#AskPS
Abhinav Sankar .

Wanted to get your guys' opinion on paying for a mentorship?

Personally, I think if you charge for a mentorship you are not really a mentor!😕

It turns a Relationship/Connection into a consumer/customer which rubs me the wrong way personally.

I've seen an influx in influencers creating “mentorship programs”, to me it feels like those things that are offered by them every once in a while 👇

Just to grab the money and a complete waste of time.

What are your thoughts, If you are charging for mentoring, are you really a mentor?🧐

Have you ever taken paid mentorship, if so how was your experience?

Originally Posted Here
40 Comments

Mansi Rastogi

I have done both. Taken a program as well as have clients who pay for mine. It's exactly like a 1:1 coaching or group program. The only reason it is called a mentorship program is because coaching in some circles takes on a different meaning. Also, in some countries you need to have formal certifications to call yourself a coach.

Abhinav Sankar

So what all things people expect from you in return? What I mean to say is do they behave as customers who want service or people with genuine needs? How do you tackle that?

Mansi Rastogi

All these programs are outcome based. Mine is on Marketing & Sales. Expectations are set before the clients sign up and a process is followed to help them achieve the results they want. Issues happen when the client isn't as committed to the result. That's the time I whip butt or have to call them out. In most cases, I pre-qualify so I don't sign on people who can't commit. Not everyone is a good fit for the program. Every week we get on calls for 2 hours and trouble shoot business issues, set a structure and goals for the week. A lot of this is Mindset related so it's my job to help them push through the limitations in their head. Rest is structure and sales psychology.

It's not the same dynamic as a service. The mentor is a guide with more experience than you. It's like going to a therapist or a doctor.

Aditi Chadha

I dont know what you mean by mentorship. I mean if its professional advice which takes time away from another person and they have no reason to mentor you or guide you by spending so much time cause say you are not their friend or family....then it should be paid to value their time and experience. Unless you re doing some NGO type of work or are super poor, in which case you can ask them that they are doing charity to you. Otherwise its called advisory or consulting or coaching....and you either give shares if they are okay with it, or you pay them. Time is the most valuable thing you can ask from someone. It takes energy and time to guide someone from all your experience that you spent time, resources, money, and energy to learn.

Abhinav Sankar

Yes I completely agree here! But don't you think advisory/ consulting is a different thing than mentorship?

Aditi Chadha

what is mentorship to YOU? please define it for us first as its confusing if we have different definitions.

Rubal Khabz

Well if you guarantee that whatever you learn from this "mentor" for free will I'm return help the mentor grow his own business/service or whatever, then sure it's not free it's an investment, but if you decide to learn and leave then what's the goodwill going to bring the mentor in return?

Dheeraj Mehndiratta

Considerations involved in taking Mentorship-

1. No consideration- Mentorship is given voluntarily by other person. Can be taken in form of advice.

2. Cash & Minor Stake- For people with huge industry experience n subject matter knowledge giving you professional consultation not just random advice.

Abhinav Sankar

The moment, when cash is involved, I think they become an advisory service!

Mentorship is something that I feel should be given voluntarily!

Dheeraj Mehndiratta

Yes you enter into a formal agreement then, and also measure results derived from the other party's inputs.

Mentorship given voluntarily- i partially disagree. If i have to get one biggie of my industry to sit on my board n advice me,i wud love to gv minor stake or money. (P.s. i have already given 0.5% to a Super senior Business man whose really a big name in my industry) with this, i have a right to ask for their time to hlp me im sm decision making

telling this from my experience only. I have failed 2 startups, worked in Venture capital and building a startup again. I blv i have a little say in this matter😁

Shraddha Patil

Why should someone spend time with you for free. As if that person is suitable to be a mentor he might definitely have much more better things to do where he can earn money. If he is willing to spend time with you, you should pay him / her and justify the time spent. This will make it a more productive and outcome driven relationship

Abhishek Avikk Gupta

It depends on two factors:-

1) Client looking for 'a random advice '
That can be given FREE of cost.

2) Client is looking for 'a dedicated Support ' that can be paid with respect to the value and time the other person gives.

Abhinav Sankar

Interesting! But the moment when word client comes, it becomes business! Mentor is something of a student-coach relation! You know what I mean?

