This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure << here >> for further information.
Developing a Mentoring Mindset
Embarking on the homesteading journey isn’t something most people do alone. They do it with their spouse, their family, their kids, their relatives. Even if you do decide to take the journey alone, you should create a village for yourself. As you learn and grow, sharing your knowledge is part of the process. In the words of one of my favorite poems:
“No man is an island, entire of itself.” – John Donne
We are each a part of one anothers journey. It’s up to each of us to work on developing a mentoring mindset and sharing our knowledge with others.
Those who believe that they can grow and develop new skills are said to have a growth mindset. If you’re going to tackle homesteading, chances are you are a growth-minded person. Good news! This makes you more likely to be an excellent mentor. Chances are you also believe that OTHER people can achieve growth as well.
If you’re someone with a more fixed mindset, one who believes the only skills they have are those they were born with, then you may want to look at trying things that you aren’t very good at and developing those skills. Taking on challenges outside your skill set can help develop a growth mindset. This will make you more adaptable to challenges and changes that will force you to try new things.
Tackling the world with a growth mindset will also help you be more open to sharing your experiences with others and this is important when you’re out homesteading. This is key in developing a mentor mindset. Being isolated, especially during the harder parts of the year, can wear on the mind. Having reasons to get out and meet people, to talk and share stories, alleviates this psychological weight!
“I read a story about a town in the Midwest long ago that had a mile long telephone line. Every house was connected to it. During a particularly long, harsh winter, when a call would come down the line the phone in every house would ring. The whole community would answer. It helped decrease depression and keep them all connected!”
There are some truths about mentoring that are super important, one of the first of which is you cannot mentor everyone. As it’s so aptly put in Leon’s Law of Mentoring,
Being able to create a mentoring relationship with someone is very important and really, who wants a relationship of any kind with someone they find annoying? So don’t try to mentor the world, but do identify one or two people that are maybe new to your neighborhood or the homesteading lifestyle. Reach out to them. Offer your help and experience.
There are a few keys to becoming a mentor and how you accomplish them is going to be unique to you. A mentor mindset requires communication, availability, and active listening. You have to be able to express your knowledge in a way that the person you are mentoring can understand. You need to be available to them so they can come to you for help. And you need to be able to listen, and even repeat back what you hear, so that you’re sure you understand where they are having trouble.
Mentoring is a responsibility. You need to know why you are mentoring, what experience you have that will be helpful, and who your mentee is and what they hope to gain from this experience. However, once you start on the journey of being a mentor, it is hugely fulfilling and you will likely gain both a friend and new experiences that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.