Getting into anything new can be scary.
This is especially true if it’s something that impacts your income. When you’re looking at a new profession or you’re considering starting your own business, you might feel completely lost.
That’s why many people assume they absolutely need a mentor. Like a shepherd, you might be thinking that a mentor will help you follow the right path (and maybe even do some of the work for you).
In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at whether or not you even need a dropshipping or e-commerce mentor in order to succeed. Our findings might shock you…
Don’t feel like reading? Just click on the thumbnail below, and listen to us discuss mentors instead.
Why We Hate the Word “Mentor”
By starting off with a topic like this, you’ve probably got an idea of how we feel about the concept of mentors.
In case it wasn’t clear, we’ll be even more forthright now. There are a few words we hate, and “mentor” is among them. In fact, if we see someone online, and one of the first things they say is they’re working closely under an eCommerce mentor, we almost immediately write them off.
The issue with mentors is that people pursue and view them the wrong way. They get this grandiose idea that a mentor will be able to take a broken business and tell you exactly how to fix it. Sometimes they even expect the mentor to do a lot of the work for them.
A similar problem happens with courses. Struggling business owners will invest in these courses, thinking they’ll find a magical formula that will instantly make them successful.
Unfortunately, this mentality does nothing except get you nowhere real fast. Even the best teacher in the world can’t package success and give it to you – they can only give you some of the tools with which to make your success.
From then on, the rest is all on you.
How to Properly Use a Course or Mentor
It might have sounded like we were bashing mentors and courses, but don’t think either of these things is completely worthless. With the right mindset, either one can be an invaluable tool. We wouldn’t be offering courses, memberships, and mentorships ourselves if that weren’t the case.
You just have to look at these things from a different mindset in order for them be beneficial. Rather than seeing mentors and courses as the end-all-be-all path to your success, see them as a framework to build your own success on.
In a way, it’s a bit like building a house. You can buy a blueprint or a design, but that doesn’t mean everything is taken care of for you. You’re going to need to think about the land you’re putting it on, the foundation, what the environment is like, and any number of other construction factors.
Mentors and courses are just like those blueprints. They’ll give you an idea of how to start, but they won’t be able to show you exactly what your own unique house will look like once it’s set up. Additionally, they can’t account for any unforeseen circumstances that might come up during the construction.
The Best Way to Learn is to Experience the Work Yourself
Everyone has different learning styles, but most people would probably say that the best way for them to really retain information is hands-on experience. You can spend all the time in the world with top instructors, and still only be scratching the surface.
For instance, consider the jiu-jitsu classes we take. Our instructor could spend hours trying to explain in detail how to do an armbar. The thing is, imagining and doing are two completely different things, and you might run into unexpected issues when you actually attempt the act.
You might realize you don’t know how to position your legs properly, or what to do with your arms. Maybe your sparring partner will do something when you try to put them in an armbar that you had no idea was going to happen. The point is, no amount of teaching can prepare you for the little wrenches that life likes to throw in your plans.
But you won’t know any of this until you get out there and do it. You won’t realize what your weaknesses are. On the flip side, you might even discover you had strengths you didn’t know you had before.
And if you run into a roadblock along the way, look at it as an opportunity. Before you run back to your mentor, see if you can get around it on your own. If you can, that’s fantastic – you can think of it as leveling up your skillset while building your confidence.
If you can’t get around the roadblock, that’s okay, too. Try what you can, then go back to your mentor. Tell them everything you’ve tried so far and asked for their opinion. This shows that you’re willing to try first rather than depending completely on them.
Want to learn what we think of a couple of common online business models? Check out our comparison of dropshipping vs FBA.
Mentors and courses can be incredibly powerful…when they’re used correctly. Don’t feel like either of these things are miracle cures for your eCommerce ailments. You should also avoid relying on mentors to do your work for you.
In the end, the success of your online business depends on one person: you. You will need to put the time in to get it off the ground and create its success.
It’s not necessarily the easiest thing in the world, but the best things in life aren’t. Beyond that, your success will taste so much sweeter when you’ve earned it yourself.
If none of that is convincing, think of it this way: by applying yourself to the work without depending on the constant advice of someone else, you not only sharpen your business sense, but you build your foundation the way you want to. Remember, you’re the one who’s going to have to live with the success or failure of your business, not your mentors.
We even have a community of passionate business people there to support each other on their journeys. It’s called the Elite Fleet for a reason, and you can learn more joining it here.