I’ve seen it over and over again in professional and personal life – finding an outstanding mentor can save you years of hard work, of trying to figure out how things work, what to focus on and how you can achieve your goals as quickly as possible, hoping to enjoy success in younger years.
Many times having a mentor makes all the difference between making it in life or not.
I mentored many people in my career and helped them go after goals they never thought were achievable to them; and today, they are successful individuals. All it took from my side was a little bit of guidance, push, faith and to foresee the potential they had.
On the other hand, my own past accomplishments and successes were accelerated the most by outstanding mentors and mastermind groups. I learned more from a few people in my life than I did from all others combined.
I agree that you can learn a lot from anybody, but a few people can teach you the little tricks of life that put you on the fast lane to success.
Finding an outstanding mentor is not a mere stroke of luck, it should be a part of your life strategy, and relationships you build in your life. If you want to be more successful in life, it’s time that you get yourself a real mentor. I’ll teach you how.
In this article, you will learn many things about mentorship:
- Why having a personal mentor is so important
- How to distinguish between a bad and a good mentor
- What to expect from a personal mentor
- How to find a mentor that will accelerate your success
- Things that will help you find a mentor
- My personal experience with mentors
Relationships in your life are the most important influencer on your quality of life and how much you will achieve in your lifetime. This is why you must build your relationships strategically at least to some extent, and that also includes finding yourself an outstanding mentor.
Why having a mentor is so important
Imagine having a book in which you can find the exact recipe for succeeding in any area of life. The recipe can be for anything, from how to build a successful career in your industry, start a profitable business, get a six pack in a few months to how to find the love of your life or anything else you really want.
Imagine having a step-by-step guide in your hand that tells you how to achieve your goals with the least amount of effort, including with all the dirty secrets. An outstanding mentor, someone who already achieved what you want, is the closest you can get to that kind of guide.
The closest because there is no way success can be exactly replicated, but it can definitely be modeled to a certain extent.
Even though success can’t be 100% replicated, having a mentor is in many ways much better than having a success guide in the shape of a book; because a quality mentor doesn’t only show you the way and share the real secrets of success with you, they also believe in you, boost your confidence, challenge you and push you right to the top of your performance.
These are the things that only a mentor can do, and not a single book, guide or motivational video.
The best athletes and businessmen in the world have mentors. Why wouldn’t you?
Based on the goals you want to achieve, there are many different kinds of mentors who can help you:
- Profession mentors – Mentors who do the same or similar job as you.
- Industry mentors – Industry experts who can help you understand market insights.
- Business-skills mentors – Mentors who help you with general business skills like sales, marketing, finance, negotiation and other important skills.
- Life-skills mentors – Mentors who help you master different life skills and be more successful in different areas of life, such as wealth, health, happiness.
- Technology mentors – Mentors who help you with the use of new technologies.
- Mentors specialists – People you hire who are experts in specific areas, and by doing a service for you, they also transfer knowledge and wisdom to you (psychologists, lawyers, personal trainers,).
No matter what type of a mentor or several mentors you have, there are only three things you should look for in your mentor that really matter:
- Someone who believes in you
- Someone who shows you the way
- Someone who brings out the best in you and challenges you
Someone who believes in you
You’ve probably heard the phrase that you need at least one person to believe in you to become successful. The best option is if that person is you. It definitely helps if you believe in yourself, but it’s often far from enough.
It’s hard to believe in yourself all the time. Sooner or later, we all get crippled by doubts, insecurities, shame and other negative feelings. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
When you doubt yourself, the thing that can make the difference between following your dreams and giving up is having a more experienced person, an authority, an expert, who unconditionally believes in you and motivates you.
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Mentors are far the best doubt killers.
People who have a healthy and encouraging environment in terms of empowering relationships don’t give up. People without that kind of a supportive environment give up sooner or later. It’s that simple. Because it’s not easy to succeed. Life can easily break you down.
There is no character in the world so strong that life couldn’t break them with stress, challenges and misfortune. None. Only a supporting environment is what can help you to rise up fast and fight again.
The best teams in the world have the best coaches. The best athletes in the world have the best coaches. The best business-people will tell you that they would never work for someone they don’t respect and can’t learn from.
