When I first started with photography as a hobby, I was shooting everything on "auto" or later when I got a little bit smarter and braver on "P" mode which is auto without the flash. Guillermo (pictured here) immediately told me that I had to shoot "Manual". Well, that was scary because I was still climbing up the steep learning curve with my Nikon D7000 DSLR cropped sensor camera. I bet you don't know the difference between "crop sensor" and full-frame, do you?
But hanging around this guy and a few other photogs who were shooting freelance stuff I learned quickly through doing in addition to reading magazines/books/blogs. But nothing beats a person who is both critical and supportive and can lead by example. Maybe that's what we need in our politicians?
Who's your mentor? do you even have one? if not, why?