You hear so much about the need for a mentor. It seems that everyone has one but you. You have so many questions and it would be perfect if there was someone who has done it before you who can answer them. A good mentor is not always available. However, virtual mentors (or indirect mentors) are everywhere.
Maybe you have a mentor but don’t want to bother her everyday with your questions. How much is appropriate? What time can you call? When are you scheduled to meet again? All of the questions must be answered in this type of relationship.
There is so much value in having a real person to talk to about all of your problems. These types of relationships can really help you to grow. However, there are still limitations. So what happens when you just need more?
Virtual mentors (Books, podcasts, blogs, etc…) may be just the mentor you need.
“You can outsource 90 percent of mentorship to books and other materials” – James Altucher
#1. The best info, edited
When someone takes the time to write a book, they do a lot of preparation. They research, write and edit. It is usually the best info that they could produce at the moment. Most authors/speakers pour their heart and soul into their content to make it the best they have.
#2. Answers to your questions
Almost every question or challenge you run into has been encountered by someone before you. The answer is likely out there. Search engines make finding out a specific answer easier than ever.
#3. Answers to questions you didn’t know you had
Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Many times you will be able to find the answers to questions before you ask them. You will learn what to expect even before you arrive there.
#4. Virtual mentors can make the mistakes first
One mentor can only reasonably make so many mistake in their life. Nobody can make all the mistakes in the world, although sometimes I know you try, me too. With so many situations to learn from, it is wonderful to be able to be guided by the advice of virtual mentors who have no doubt failed and maybe succeeded at the exact task you’re attempting.
#5. You can replay/reread
If you forget something, you can always go back. There is never that question of knowing exactly what was said. The material is there, go check it again. Sometimes the same message can teach you more once you have more knowledge. As your perspective changes, so does the lesson that you draw from your virtual mentors.
#6. Virtual mentors are less distracted
Nobody’s life is perfect. Your mentor is going to have days that they are just not themselves. The ability to stop and edit means that most virtual mentor’s content can be free of the day to day distraction that could taint the message.
There is no limit to the amount of material that is available. With the many ways to consume content, it is impossible to ever consume it all.
#8. Permission to take
A good relationship has a mix of give and take, but when you’re not dealing with a live person this dynamic changes. You have the permission to be %100 selfish. All you do is consume with nothing required or expected in return.
#9. On demand
Have a question at 3:30 in the morning, no problem. You have the freedom to obtain the answer whenever you want. Traveling to work, waiting for your kids at school, cleaning your house, going to the gym, etc… No matter what you’re doing virtual mentors are always with you.
#10. Experts in all fields
Whatever field you study, there is an expert available to answer your questions and guide you. One person can only be absolutely reliable in so many things, but access to experts in every level and subject is a game changer.
#11. Meant to serve
The material was created to help you. The entire purpose is to allow the reader/listener to improve. Most of the material is organized in the best way possible to make this happen.
#12. More vulnerability
Sometimes the personal relationship is good for vulnerability but many times talking to people face to face can be a challenge. Indirect contact allows the virtual mentors to give what they are comfortable with. Many times this leads to more vulnerability as they edit and tell the story over and over.
#13. Clear motives
The goal of these virtual mentors is usually clear, they want to help the person consuming the content. There is no other motive based on the relationship. They just want to provide you with the best material available because that is how they will help themselves as well.
There is nothing wrong with having a real person as your mentor. In fact, I would encourage it. But this too will have it’s limits. There is such a wide range of knowledge available through books,blogs and podcasts. This allow for so much variety and accessibility, that it would be a shame to not use it in your life.
What have you learned from virtual mentors? Who are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments. Share this if you like it. Thanks for reading.
I’m a business owner from California now living my dream in Brazil. I’m passionate about using business to help others. If you’d like to connect, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I answer all e-mails and it would be a pleasure to hear from you. Many thanks, Craig.