If you want to be successful in life, you need a mentor. Period. Someone who believes in you when you don’t and no one else does. So when you find a mentor, make sure that they believe in you 100%. You can see it in their eyes if they really do.
Even superheroes in movies have mentors. Nobody can succeed alone.
Someone who shows you the way
When you’re new to something, be it a new industry, a new organization, or you’re a newbie starting to take care of any life area, be it health, investing, relationship management or anything else, there is so much you don’t know. There’s always a long learning curve and being a newbie sucks.
That’s why people rarely try something new. Because they can’t handle the newbie apathy that usually lasts for months and months.
People rarely try new things because they can’t handle the newbie apathy and the learning curve.
Besides pushing, encouraging and believing in you, the main point of having a mentor is to shorten your newbie apathy and learning curve.
One of the main purposes of having a mentor is for them to point you into the right direction, focus your efforts, show you the little tricks and dirty life secrets, and guide you on the path toward your dreams.
You’ve probably heard the quote that good decisions come from experience and experience comes from making bad decisions. A mentor can share with you all the bad decisions they made in the past, so you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes.
And when you’re with a mentor in person, they will share many more things with you than they’d write down in any book or share in any interview.
Someone who brings out the best in you
A real mentor believes in you, boosts your confidence, encourages you, shows you the way, guides you, tells you life secrets, but is also tough on you.
This is how a real mentor brings out best in you. Successful mentoring is always tough love.
Only praise makes you nothing but cocky with time. Only praise never brings out the best in you.
When you do something wrong or bad, a mentor should be honest, strict and direct with you; and show you how to do it better. “And show you how to do it better” is a very important part.
If you don’t listen to their advice and don’t have a strong counterargument why, they should probably end the mentoring relationship immediately. The idea of mentorship is not small talk, but progress.
You see, most people who ask for advice or are looking for a mentor are askholes. They ask for advice just to get outside confirmation, not because they really want a piece of advice. They may even constantly ask for advice and do nothing with it. That’s far from a healthy and productive mentoring relationship.
Never be an askhole and never mentor askholes.
The goal of a real mentor should be to make you a thinker and a doer, not only listen to how good of a talker you are.
A good mentor should challenge you, push you, open your eyes to how you can achieve even more. And a good mentor knows that sometimes, it’s necessary to kill any doubts and weaknesses in a very tough way when you’re mentoring someone.
Choosing the right time to use encouragement and tough love is an art form, and rare are the people who know which to use when. Find a mentor who knows how to use both in the right situation.
The fact is that if you want to achieve your peak potential in any area of life, someone has to show you the world as it is – with all its pluses and minuses, in all its beauty and rottenness.
Many times, it’s hard to accept reality. But living in your own naïve dream world is the number one thing preventing you from progressing in life and achieving your peak performance.
The job of a great mentor is also to evict any wussiness from you, any soft and naïve beliefs and behaviors. Now that doesn’t mean that a great mentor doesn’t encourage you to be a good person, to always do the right thing and have integrity.
It only means that a good mentor shows you how to not be your own biggest enemy in life; because many people are.
How to distinguish a good mentor from a bad one
It’s extremely easy to distinguish between a good mentor and a bad one. The first rule of all rules is that your mentor achieved in life what you want to achieve, and did so with their own bare hands, from zero to hero, from nobody to somebody, from nothing to something – without any inheritance or lottery.
Going from the mother of all rules to other signs of a great mentor, here they are:
- They take mentorship seriously and your success is important to them
- They prepare for a meeting, take time and you are high on their priority list
- They always do a little bit of pep talk to encourage you when you meet
- They give you actionable advice you can immediately implement
- They show you exactly how you can do things better
- They sit with you and you work together on the next step to make
- They’re honest and tough on you
- They have no problems helping you with their social network (they do intros)
After every meeting with an outstanding mentor (there can be exceptions, even a mentor can have a bad day), you should have a better view of reality, you should think to yourself “how didn’t I see that before?”, you should feel good about yourself, be highly motivated to progress faster and feel super happy that you found such a great mentor.
After a meeting with an outstanding mentor, you should have a smile on your face and a heart pumped to take action.
Here are a few additional signs of a good mentoring session:
- At the beginning of a mentoring relationship, you write down the goals that you want to achieve with the mentoring sessions
- You meet in a meeting room, not in a restaurant or a bar
- You talk about real-life problems, strategies and actionable advice
- You take notes, draw strategies on a board
- You don’t meet at regular intervals just because you have to, but when you do your homework and the time is ripe for the next mentoring session
- You can always call your mentor if a crisis in your life occurs
On the other hand, here are the signs of a bad mentor:
- They don’t take mentoring seriously, but only as an ego boost
- They don’t really believe in you
- They don’t prepare for a meeting
- You only do small talk
- You don’t get any concrete advice (how to do it)
- You only eat good food together
If you had a mentoring session with a bad mentor, you might feel a little bit better, there may have been some good advice given, but in general, it was just one more meeting among many. And meetings are usually a big waste of time.
Having real expectations regarding mentorship
A mentor can definitely help you a lot in life with faster progress and constant improvement and achieving greater success. Nevertheless, you must have realistic expectations about what mentoring can do for you.
It’s about success acceleration, not a magical solution for every problem you have in your life.
The first thing you should know is that even with a mentor, you’ll have to find your own way to success. It’s impossible to completely replicate what others have achieved. Times change fast and with changes, rules of success also dramatically change.
So try to find someone closest to what you want to achieve, but know that even in such a case, you will have to fight for your own unique path to achieve your dreams. There is no general and everlasting formula for success that would take all the details into account.
General principles for how to succeed might always stay the same, but every path to success is unique; and there are always many different ways of getting there. You must find your own. A mentor can only show you the way in general.
Mentors will also always give you advice that justifies their past decisions or reflects their personal experience. Your experience will always be different from your mentor’s because of your own unique path, personality and goals.
So listen to your mentor, be guided, but always have a center on yourself and think with your own head.
To give you an example: in the startup world, it often happens that a startup meets with 20 mentors and they get a lot of conflicting advice. Then they get confused. Well, there is no one way to success. Everyone has a different experience and thus shares different advice. There is no one way to success; there are many ways. At the end of the day, you have to decide what makes the most sense for you and which path you will take.
Always think with your own head, what makes sense for you and what doesn’t. A real mentor will always respect you making your own decisions. The main idea of mentorship is to see the progress in your life, not always listening to your mentor like an obedient servant.
Try, experiment, enter the search mode, listen to your gut, think about where different decisions will get you in life, get feedback from real life; but then also reflect, compare what happened and what your mentor told you, where you were wrong and your mentor was right, and vice-versa.
Share that experience with your mentor and that should even deepen your relationship. The final decision on which path you’ll take must always be yours.
How to find a mentor
It’s easy to find a mentor. It’s very hard to find a really great mentor. The more successful the person you target as a mentor is, the more you have to be mentally prepared for real mentorship and advancement. You probably know the quote that when a student is ready, the teacher will appear.
It’s easy to find a mentor. It’s very hard to find a really great mentor.
Nevertheless, when you decide to get a mentor in your life, you have to be proactive, not hoping that it will just happen. There are a few good ways of finding a mentor:
- Your job
- Direct contact (email, conferences,…)
- Professional coaches
- Mentoring programs
The place where you work is one of the best opportunities for finding a mentor. First of all, never work for a boss you don’t respect and can’t learn from. If you have the abundance mindset, you know that there are many jobs out there and you deserve more than just a job.
You deserve a workplace where you can create, develop yourself, learn from other people and also earn decent money (if you provide enough value, of course).
Learn while you earn. Earn while you get mentored.
Many companies have mentoring programs and assign a mentor to every newcomer, but employees rarely take full advantage of such programs. Don’t be one of them.
Be proactive and make sure that you get the most out of the mentoring program if your company provides one.
Set regular meetings with your assigned mentor, learn from them and show them your professionalism, ambitions and seriousness. Not only will you have a mentor, your chances for promotion will also be greater. Just don’t be shy and passive.
If there is no such mentoring program in your company, analyze who you respect the most in the company and ask them directly if they’re prepared to mentor you.