Abhishek Avikk Gupta

Yea ! I can understand that and completely agree but somehow dedicated services or dedicated mentorship is an another business model where money is directly involved.

E.g there are many influencer mentor who are charging for a dedicated consultations online.

Kaushalendra Pratap Singh

Agree. Charges for mentorship is business.

Abhinav Sankar

Yes! then it would not be called mentorship, it would be called as Consulting or advisor services!

Sibendra Mallick

🤒Wannapreneurs giving mentorship programs, not acceptable.

💸Goodpreneurs asking money in return of valuable knowledge/time, completely makes sense.

Sushant Shekhar

It’s better to call it consultation than mentorship then.

Suneil Barsaiyan

Mentorship is a service and like all other services , it can't be free. If it's free, it would be a generic experience sharing nothing personalized.

Aditi Chadha

charity is free or if your doing a favor to family and friends....or maybe you really like or respect someone and want to help them or maybe you really think the cause they are working on is saving the world in some way - then people would take out their time to help for free.....otherwise for a stranger why would anyone do that...i don't know....there is always a reason for something - financial or emotional.....or maybe one could help if they are retired and want to give back.....otherwise a busy professional would want to relax or take a nap in their free time cause they are certainly helping their friends or family or causes no matter what.

Krishna Arora

Sab free mein leloge vo kese khayega?
I disagree.
As long as you are delivering value i m happy to pay.

Anaggh Desai

Interesting. Pray why would somebody give away anything free? Disc: Yes I have a branded program also TheOneHourMentor.org

Investing in a good pair of shoes means comfort, being able to walk longer, remain healthier.

Mentorship is the same. Go find one and see the change in your individual and company.

Chez Kashmiri

Unfortunately we live in a world where it is fashionable to twist fancy words to fit the narrative.
Strictly speaking mentor is not a paid service..

Using (paid) coach instead of mentor is perhaps what is creating confusion.

Since no one should take it on himself to change world ( ban usage of fancy words like mentor instead of intended "word" Coach), it is best to make peace with fact that "Mentorship" is paid service and must be treated one.
If stranger is offering free mentorship, it is either fluke or unproductive or just a drama that will guarantee to waste your time

Anaggh Desai

well said. But that’s exactly why I used to offer the first freemium hour which was taken for granted and led to heart burn. Mine. Having said that I still have mentees who catch up once or twice a year to keep me informed and share things and specific direction which is quite rejuvenating.

https://twitter.com/anaggh/timelines/1171638728059695111

Ashutosh Vyas

A perfect day for the question. Celebrating the birth of the Greatest MENTOR - Lord Krishna.

By sheer definition, a mentor is an advisor, a helper, guide etc. None of them are by their nature a profit making roles.

And it's always done for the greater good of the society in general.

I mentor people not so that they could be successful but so that they could in turn do something good for the ecosystem, for the society.

Mentoring isn't a result oriented job and therefore can and should not be a paid role really.

Vineet Nandan Gupta

I have heard about cases... Founders giving equity in the company to mentors.....

Life Coaches charge fees for their session...

Concept of paid mentorship exists....

Whether it is Good or Bad is debatable.

I have given a lot of free advices as mentorship and haven’t been paid for it...

At the end of it you realise why did you spend time giving those advice as the person receiving it didn’t care for it. Also, made you look like a Jerk.

Shivakumar Valadi

Oversimplified analogy..

A business mentor helps with relieving Business pains and advising and coaching their mentee in building their business... Similar to a doctor relieving a physical or mental pain or a gym trainer guiding you to get fit

If you don't question why you are paying for the latter, then why question the former

Gopal Trivedi

Guru Dakshina to dena padega....

Vishal Rewari

Hey true mentors are rare.
Mentor ship comes at a cost

One of the important things I learned from my mentor was what goes around comes around

If I am not paying my employees on time then I am also not getting paid by my clients on time

So now I have started paying anyone who is adding value and stop expecting things for free.

Free things do not have value.

Shabia Ravi Walia

I mentor a lot of people and realised that the only ones who really take action or are taking action are the ones who have paid. Jinko free mein gyaan diya, they end up taking you for granted. I have different modules for free, semi paid and paid. Butgetting paid makes it real for both. I am then more determined to give results and mentee is more determined to get best out of the time and money given. I do give one session free though so they know what I have to offer. I also do free group coaching round the year on my fb group. Anyone who needs personal nad focussed attention asks for it and is ready to pay. Callnit mentorship, call it coaching watever. For both mentor and mentee, if there is skin in the game, its far more effective, I feel! And I have been on both sides.

