Gene Marks on Mentorship

Should you have a mentor? "Yes" says business expert Gene Marks, but finding one may not be so easy …

Video Transcript

People talk about mentorships and they say, “Oh, you know, I'd like to find a mentor or … do you recommend having a mentor?” Yeah, I mean, of course, everybody would love to have a mentor. Many of us are not lucky enough to have one and it's not like you can just go to like, you know,, if that even exists, or look on Craigslist for a mentor and then hire that person to come and be your mentor. Mentorship is something that just comes at a very organic granular level. Mentorship is oftentimes a father and a son or a father and a daughter or, you know, a parent and a child. It is something that, you know, just comes because it's a natural … sort of way of being things. So I don't think you can go out and look for that mentor. I don't think you can you can actively find that person. I think all you can do, is if you do come across somebody that you think could be in a mentorship role, it's nice to try and reach out to that person and see if they can answer some questions or kind of help you out. You certainly don't go up to anybody and say, “Will you be my mentor please?” That normally doesn't happen that way. So I have not since my dad passed away. My dad passed away back in 2005 and, which is sort of a natural thing, we were in business together. So I could say honestly that he was my mentor and my dad was like the world's worst business person ever. He developed – we got into business selling accounting software at the time and he developed a bookkeeping software which was the world's worst bookkeeping software ever developed and he didn’t even finish it. … He ran out of money before he finished it and then when he went to sell it, it was at the time that like other accounting products were coming on the market that just ate his lunch. And yet he was my mentor because I learned from him things to do and things not to do. You know, I mean, literally because of my dad I said, “Boy I will never do the same thing that this guy did, ever again,” and that actually served its purpose. We had a close relationship. So having a mentor of course is wonderful. I don't have one now. I wish I did but I can't say I could turn to anybody and say that that person is my mentor. I have some friends, people that will advise me, but I wish I had a mentor. I don't have one.

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