One of the biggest challenges for a beginner options trader is handling the barrage of information coming before you every single day. How do you decide what to pay attention to and what to ignore?
Are you able to apply the discipline needed to insure that you are spending your time on those activities that will bring you the greatest reward for your investment of time? As a beginner options trader I found myself thinking that I didn’t know what was critical for me to learn and what should have been classified as a “time waster.”
That’s one way that a Mentor can help guide you toward spending time on the important stuff and ignoring the rest. A mentor has gained the experience in cold, hard application of the methods and has learned how to recognize the difference between the wheat and the chaff.
There are a few basic characteristics that you should look for in selecting a mentor.
You want a mentor who has experience doing the very thing you hope to learn. This person should have many experiences and should know exactly how to assist you along the way in this mentoring relationship. They say that experience is the best teacher and it’s true, but the second best teacher is someone else’s experience … as long as you’re willing to listen and they have succeeded in doing what you want to learn.
The key issue: specifically, how does your mentor’s experience match what YOU want to accomplish?
Integrity is traditionally defined as honesty and you certainly don’t want a mentor that will lie to you, but integrity also means wholeness, completeness, and soundness. You want a mentor that is sound in their thinking, complete in their experiences (a few failures along the way is a good thing), and well-rounded in the area you hope to master.
Don’t waste your time trying to learn from someone you cannot connect with. That mentoring relationship will never work. Being able to connect with your mentor on several levels will insure you develop that same well-roundedness that you’re mentor hopefully possesses.
The key issue: is there a bond between you and your chosen mentor?
When your mentor is faced with a stress filled situation, how does he or she act? Composure is the mark of experience and a well-rounded mentor doesn’t blow off steam, freak out, or panic when things don’t go just right. Your mentor should be able to handle most situations with poise and composure.
The key issue: does your proposed mentor have an air of balanced assurance?
The best mentors have that 6th sense when it comes to their area of expertise. It really stems from experience. A great mentor will instinctively know when you’ve learned enough for one day, will have insights to things that aren’t readily evident to you, and will seem to know what to do without going through a rational process. As you spend time with your mentor, you’ll probably pick up on his or her thought processes and begin to figure out that they can “read” people, understand market shifts, or grasp what you’re trying to write on a deeper level.
The key issue: does your mentor have an innate knowledge of the area you wish to master?
In addition to these basic characteristics, a good mentor should be people-oriented, an effective teacher, a good motivator, and an achiever.
But, don’t overlook the role of the Mentee either! A good mentee should be patient, eager to learn, a good team player and have a positive attitude.
If you find yourself drifting off into the weeds over and over and want help staying in the fairway, you might just be in need of a good mentor!