There’s a great chance that they’ll be honored and happy to do it. At the end of the day, you’re in the same boat.
Direct contact (email, conferences, etc.)
The next thing you can do is to do some research, find someone you really want to have as a personal coach and write to them or contact them directly.
You can approach them, for example, at a conference they lecture at, write them an email or make the initial contact another way.
If you aren’t aiming for the top 1 % or really busy people like presidents and blue-chip company CEOs, there are great chances that people will respond positively to you.
Sure you’ll get rejected, but if you prepare a list of 20 potential mentors and write to them one by one, you’ll get to a yes sooner or later.
Many people dedicate their careers to personal coaching. You can easily find them online, either by using search engines or by browsing different personal coach directories.
It’s definitely one of the best ways to find a mentor, even though mentoring sessions will not be free.
There are many advantages of professional coaching. Professional coaches usually have more experience with actual mentoring and coaching, they prepare better and they simply have to deliver results, because you pay them for that. If they don’t deliver results, they won’t stay in business for long.
The downside, besides paying for coaching, is that they rarely achieved success in the area you want to succeed in – they are generalists, not specialists.
So if you need someone to mentor you in how to succeed in your industry or in a very specific thing, it may turn out that there are not many professional coaches with such a background. Nevertheless, you can still combine more different coaches and mentors to get the best possible result.
Well, if you try a professional coach or two and see how things go, you don’t have a lot to lose. You know the philosophy: try it and see for yourself how it works. And you don’t need to have a professional coach constantly.
In my experience, people usually hire a professional coach in certain challenging periods of their lives, and then take a pause or change to a different coach. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of an approach.
Just make sure you don’t try to run away to a different coach right at the moment when a coach gives you a tougher exercise to do. Then you may have a problem with execution, not with the coach.
You can also find many different mentoring programs online, and probably in your local community as well. Mentoring programs can be only matching programs or even more: some do matching as well as provide a framework to give the best possible result of mentoring sessions.
Besides matching, frameworks and individual sessions, you can also find many group mentoring and mastermind group formation services, and all other kind of different specialized mentoring programs.
Many of them provide really good services. Again, there’s no other option but to try it and see for yourself. If such programs work for you, great, if not find a new option. There are many of them available. Just don’t waste time on what doesn’t work and instead persevere at things that work for you best.
The last type of potential mentors to have in your life are the so-called specialists. Mentors specialists possess a specific kind of knowledge and help you manage your life better, achieving the results faster with very specific goals.
While you enjoy such a service, they usually also transfer a lot of knowledge and important insights to you.
Usually they don’t see themselves as mentors, more as professional service offerers, but in reality they are also mentors.
Here are a few examples of such mentors:
- Fitness personal trainers
- Investment advisors
- Technology advisors
- Spiritual guides etc.
How to approach a potential mentor, a step-by-step guide
Hoping that a great mentor will come into your life is not a strategy. It’s false hope. What you need is to shape a superior strategy and then go into action – all the way until you get a mentor you really want and deserve.
There are five general steps you should take and consider before and when approaching a potential mentor:
- Goals, outcomes and mentoring proposal
- Duration and frequency of mentorship
- Method of contact
- Options research and list of potential mentors
- Mentors’ background check
- Outreach strategy and pitching
- Engage a mentor with small commitments
First, you have to decide if you have a budget to pay your mentor or not. If you do have a budget, you can do research on paid mentoring options, including professional coaching, paid mentoring programs and specialists for hire. If you have a budget, this is where I’d start.
If you don’t have a budget, you’ll have to focus more on options inside your company, free mentoring programs from non-profit organizations and goodwill of people who are successful and willing to give back to the community and mentor others for free.
Goals and outcomes
Then the really important thing is that you have clear goals and outcomes you want to achieve with mentoring. “It would be great to have you as a mentor” is just not enough and a very poor goal.
A mentor will take you much more seriously if you pitch them with a sound proposal together with concrete goals you want to achieve.
