Mentoring and networking create a lot of 'grey zones' - areas where it isn't clear what to do or how to do it. Choices aren't obviously professional or personal, rational or emotional, traditional or self-directed.
If you are debating, searching, questioning - don't feel dumb. We're all doing the same thing.
That's the real secret - there is no one answer and we're all making it up and changing the rules as we go.
I know there are lots of books/websites/articles etc. out there that offer step-by-step instructions. I may fall into the same trap along the way - are there any universal "do"s or "don't"s?
But those checklists assume you have a decisive linear direction and that you are simply looking to refine your tactics.
I really believe that if we are serious about building a personal community - and doing the work it takes to make it productive for ourselves and others - then it requires a long-term view and is based on relationships vs. events and checkmarks.
And, of course, sincerity.