find a mentor

01.07.2008

The quickest way to find success in your industry is to find a successful person and figure out how they did it.

Everyone needs a mentor.  Someone you can talk to who can provide not only friendship but also be a valuable source for information within your industry.  The problem is not everyone is qualified to be your mentor.  It seems that almost everyone knows almost anything so we need to be careful on whom we befriend.

The first thing I look for in a mentor is their success.  How successful are they?  I had a big problem with this in school.  My photography professors claimed to know the industry yet they were making a measly 30-50k a year.  Some of them failed in business so they fell back on teaching, some of them didn’t even try to succeed in business; they wanted to teach from the beginning of their careers.  Sure they offered valuable information here and there but in the end should I be taking stock in everything they said?  For me the answer was a big no!

Would one who was seeking financial advice go to a financial investment firm and work with a salesman making 30k a year plus commission?  It happens everyday.  A friend of mine Cameron Taylor said in his book,

“I am called on all the time by people who want to sell me insurance, investments or  help with my financial plan. In response, I simply ask to see their tax returns and the performance of their investments for the past three years, as well as a statement of their net worth.”

Seek out someone qualified who has been successful within his or her own industry.  You’ll be glad you did!

So tell me this:
Who’s your mentor?

Advertisements

6 Responses to “find a mentor”

  1. Gregg Says:

    Maybe I misunderstood the question but if I could convince someone to mentor me, it would be Tomasz Tomaszewski.

  2. Ed McCulloch Says:

    Hi Gregg-

    Tomasz is a phenomenal talent and has a wonderful eye.
    He’s definitely successful and would be a great mentor-
    -Ed

  3. Dan Heller Says:

    The catch-22 of finding a good mentor is that if one could discern between a useful mentor, or one who would give bad advice, then you wouldn’t need a mentor.

    Since most people in this business fail more than they succeed, and of those who DO succeed, most are not really well-equipped to “teach”, and of those remaining, few have the time and experience to do so effectively, it really ends up working more against you than for you by trying to find such a mentor.

    A longer blog entry on this can be found here:
    http://www.danheller.com/blog/posts/why-being-photographers-assistant-is.html

    The true secret to doing well in the photo business is to stop thinking that it’s about photography. It’s not, it’s about *business*, and you can learn much better business skills through non-photo resources.

    dan

  4. life4music Says:

    Interesting blog entry, really makes you think about who you should look up to and follow on the road to success. I can’t really say that I have found a mentor, but am constantly on the look out for one that matches the criteria of what I think success is in life. This entry is surely a starting point for input on what I might have to do in order to get in contact with someone. Thanks.


  5. You are so right. I was just talking to a friend 30 seconds ago about how we were both thinking of photography as a profession. Having a mentor makes since. I mean we learn everything else by watching and absorbing so why not a career.

    Thanks.
    ………………………………………………..
    http://genesiawilliams.wordpress.com/2008/01/12/random-thought-toast-to-crime/


  6. […] January 28, 2008 Part 1 is here. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: