The answer in short: the power of context!
Google needs no introduction. We all are familiar with its services that impact our professional and personal lives. Especially, its search engine. According to a study published on Forbes, over 3.5 billion search hits are executed across Google on daily basis. This astronomical figure can put Google’s dominance in perspective.
Interestingly, today, many people are turning to Google when it comes to seek business advice or consult, forsaking professionals and mentors. This trend opens an important topic for debate. Should we rely on Google when we need genuine answers for our businesses growth or find mentors who can show us a path, a charted territory, to lead us to success? Below are few reasons in favour of mentors.
Here are five reasons:
#1. A mentor knows your strengths and weaknesses, Google doesn’t: Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” When you are young in the business world, you know little about what is right and what may be wrong for your business. In such situations, a mentor can tell you important dos and don’ts, ifs and buts, that can help you deal with critical roadblocks and challenges.
In the same way, Google can list you opinions of experts, but their instructions are void of your context. These people don’t know your business or risks you have taken. And they lack the benefit of knowing your strengths and weakness, which makes going for advice from mentors a prudent choice.
#2. Unlike Google, a mentor builds a real relationship with you: Moviemaker George Lucas once noted, “Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults that we would like. It's the only way we grow.” Lucas is right. Mentors may have already travelled the path you are travelling today or know of others who have done so. They know what works and what does not. How much budget is needed and what factors to prioritize to build a marketing strategy—such insights are tailor-made, that varies from business to business.
Google, on the other hand, has a vast reservoir of information, but it lacks experience, wisdom, knowledge and context.
#3. Human vs AI: Ask yourself, what makes you feel motivated and keeps you going when business is going through rough waters? A human or an AI? Your mentor is an empathetic being, who can offer you encouragement and inspiration in difficult times. This is the reason you will not see any robot, embodying a strong search engine, employed as a coach or manager by any sports teams. Succeeding in business, just like winning a trophy, is a journey of success and failures, and only your mentor or coach can instil confidence in you, push you to your limits, and pick you up whenever you fall.
#4. Mentors make you disciplined. Google cannot set boundaries for you: Mentoring is a practice of tough love. To win, you have to be disciplined, proactive, and diligent. All three constituents form the bedrock of a successful venture. And yes, you can find these things on Google as well. But, can you really use this information and implement them on a daily basis for different problems? Today, your priorities are to increase traffic, which will require you to discipline your SEO and social strategy. Tomorrow, it could be to redo your minimum viable product. For an environment with diverse conditions, you cannot keep all of your eggs in the basket of Google.
#5. Mentors are unbiased and trustworthy: An entrepreneurial mind is a goldmine of ideas. But, not all ideas need a gold rush. You bounce off your ideas with your mentor, and he will give you an unbiased opinion about them. He can help you save your money and precious time; allowing you to tap into his immense knowledge about the business world.
Your mentor can introduce you to various people who can help you build your business. For a beginner, it could take a lot of time to build a prominent network and reputation in the business world. But if you have a mentor, you can leverage his contacts in the favour of your business.
Like above, there are many reasons to seek mentorship than to sit idle and rely on Google for your answers. Even the founders of Google, Larry and Sergey had a mentor, who guided them in their venture.
And it is not just them, but all great leaders around the world, who have in some way or the other confided in the mentorship of veterans, to take their businesses to new heights. It goes without saying that Google is an important brick in our lives, but it’s our advisors and mentors who act as the cornerstone to turn our dreams into reality.