World Changers

Why Every Teen Needs A Mentor (Or Three)

October 19, 2016 | Posted by Eva Baker

A few years ago I signed up for a mentorship program that changed my life. Every year my mom and I attend a conference called FinCon for personal finance bloggers, and at the conference you can be paired up with a mentor for an afternoon.

Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less was my mentor in 2014. She was doing amazing things with her blog/business and I was thrilled to be paired with her. I loved that she was helping so many people through her site. Ruth had taken the time to reach out to me before the conference to ask a few questions so that when we met she was already familiar with what I was doing with my site.

To that point TeensGotCents had simply been a high school project for me, but I had been thinking about the business possibilities. I knew that other people were making money online with their websites and I understood how, but was pretty vague about the specifics.

I knew that Ruth could point me in the right direction. And she did.

What kind of mentor should you choose?

Mentors have made a profound difference in my life. Because of the impact I have experienced first hand I recommend that every teen have at least one mentor in their life. I have several that I rely on heavily in several areas.

Whether it’s a person in your church, at school or another organization, it’s important to have an adult in your life who shares your faith and convictions. Of course, my mom is who I am closest to, and I rely on her heavily for spiritual advice and as a confidant.

At the same time, I want and need to hear from other spiritually mature individuals in my life who will point me to Christ. There is nothing like having the support and prayers of a person you trust to help you through difficult times in your life.

If you are in school it can be very helpful to have a member of the staff as a mentor. Whether you are in high school or college, there is so much to consider and important decisions that must be made. Having the perspective of someone who understands the issues can be a huge help as you contemplate your future.

A guidance counselor or a favorite member of the staff at your school might be a good person to fill this role. They can help you navigate the pressures of being a full time student. In addition, they can give you career advice, help you with the process of applying for colleges and even steer you towards scholarships.

If you are a teen with a business, then a business mentor is critical to your success. A successful business person in your community or from your family might be the perfect fit.

This person can help you understand how to get started, stay on the right path or reassess your goals from the ground up. A good mentor will tell you when you might be making a mistake, but is willing to let you make your own decisions.

How to get a mentor

Most teens understand how beneficial having mentors can be in their lives. But we don’t all understand how to get one in the first place. It’s super simple.

Just ask.

Think about the areas in your life you most need a mentor, and then make a list of possible adults. Pray about it and ask God for wisdom as you decide who to ask.

Remember that the burden is on you to cultivate the relationship. After all, you are the one asking for help. From the very beginning ask your mentor how often they can meet. Then follow up and stick to the schedule they’ve agreed to.

Make your time together easy for them. Have a written agenda of things you want to talk about and questions you have for them. Think about their schedule and work around it rather than expecting them to work around your schedule.

The benefits of having a mentor really cannot be overstated. Remember my mentor, Ruth Soukup? I took the advice she gave me and completely redesigned my website. It took almost eight months, but I stuck with it. Within three months of the redesign my business tripled.

If you don’t have a mentor, seriously consider getting one. The earlier you get started being purposeful about your life the better!

Do you already have a mentor? Has it helped you? I would love to hear your story. And let me know if you have any questions!

Eva Baker
Since she was sixteen years old, Eva Baker has been blogging about personal finance for teens at her award-winning site Teens Got Cents. She loves Jesus, her two cats and CrossFit. She also watches way too much Netflix most days. You can follow her on Twitter.