Chez Kashmiri

Mentor word itself is an abused word.. Mentor is someone with whom you have built rapport ( generally for a v long time) and who because of goodwill for you gets you under his/her wings.

What you are talking about is (paid) Coach, and obviously why to expect stranger to spend his time on you free. It is definitely not justified for either you or him/her to get into free transition. This is a commercial arrangement and thus must be treated one.

Varadarajan Sridharan

There's no harm in charging for mentoring. A mentor provides a service of value and has to provide for his or her family as well. We don't live in an altruistic society. Let's be realistic.

But there's an ethical way to charge for mentorship. Leave itto the mentee to pay how much ever they feel is right. That kind of paid mentoring would be ideal. But to get there it takes years of building success stories, credibility, trust about ones mentorship.
For example, I attendedCIP - Causing Incredible Performanceprogram recently. ProfProf C Balajiwho created that coaching or mentoring framework, has built it over 35 years of paid employment where he has mentored tons of people. Now he can afford to offer it under the option gurudakshina, where a mentee could pay anything more than 0.

Sayan Ganguly

It is a very thin line of separation between a mentor and a coach [treat these two as one class] and a consultant [as another class].
All it takes is a mentor also taking up connecting to people and providing other consulting services to his/her mentee and start charging for that.
Also, traditionally, you can consider an advisory board to be a board of mentors too. Then the notion gets converted to, something or anything from the company that benefits the advisory board. Not necessarily money.
Bottomline: it depends on the approach of the mentor about how he wants to value the time and energy he/she wants to spend with the mentee. Either he/she does it out of pure love and interest, or doesn't. It depends on the business philosophy of the person being brought into such a role. It depends on the person. There is no thumb rule for it. An IAS officer also may keep a mechanism in place for extracting benefits out of such an engagement, whereas a Realtor also may sometime do it for free as he would just require more people to be introduced within his/her portfolio. So, there is no hardbound philosophy or rule that a mentor should not charge.

Naresh Shetti

why not charge. however mentorship shld not be money driven par se. Wouldnt make it a prescription based business however there should be a charge which the mentee needs to agree to pay. As a mentor I wouldnt say no to just becaue the money is not enough. I would still help the mentee.

when you have experience it needs to be monetised as the mentor would have had countless encounters with realities which can save the mentee quite a lot of money, effors and offer them mental peace.

Shlok Joshi

If you’re good at something, never do it for free. If you get something for free, you’ll most likely take it for granted.

Akash Agarwal

I get mentored unconditionally and my way of paying back is by guiding more young entrepreneurs towards success.

I have mentored 2 startups unconditionally (even was offered a board seat at one mentee's Co.) refused any returns and it paid off well in Karma...

I only ask my mentees to guide other young entrepreneurs towards success.

Arbab Usmani

1. Why should any one give their time for FREE.

2. People also should not seek anyone time for FREE.

Time is an asset and an asset exchanged with another asset is how the entire business work in this world.

As SRK said to Arnab once - Gurbat me philosophy deni achhi baat nahi hai, philosophy deni tabhi acchi hoti hai jab pet bhara ho

Arun Kumar V Waghchoure

Think from the other side - Why should someone give you his time, attention, effort and possibly travel and food expense. If you are not going to pay him. If he is adding value he should be paid. IMHO The free wala mentor is not real mentor they are chacha and there are so many chachas in India giving free opinion & advice on everything from marriage to business. Why shouldn't genuine mentorship become paid industry? If you are funded you are definitely in a position to pay.

Chahat Raj Kapoor

It's a wild guess, is it about interships? Which earlier used to be a Work for Experience and no pay, which then later turned to be Work for Experience + Pocket Money like Stipend and now the Mentors ask for refundable money aka security deposit to find out serious applicants?:p

Sathish CP

Mentoring & Consulting are 2 diff things. On a P2P basis you could rather call it as an advisor or guide or trainer and charge and the money, so the perception is not the opposite.

Join India’s
most active community
and interact with 20k+
like-minded entrepreneurs