We all start out with a “blank slate”. This is a pic of one of my 7 grandkids. Yes, they all came into the work with a blank slate.
According to Merriam-Webster a mentor is a trusted counselor or guide. This word is is usually thought to be someone who helps you with their career. These are generally older people who have been around for a long time. They are also usually considered successful in their fields whatever that may be.
But mentors come in many different types. There are apprentices, journeyman, and masters in career fields. There are elders in churches. There are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members. To become a chef, you have to pay your time and work under a chef. Mentoring relationships are all around you.
I’ve heard on a few podcasts that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. There’s even a Ted Talk about it. It makes sense on a basic level.
Take an inventory of who you spend the most time with. Are they helping or hurting you when it come to your financial goals?
I have had many mentors over the years. Not all were helpful for my financial health.
By no means am I saying that all of the people you hang out with should be mentoring you in your financial journey. Maybe you will be the mentor. You should try to have at least one friend that is like-minded about financial independence. If all the people you spend time with are deep into the consumerism lifestyle and not supportive in financial independence, it will be a lot harder to stay motivated. They won’t understand what you are doing. They may not believe in the concepts you are trying to apply. Being around like-minded people in the financial independence area will help and support you. You can ask questions or get asked questions. You can debate the finer points and differences. But both of you will be coming from a solid place in finance.
Luckily, there’s the financial independence community. While reading blogs on financial independence there are frequently posts stating that the blog is the only place they can talk openly about their finances and be supported. If you don’t have a real person around to talk to, try a blog. You can join Facebook groups too. Lots of folks are supportive in the Facebook groups. You can use some of the social media to augment your local friends. Maybe you can even find local groups that have meet ups, lunches, or dinners.
Whatever you do find a friend, neighbor, family member or social media to help you on your journey. The more time you spending talking, thinking, or doing financial deeds, the more mature you become in financial independence. So, if you need a mentor, find one. If someone needs a mentor, be one. It doesn’t matter that you may not have all the answers. If you don’t know, think of it as an opportunity. No one knows everything! You just need to listen and learn. Never stop learning. But being a mentor or mentee in financial independence can be a very rewarding endeavor.
So, if you don’t have have a mentor, become a mentee. Everyone’s slate starts out blank. Fill your slate with the good stuff, then pass it along.