked harder than others, I traveled a long way, repetitively failing, on a road that should have been easy. While it is true that the hardships of youth are invaluable, at that time, there were several times when I could not be comforted by the fact that I was experiencing failure.
As hindsight has perfect vision, I often wonder how it could have been if I had a good mentor at that time. I am sure that I would have been able to reduce the number of failures I went through in order to reach my goals more quickly. However, at that time, there was no opportunity to meet a mentor in such a new, untested field, and because it was an online business that I started with only my own convictions, there was no other way but to grow through failure. Last year I began my mentoring program and I am fostering mentees, based on my past experiences.
“One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warnings.”
If anything, I am confident in my various experiences. While considering whom to choose as my mentees, I paid attention to their enthusiasm and earnestness because all I had, at that point, was to give them my experience that they lacked. I wanted them to put away their thoughts of simply having a new experience through mentoring, but instead focus on the opportunity given to them with passion. I worked by listening to their concerns that could not be seen and guide them to the proper path while helping them to set proper goals at the same time. Before evaluating their choices, subjectively, I first listened to them and by believing in them, helped to redirect their earnestness in the right direction.
Had I wanted to simply teach through education, I would have run a school or an educational institution, or even bring in an expert or teacher in that field. However, I was drawn to the word “mentoring,” in which one gives true advice through plentiful experience. I believe that it is more meaningful to share my experiences, that no one else would share, thereby discovering and nurturing the mentees’ infinite potential rather than simply passing on my knowledge. Rather than simply explaining the process of success, step by step, I observe their process, and when they go down the wrong path, help them by being a directional guide. It is sometimes enough to have an answer for them whenever they have a question along the path they walk. This may have been a necessary thing for me in order to grow in the past years.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
I think that success in life is determined by human relationships, not the way the environment changes. The key to success is something that you already have. Through mentoring, if you sincerely share your experiences with young mentees, they will repay you someday with greater growth. Of course, I am not mentoring to get some kind of reward, but through these relationships, in the long run, you will be able to develop a successful future together.
Obviously, the meaning and purpose of life will not be the same for everyone. However, if you have the courage to communicate and pursue each other’s sincerity in your relationship, I believe you will be able to achieve all your dreams. I hope that as a mentor with experience and mentees with passion, together, you will be able to have a relationship that helps each other grow and reach your goals step by step.