We are often told the key to success is hard work AND having the right mentor. But, finding a mentor is a topic that is hardly ever discussed. This week’s tip will give you some different tips to help you get clear about what you want in a mentor/mentee relationship.
A mentor is different from a coach, a consultant, an adviser. It is a more personal relationship. One in which, someone who is where you want to be some day, a few steps ahead of you or lots of step ahead of you, takes their time and energy to help you along. To listen, to advise, to introduce you to the right people on occasion.
This relationship is “not a for hire” relationship. It is a relationship that develops over time. What do you get out of it? Someone that has been there and done that. A sounding board for the your whole person. What do they get out of it? The joy of helping someone grow. The pleasure of knowing that they are contributing to the future of their field.
Because this is more like a friendship than a business colleague,
you certainly don’t want to just go around asking people to mentor you that you just met. That would be like asking someone to be your best friend the first day you meet them!
Don’t know where to start? The best thing to do is to hire the right coach to help you with whatever you are stuck on right now and keep reaching out to the awesome people in your industry using the tips in today’s video!
Have you ever wondered how to get a mentor? How successful, important people choose who to pass on their knowledge and skills to?
I have been reading Sheryl Sandbeg’s book, Lean In: Women Work, and The Will to Lead. She has a whole chapter on mentoring. I have to admit that I never really thought about mentoring the way that she describes it. I never really thought how that relationship goes together. As an entrepreneur we are often told you need to find a mentor. But how do you do that? I have some tips for you.
First things first, don’t ask someone directly to be your mentor. Mentors choose you. This would be like asking someone to be your best friend the first day that you meet them.
- Come with well prepared questions. DON’T ask them anything you can find out doing a google search. Do your research, find out what is already out there. Then ask them detailed questions about what you found.
- Send them things you think they might be interested in. This people are really busy and they don’t always have time to keep up with the industry news. So send them an interesting article or ask them how they feel about something that came out in the news.
- Be prepared to get feedback. If you are defensive about something that they have to tell you, they have no reason to give you feedback after that. Even if you disagree, say thank you, you have given me something to think about.
You probably want to connect with several people in this way at the same time. You don’t know who you are going to develop a relationship with but I can almost guarantee you that it won’t be with everyone that you reach out to.
Tell me what you think! Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going.