When building a wooden based home, the most useful piece of lumber is the 2 X 4 (two by four). Yes, this particular size is key in creating the structure that will eventually become the home. Without structure, no house could stand.
When I think of my life as an entrepreneur, I can’t help but think of those that have helped me with the structure of my life. Along the way, mentors have reached down and pulled me up with timely advice, guidance and encouragement. Would I still be standing without their help?
I can’t help but think of the multitude of people that don’t have a mentor. Because I am shifting my career towards coaching, I decided to reach out and help a few people in my network. Some were close friends, others complete strangers. Although I gave freely of my time, I received a large dose of good feelings. There is nothing that compares to helping someone and seeing them climb higher, using some of the tools you showed them.
You might say: “I’m not a business coach or mentor!” and that could very well be true. You do have a gift, or a talent that is uniquely yours. Don’t discount your years of experience. You don’t have to be a world leader in your field to help others. What experience do you need to help someone in 2nd grade primary school? If you are in 3rd grade, you have something to offer!
I imagine a world where exponential help will raise the tide and lift all boats. How?
The 2 x 4 Mentoring Challenge
The 2 x 4 mentor challenge is simple: Get mentored by 2 people, mentor 4 people in return.
This challenge is based on giving, so no money is involved. Trust me, the rewards will be better than money.
How do I start?
Before you receive your 2 mentors, you should concentrate on giving. Find a network you feel you can help. It’s best if you have a mixture of people you know and others you don’t. I chose a Facebook group for the Mastermind Talks Podcast. I would search out for a post that I enjoyed and I simply reached out to that individual, offering a 1-hour phone call (even a half hour is great). I would listen, ask questions and finally give advice to help them overcome obstacles or create goals. At the end, I send an email with notes from the discussion so they can benefit from the advice long after the call. Because I was not soliciting a client, the pressure was off, I simply found ways to help based on my experience and knowledge.
I created a Facebook Group where you can offer your help, or ask for help.
How do you get a mentor?
You could send a link to this article to someone and mention that you would be honoured to be considered for mentoring. It would help if you could be specific, when reaching out, how that person’s experience could help you. For instance, I would love to be mentored by Seth Godin whom I feel could help me with speaking engagements and writing. It’s not so much who Seth is, or how famous he is…I just really enjoy the way he writes and the topics he writes about.
How long is this challenge? I think of this challenge as a movement, so it should go on forever. However, I suggest each mentee receive 6 months of mentoring. 2 x 4 x 6 is the new formula. It could be anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour per month for 6 months. Mentoring is like planting a seed in someone. You don’t need to stare at the plant to let it grow! You plant the seed, water regularly with your calls, and it will grow!
What do I get out of it?
If you are hesitant about doing this till you find out what you will get out of it, maybe this isn’t for you. The focus here is about giving and inspiring 4 people, which is payment enough. The bonus is that you will also be mentored by two people, so you will better yourself, and pass that down.
“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving”
Apart from the happiness I received from giving, you never know what will come back. I have had the great privilege of meeting amazing people who adhere to the same principle of giving, no matter how successful they are. This has allowed me to be surrounded by amazing people who help me with my success, even if they might not know it yet.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
It’s not just about surrounding yourself with amazing people, as you can be a force for good in the lives of those that surround themselves with you.
Put yourself out there, find 4 people to help and reach out for two mentors. Share your experiences at 2x4mentoring.com