How to Get a Mentor – Practical Advice on Mentorship

A lot of people realize that a mentor is a vital part of success but don’t know how to get a mentor. What are the steps required? In this article, I will outline the steps you should take to get one.

But before I do that, let me tell you why you need a mentor.

I was scrolling through Quora a few days ago when I stumbled on this question

Behind every successful man, there is a woman.” Is it truth or myth?”

There were over 100+ great answers but only one got my attention( Sujatha Shankar wrote it)

Behind every successful man, there is a woman. She laid a firm foundation with the bricks that others threw at him’

AND

‘Behind every successful woman, there is a man, who believed in her when nobody else did.’

But you know what the fun part is? Every successful person on planet earth looked at their partner with a lot of pride. And never believed in compartmentalizing them based on their gender. It doesn’t matter whether its a Man or a Woman. The game changes, when that ‘one person’ walks into your life when everyone else walks out. That’s it!

I know you are wondering right now how to relate this to mentorship.

Well, I tell You.

A mentor is someone who lays a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at you. They believe in you when no one else does. They are willing to give you advice but also to see you succceed.

Behind every successful entrepreneur or self-made billionaire is a mentor.

Steve Jobs was mentoring Mark Zuckerberg on how to build a focused team.

Richard Branson, admits he wouldn’t have got anywhere in the airline industry, without  the mentorship of Sir Freddie Laker.

Even when people claim to have paved their way on their own, there’s always a strong chance that someone was there early on to set them on the right path.

Now that you know why you should get a mentor, here are the types of mentors you can look out for.

The 3 Types Of Mentors

Direct Mentors

These are your friends, co-workers, family members.  Someone who’s in front of you, at all times, who can show you what they did. If you don’t have one of those, you go out and get five new friends who will be your mentors.

Renowned businessman, Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”

If you are hanging out with people who are doing nothing, have no drive, they are not trying to be successful in life, you will be the 6th person in that group to mimic what they are doing. But if you have five people in your life,  who are successful and on the same path that you are trying to go on, you will be the sixth person

Indirect Mentors

These are people who mentor through their writings and presentations. Most times they are not even aware of the people they mentor.

A lot of people don’t understand indirect mentorship.  Movies, books, audio tapes, magazines, YouTube videos, audiobooks are indirect mentors. Anything that entertains and stimulate thinking is a form of indirect mentorship.

My favorite mentors? I have 5 … including Jack Ma, Tom Peters, Steve Jobs, Jack Welch and Peter Drucker. They all stimulate a lot of thinking and learning for me even though I’ve never met them. They don’t even know I exist.

Selecting the best mentors to follow should be your priority.

Dream Mentors

These are people outside of your circle of friends, more experienced than you who will offer their knowledge, wisdom, and advice. They are experts who have already walked the same road you plan to walk and can help you speed up the process.

How To Get A Dream Mentor

The process of getting a mentor is not complicated. Especially direct and indirect mentors. Many people find it complicated because they don’t use the right approach.

This section will talk about how to get a dream mentor. Getting either indirect or direct mentorship is straightforward.

Step 1: Be in Motion

Before you look for a mentor, you have to be in a position where you are already doing something, and seeing results. You are applying the teachings and strategies that these mentors are teaching.

Mentors are people who are already successful. This means they are very busy. The last thing they want is to mentor someone who’s not serious or is just playing around with ideas.

Step 2: Study The Mentor

Remember Google is your friend. Use Google to find everything you can about your to-be mentor. Negative reviews, testimonials, their past, future projects, their date of birth, etc. Make sure to write down everything you can find about them and move on to step 3.

Step 3: Reach Out

This is the most important part of this process. If done correctly, you get a mentor. If done wrong, you might not get a mentor.

Most people when reaching out to get a mentor always ask the same generic question “Will you be my mentor”? This question should not exist in 2018.

What should you do instead?

Write them an email offering to help them for free. Highlight a lot of the things you found out in step 2 in your email. I can’t emphasize this enough. The mistake people make is they go after them for something instead of looking to help them.

Final Thoughts

I’ve always wanted a mentor but mentorship never came in the way I imagined. Instead of having one person guide me through a lot of business decisions, I worked with a variety of people at different times. Each of them taught me something very different and valuable along the way.

When you are starting out, it is a wise thing to start with direct and indirect mentors. Read books, listen to a podcast, anything on professional development. Grow your business to a certain point before you can reach out to your dream mentor. When reaching out don’t forget to offer as much value as you can.

Remember Isaac Newton stood on the shoulders of giants before he could see further.

You should also check out our blog on peer mentoring as a great alternative to a high profile mentor.  

About the Author:

Ronan Leonard is a Mastermind facilitator and Mastermind teacher. Connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners together to create the perfect Mastermind groups or teaching self-employed professionals how to run their own groups. Small business owners are often overwhelmed with to-do lists and need impartial advice to get the right support to help them achieve their goals.

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