Finding a mentor might seem like the most awkward and challenging thing to do. Seeking someone out and asking them to guide you through your business career. It is not weird at all. When approaching someone that you want to be your mentor, you might feel intimidated. You need to move past those feelings.
Asking someone to be your mentor is a huge honor for that person. You are showing that individual that you believe in what they do, who they are, and want what they have. It is one of the highest forms of flattery a business person could receive.
People love to share what they know. Look at this blog, me sharing what I know about entrepreneurship to help others. A person is going to feel the same exact way when asked to be a mentor. Do it correctly and you will have a guide for your business life.
Know exactly what you are looking for
When you begin to start looking for a mentor, you first have to know exactly what you want. Not have a clear idea of how a mentor is going to help your business could cause you to pick the wrong person. You are looking for something specific, so work through some of these questions before you start looking.
Someone, to guide you to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Someone to teach you about a specific industry?
Someone who can teach you how to network?
Someone, to change your mindset?
You need to know what your goals and expectations are before you pick someone to mentor you. Having a clear vision of what you want to learn from a mentor will help you tremendously. Everyone has strength and weakness and that is the case even with someone who is successful. Find someone who has the strengths you are looking to learn.
The mentor you need can be anywhere
Finding a business mentor seems like the obvious choose would be at your workplace. Where that is a good idea and can definitely have some serious benefits, there are other places to look also. The mentor that is right for you could be in anyone of these places.
- Business networking groups
- A family member or friend
- Church group
- Your college/university
- Nonprofit organizations
- Even someone online.
Meet your mentor
Once you have identified who you want as your mentor, you need to meet them. This part might seem awkward to some but here is a helpful tip that will lead to someone saying yes. Approach that person confident, chin up and shoulders back. Shake that person’s hand and look them in the eyes. Don’t just jump right to it and say I want you to be my mentor. Butter that person up first. Lead with a genuine compliment, something that is part of the reason why you want that person to mentor you in the first place. “The success you have had as an entrepreneur is remarkable. What was your biggest challenge starting out?” A compliment and a question to get that person talking. That person is going to be feeling excited to share their knowledge with someone who recognizes their success. After that, say something like “you clearly have a vast amount of knowledge about being an entrepreneur, have you ever mentored someone before?” This is when you will ask for a mentorship from this person. Does not matter if that person says yes they have or no they have not.
Next step after your mentor agrees
Discuss a time and a place to meet again. This should be somewhere that a confidential conversation can take place. A place that will be comfortable for both you and your mentor. Choose this location wisely.
Be clear with your mentor
Once you have found someone who has agreed to be your mentor, you should lay out exactly what you hope to gain from this mentorship. Make sure that your mentor agrees to the same commitment and has the same expectations from taking you on as a mentoree.
Discuss the time required and the availability of both you and your mentor. Your schedules may not match, so having this out in the open will benefit both of you.
Determine a regularly meeting time. This could be a phone call once a week or an in-person meeting. You should know what topics you want to discuss during these meetings. Come with questions and ideas of which way you want to steer the conversation.
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