I had a short discussion last week with someone I respect. We were trying to figure out what the differences are between Consultants and Mentors. When is it that these two terms start to blend? I would think that it has partly to do with money. For example, an agent could be thought of as being a Consultant, and/or Advisor. The discussion made me think about what I would consider myself to be. I have written a book to help athletes achieve their goal of playing basketball overseas. Although I will never get rich off the sales of my book, does it make me a Consultant if someone buys my book? Before this conversation, I would have considered myself to be a type of mentor. Now, however, I believe there is a different term for what I do. I like the term “Guider”. Let me explain why. As I have mentioned many times before, I wrote my book, Same Name Different Game as a way to give back and help athletes. That is my biggest priority. If anyone hits me up with a need for advice via email, DM on Instagram, or elsewhere, I feel it is my responsibility to give honest advice based on that individual’s situation WITHOUT the expectation of financial gain or anything else in return. That is where the term “Guider” comes into play for me because of two reasons.
Usually, these are people that I do not know or have a connection with, so I would say I am different than a Mentor. In my experiences with people who I have seen as Mentors, they were all people I was close to and they were giving me advice or tips because they generally cared about me and wanted me to succeed, but not for financial gain. Because we knew each other, it was different from what a Guider does. The next reason is that while I can give tips and advice, I can take neither credit nor blame for the success or failure of that person succeeding or not. When I give advice, I first ask questions about their situation and their goals. I can then analyze their situation, and offer my advice or suggestions. It is then on that person to figure out what they would like to do with the information I provided, and of course, it is also on that person to do the actual work. I am not in the business of finding any player a job or an agent for that matter. I do not want to be an agent, nor am I looking for any commission. I see myself as someone that can guide these athletes in the right direction based on my experiences and knowledge. What they ultimately do with the advice I provide, is totally on them. I would like to see everyone succeed, but the fact that I am usually not personally connected to that person distinguishes me from a Mentor in my opinion. Because I want no financial advantages also distinguishes me from a Consultant. I feel the term Guider to be perfect for what I offer.
In the future, I would like to visit college campuses and speak to them based on the book, Same Name Different Game. Going directly to the source is much more effective, but at the moment I am not ready for that step. In that case, if I charge for such a visit, I would then be a Public Speaker. At that time, I would have to also think about going from a Guider to a Consultant. For now, though, I enjoy the feeling of guiding athletes in their ambition to play overseas. For all of you out there in need of Oldhead advice, just hit me up, and let’s see how I can help!
Thank you for taking the time to read my words!