The Protege, the Apprentice and the difference

Who is a Protégé?

A Protégé can be defined as person who is guided and supported by a more experienced or influential person. A Protégé seeks out and finds a Mentor that can assist with achieving pre-defined goals.

Who is an Apprentice?

An Apprentice is a learner, a person who works for another in order to learn a trade or skill. An Apprentice seeks out and finds a Master that can teach step-by-step and impact with the knowledge needed to achieve mastery in a particular skill.

Which should I seek to become?

I am concerned that many people who need to seek apprenticeship are busy looking for mentorship instead. That is I am writing to you as I believe that many people will make much more out of their lives if only they can submit as an apprentice that can really be trained in an art until mastery is achieved and they can then move on.

A Protégé is someone that has enough knowledge or information already and just needs some guidance in sorting through and making the right decisions. An Apprentice however, is someone that knows that he lacks the necessary know-how to get something done and is humble enough to seek tutelage. It is a valid argument that at the initial stage, you do not have enough knowledge for a mentor to work with. I believe that it is after you have been trained that you may become a Protégé. I used to be an Apprentice and after my drilling and training, I am finally knowledgeable enough to start building out my own ideas. My Masters are now my Mentors.

I had always had those ideas but I lacked the practical know how of getting it done. It is by working for someone that I finally got insider knowledge on getting it done.

I know that everybody wants to be their own boss. I totally get it, but then, we should not be in a hurry to start our own things. We need to realise that nothing equips us to set out and succeed better than Apprenticeship, by subjecting yourself to proper training and ensuring that your goals and that of your Master is properly aligned, it leads to a deeper and richer experience.

Every Master started out as an Apprentice, I think there are some mastery levels that cannot be attained without submitting to Apprenticeship. Apprentice who submit well to their training goes on to become better than their Masters and they carry on the tradition.

What is the difference in the relationship?

One of the key differences between having a Mentor and having a Master is in the way you relate with them and the level of authority you have handed to them.

A Mentor advises, a Master commands.

An advise can (and should) be weighed before a course of action is decided. A command on the other hand leaves little room for negotiation.

You work with a Mentor towards achieving your goals. You work for a Master towards achieving their own goals while building capacity inside yourself to handle your own things later on.


It your own duty to sit down and think, reflect and then decide whether you are really good enough to seek mentors or a master you can learn under. A lot of people have great ideas that never see the light of the day in the long run because they failed to acquire the training they needed to get it done, reading books and attending seminars is nice but it can never impart the experience and wisdom of the master.

Settling down for 3 – 5 years to learn at a master’s feet is not a waste of time! It is a great investment towards your own future, at the end of your apprenticeship, it is so much easier to get started (Your former master can even invest in your company to get you started and then take a seat on your advisory board).

Do not fool yourself that you are looking for a mentor when you should be seeking a master.


You definitely should upload today’s #TMP into your mind.


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About The Author

Ademola Morebise Posted on

Principal Ademola Morebise, aka "He That Watereth" is a teacher, creator and magnate. is the home of his writing and work.