When Your Mentor Dies, You Become The Mentor

Throughout my life, I’ve had some incredible mentors – iconoclasts and geniuses, rich and poor, all of whom took their time to teach me valuable lessons. I’m not sure what any of them saw in me at the time, but they all shaped who I am today. I am extremely grateful for their lessons. Yesterday I learned that one of my mentors passed away. He was an incredibly huge influence on me, and he will be dearly missed.

If somebody offers you mentorship, take the opportunity. Pay full attention and learn what you can. Your time with your mentor may be short. Too short. You need to learn what you can in the compressed time frame with them. Be efficient.

Your mentor will go away at some point. Either through death, disinterest, or whatever else causes people to grow apart. That’s how it goes. Don’t get offended. You have a highly valuable person giving you their time. You should feel honored, but not entitled. That person will move on. Be prepared.

When your mentor leaves, now it’s your turn. You become the mentor. Find somebody to mentor. Take a chance on an unknown person. Invest and believe in that person. Then someday when you’re long gone, your legacy – and the legacies of your mentors, and theirs before – will continue to spread.

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