Part 7 in our Preparing to Homestead #7 Series: Become a Student, Find a Mentor
In preparing to homestead or in becoming a homesteading family; finding a mentor is another way to gain valuable information and experience in homesteading. As we stated in our previous post (Preparing to Homestead #6) we looked at several places to get feedback and information about your homesteading in your area. A mentor we often think as another homesteader. Often though, it can be difficult to find a knowledgeable mentor in multiple skills. That’s okay. Perhaps finding a mentor for gardening, a separate mentor that is an herbalist and others depending on what area of expertise you choose to obtain. If possible, you could barter your skills.
Preparing to homestead: What is a mentor?
A mentor is a seasoned professional whom helps guide a lesser experienced person in their endeavors. On the homestead, that could mean your grandparents or mother/father that taught you to cook, preserve foods, garden and etc. If you are not a generational homesteader (or farmer) you may have been taught these skills by someone else. In preparing to homestead, these skills can be found in a mentor if needed.
Preparing to homestead: What does a homesteading mentor look like?
A homesteading mentor can be a variety of different things. In preparing to homestead, finding an individual with a little wisdom and expertise can help you hone in on your homesteading skills. Whether you are a complete beginner or partially skilled; a mentor can help you learn something completely new or mutually help you create your own expertise niche for your homestead.
Three things a mentor can be for the homestead include, but are not limited to:
- A mentor is an encourager. Just as beautiful works of art inspire budding artists; a skilled mentor can inspire new students. Seeing beautiful homesteads begets more ideas for future homesteads. A mentor can encourage his/ her students.
- A mentor is a sounding board. It’s great to get information, feedback and ideas on your homesteading projects and endeavors from and experienced resource.
- A mentor is a friend. Beautiful friendships often begin in teachable moments. Friendships are cultivated with time, honesty, respect and authenticity. All of these characteristics make a great mentor. If you are just looking for informal information, look for a coach.
Preparing to homestead: How to choose a homesteading mentor?
A homesteading mentor can be a variety of different things, as listed above. In preparing to homestead, choosing that mentor can be difficult. Look for these 3 characteristics in your mentor.
- A mentor with wisdom in the area in which you want to grow.
- A mentor that is enthusiastic and wants to offer knowledge.
- A mentor that has experience and is seasoned.
Add these next 5 things to look for in a mentor, to make sure the mentor is a good mentor, fit for you.
Preparing to homestead: What does a good mentor look like?
A good homesteading mentor not only brings expertise, but becomes a friend while you are learning your homesteading skills. Add these 5 things to look for while you are searching for your mentor.
- Find a mentor that fits you. A good mentor relationship will try to challenge you, meet your needs, see your talents where they are and help you progress.
- Find a mentor still learning. Even the most best and most skilled homesteaders are teachable. They look for new recipes, tips, tricks and methods to produce the best and most efficiently.
- Find a mentor that gives feedback and is an active listener. A good mentor asks questions, encourages further exploration, all while giving valuable guidance, simple correction and tips, and insight.
- A good mentor is respectful. Find a mentor that wants to share their passion and wisdom with others respectfully. The will be a life long friend, guide and treasure.
- Find a mentor that will challenge you. A good mentor will see your comfort zone and create teaching moments and challenges to stretch your wisdom and comfort levels. Good mentors challenge you to be better and stretch your comfort zone.
Finding a good mentor is important, as is being a good student. Students must be teachable, reliable and willing to step out of their comfort zones too. Mentors also have criteria of a good students. Many will not “waste” their time on students they do not believe are serious or dedicated.
As a good student, one must be willing to listen, accept criticism, make changes as needed, be humble, hungry for knowledgeable, reliable, consistent, have a positive outlook and be willing to apply what they have learned.
Happy Homemaking! Happy Homesteading!!!
Did you miss the previous Preparing to Homestead posts in the series?