I’ve always struggled with finding a mentor.
It’s advice is so often given to budding entrepreneurs, but I’ve never cracked the code. Sure, I have some phenomenal role models that have taught me a lot, but I’ve never found that stable mentoring relationship you hear people talk about. Maybe that’s okay. Or maybe I just haven’t found the sweet spot yet.
Just the other day I had an experience that gave me hope. I met with someone who was about ten years older than me. The meeting went surprisingly well and for the first time ever I could see myself reaching out again.
As I thought more about what made the connection so good, I started to believe there’s something special about that ten year difference. I know plenty of people who are two or three years older than me. Some are great role models, but none of been through the same trials as someone ten years into the working world.
I also knew plenty of people who are 20-30 years older than me. So many of them are wildly successful and were kind enough to speak to the Entrepreneurship Club. While they have tons of experience, someone that’s been working longer than I’ve been alive is tough to relate to. They didn’t grow up in the same era. When they entered the workforce things looked drastically different.
It seems like there’s a gap in my network right around the ten year mark. People that were too old to be in college at the same time as me, yet too young to be friends with my parents.
From my tiny personal experience and the verification of one other friend, I officially have a hunch that approximately ten years is the magic number. It could be as low as six or seven and as high as fifteen. I’m not sure. But for now, my guess is that the perfect mentor should be about ten years older than you.