Last week I wrote an article highlighting the importance of mentorship and exposure. I can never stress it enough that exposure matters, whether it be in marriage, business, career, parenting – we don’t know it all, so it is important to find individuals we want to emulate, those who’ve walked the journey, and learn from them. The are many ways to find these great people, and for the purpose of being in unison with the previous article, let us look at some ways you can find a mentor – business or career.
1.First know what you want to achieve
Successful people have no time for people who don’t know what they want. Before you single out someone you look up to, to mentor you, first make sure you know what you want, and at least have a idea of how that person will help you achieve it. Yes, I get it, sometimes you might just want to be around that person so that you can learn their way of doing things, but at know what you want.
2.Study your Potential Mentor – do you want to be like them?
The key thing about mentorship is that you obviously look up to your mentor, and there are certain attributes, knowledge, or skills that they have that you would also like to have – and since you will be spending some time with this individual, it’s important to study them to see if they will be the right fit for you.
3.Write to them – Request to have Lunch with your mentor – offer to pay for their time if need be.
Successful people are usually nice people. They might seem intimidating from the outside, but they are always willing to give part of their time to help energetic youth who want to accomplish success. Remember, sometimes when they look at you, they see themselves – you remind them of what they used to be before they became successful. A well drafted letter or email to your potential mentor might get you lunch, better yet, even a phone call to their personal assistant requesting a lunch meeting with your mentor, followed by the email, will be of great help. Upon meeting your mentor, have your questions and notebook ready, so that you can write down their responses as they give answers to your questions.
4.Offer to work for them for free – if they decide to pay you then that’s a bonus
The best way to learn from a successful person is to work in their business, or department. You will get to see how they do everything, from motivating their staff members, to communicating their vision, to running their operation. If your mentor agrees to you working for him for him – you obviously would’ve told them that you want him/her to mentor you, and in exchange you will work for free – make sure you become diligent, make diligence your best friend. Ensure that your mentor sees the need to continue to mentor you – your mentor wants to feel as though they have made the right decision by investing their time in you, so make it worth their while by producing results.
5.If he/she is in the same line of business as you – offer to partner on a project, even if it is impossible for them to agree
Come up with a project that need someone of your mentor’s calibre to execute, and then request to meet with him/her for a business meeting, where you will present your business idea to your mentor. Remember that the idea must make sense and it must be something you have researched, that could potentially make both you and your mentor money if done properly. You need to thoroughly research the idea, it need not make it perfect because you want to leave room for you mentor to correct and guide you, which will start the mentorship relationship from there moving forward.
You don’t have because you don’t ask. Sometimes the best way to get anything is to ask for it. In a nutshell, you need to have the guts to ask your mentor to mentor you – but don’t just ask at the first go – start the communication process with using any of the above strategies, then ask them.
7.Ask a connection to set a meeting between you, your mentor, and your connection
We do business with people we trust, and not only that, we do business with people we like. One of the other ways you can get someone to mentor you is to ask a mutual friend or connection to connect you with the person you. I recommend you take them out for lunch or coffee and pay for the lunch.
8.Find out which club they are in, and join the club, if you afford it.
The main aim is to be able to learn as much as possible from your mentor, and sometimes, if you cannot have a one on one with them – then join a club (that you want to be part of) that they are part of, and not only will you be able to interact with your mentor, you will also make connections with many other people of your mentor’s calibre. Be open minded about this, it’s a journey not a sprint, so give yourself time, and learn for the long term.
9.Buy their book, follow their blog, befriend them on social media
Sometimes, someone can be your mentor without you even meeting them or them even knowing they are mentoring you. If you read all your mentor’s books, you will borrow most of their thinking, and you will be able to apply that thinking in your business or career. When I read Rich Dad Poor Dad for the first time, I had no idea that I was being mentored by Robert Kiyosaki, but in actual fact, this is true, he did mentor me, and it’s him along with all great authors whose books I’ve read, podcasts I’ve listened to, and seminars I’ve attended. Be creative about this.
All the best!
Do you think there are more ways one can find a mentor? Please add them on the comments section.
CEO, Quality Growth International