There has been so much talk in the twitterverse lately about mentoring and it peaked my interest. While some people willingly want to voluntarily mentor others with no monetary gain there are people that mentor for a fee which in my personal opinion I feel is morally wrong. I guess in the business world (Corporate America) paid mentoring is acceptable, but isn’t that like an internship? I know there are people that have businesses based on mentoring. If you have a particular skill set and knowledge that is recognized by others to the point you are being seeked out for guidance as a mentor, is it right to charge? Let’s first look at the definition of a mentor.
Mentor: (noun) An experienced and trusted adviser. (verb) to advise or train.
In my eyes a mentor is someone who voluntarily supports you while learning to improve your knowledge, skills and performance in a particular area while teaching you quality material. People that have a fee associated with mentoring should just omit being called a mentor and be recognized as a Consultant or Coach in their field with the appropriate fees but, not a mentoring fee! This is my personal opinion. I volunteer at a couple of non-profit organizations where I mentor voluntarily for no fee at all. It’s my way to give back to the community and paying it forward. I guess there are slight differences between being a mentor for a non-profit organization, business or personally volunteering your time to individuals.
I was approached the other day and asked to be a social media marketing mentor and I gladly took on the task with no monetary expectations. I do feel that you have to select your mentee carefully. You must also have a strategy and plan put into place when mentoring so that you have a particular time and duration scheduled, whether it’s an hour once a week, bi-weekly or monthly. You can create a schedule and program that works for you and your mentee. Mentoring is definitely a personal choice. I value my time and connections however when I share my knowledge I always get rewarded and it feels good to know that I can help someone else succeed at certain goals they have. My thought process is that I associate mentoring and volunteering with one another. So, am I wrong here? Should people charge for a mentoring? What are your thoughts?