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You think I don't have a mentor?

So here's a funny story.

So, I have this mentee – bright, young professional, lots of potential. I have forgotten what we were actually discussing but I mention how I was having a discussion with my "life coach" and she immediately jumped.

You should have seen her face! It was like someone switched out her usual 7:00AM beans stew for sawdust. Pure shock. The girl couldn't believe that her mentor also has a mentor.

Here's the thing, and I guess this is what she and a lot of young people seem to miss: No one reaches the top alone. You never get too experienced or too knowledgeable to stop growing and learning from others. We tend to have this idea that the people we look up to must be these superhuman self-made gurus with all the answers. Truth is, many of them have people who advise them, challenge them, and help them find that next level within themselves.

To be fair, my life coaches (or mentors) are not really in that everyday sense of a mentor where we talk almost every day - but I do believe in talking to certain key people to "pick their brain" on life topics.

Now, picture this: those long business chats about strategy over some chilled beer with a side of gossip about the industry? Yep, Gerhard M might gets the full scoop (and Gerhard would rather call me his mentor, but we bounce off each other). Struggling with balancing my busy schedule and the fact that I still want some semblance of a social life? Believe me, Ibukun O. gets an earful and then lays out some actionable tips.

Mentorship is not for the week
Mentorship is not for the weak / Image via Google AI

That one project at work giving me headaches and making me wonder if I'm even cut out for this whole career thing? It's mentor to the rescue with encouragement and practical strategies.

And that's what made me chuckle about my mentee's reaction. I may be coaching her, but that doesn't mean I don't get coached right back. There's something humbling and exciting about never settling, admitting there's always room to improve.

Don't limit yourself. It's not embarrassing to need guidance, whether you're fresh out of university or the CEO of a company.

Find yourself a mentor (or two). Invest in some coaching. The whole "mentors are for the weak" is outdated thinking; the strongest among us are the ones who always want to become even better. It's what sets you up for real wins and shows you how to level up, not once, but throughout your whole journey.

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