Here are a few things to consider regarding mentoring goals:
- What you should talk about during mentoring sessions
- What are your realistic expectations
- Should you use any mentoring framework
- How often would you meet
- Methods of contact
- What will they get out of it
- How will you show your real commitment
- Agreeing to confidentiality, and so on.
You can simply outline all these issues on a single page and communicate them with your potential mentor.
Research, listing potential mentors and priorities
When you know whether you have a budget or not and what would be the goals of your mentoring sessions, you have to do research. You can find everything you need for the research online – from search engines to social networks and community websites.
You want to research different mentoring programs on the market, potential professional and non-professional coaches, specialists and other mentoring options.
In this step, you should list at least 20 potential mentors with whom you could establish a mentoring relationship. If you can list 50 or even more options, that’s even better.
Make sure you have a lot of options and that you’re ready for a rejection or two (or ten of them or how many it takes). When you have your options listed, do additional extensive research of mentoring programs, professional mentors, non-professional mentors and specialists.
Remember, your goal is not only to get a mentor, but to get an outstanding mentor.
Your background check of every single option should consist of:
- Bio and reference research
- Testimonials, reviews, lectures you can find online
- Past mentoring experience
- Openness to giving back to the community
- Prices and availability
- Email responsiveness and other important info that will influence the quality of the relationship.
Based on the background research, you should set the priorities on who to contact first.
Don’t only hope to get a mentor. Do background research and convince the mentor you really want in your life.
Preparing a pitch
Now you need an outstanding pitch that will blow away your potential mentor by expressing how serious, professional and ambitious you are and how much you want them for your personal mentor. Then they simply won’t be able to say no.
One thing you don’t want to do is to send the same message to all of the mentors you have on your list. Dedicate hours and hours to shaping a killer pitch for every potential mentor on your list.
The more exactly you pitch what you want from them, how little time the mentoring sessions will take them, what will be the impact they can achieve (change your life forever), what they will get out of it (testimonials, any kind of help), and how awesome and serious you are, the more likely it is that you will hear a yes.
You just have to take your pitch a step further than anybody else.
Have a creative and outstanding CV, build a website to pitch potential mentors or record a video, send them a strategic plan of how they can help you, find someone who can introduce you to them, there are many things you can do to increase your probability of success. Just be bold and creative.
Don’t scare people away by pitching a big commitment when potential mentors don’t even really know you yet.
Even though you must prepare professional materials, be strategic about it. Don’t pitch full mentorship commitment at the beginning. Ask for a skype session, email advice or coffee.
Start small, then slowly build up to the moment when you propose a real mentoring session. Build your relationship step by step and don’t scare people away by pitching a big commitment when potential mentors don’t even really know you yet. Always think before you act.
Things that will help you find a mentor
If you’re serious about getting a mentor, there are two additional things you can do, besides having a superior strategy, professional materials with a killer pitch, and tactics of slowly building a relationship with your potential mentor until the moment of proposal comes.
Here they are:
- Already excel at something
Already excel at something
It’s not about getting a mentor and then excelling at something. It’s about excelling at something and that attracting a mentor into your life.
Mentors want to work with doers and winners, because they know that it’s the only way to really accelerate a mentee’s success.
You have to already be in motion, you have to show ambition, desire and execution and then a mentor can really help you accelerate your success. It’s almost impossible to encourage someone who doesn’t have any drive at all.
So make sure you have a line of successes before you start looking for a mentor.
It’s much better to be introduced to a potential mentor by someone they know rather than doing a cold email. If you get introduced, together with a good word or two about you, you have a much higher probability for success when trying to get someone to be your mentor.
You can get to an introduction with a very strategic approach – analyzing social networks to find mutual connections, building your professional network step by step and going to events where that kind of introductions can be made.
Networking should be part of your strategy of getting a mentor. Then you just have to be patient for the right opportunity. Timing is everything.
Mentoring progress metrics
As mentioned a few times before, you don’t want to just have a mentor, you want measurable results. But if you really want to measure your mentoring progress, you have to set some basic mentoring metrics.
You can manage only the things that you measure. It’s nothing complicated that you’re looking for, just a few signs to see how much value you’re extracting from the mentoring sessions.
Here are a few ideas for what you can measure:
- Frequency and consistency (but please don’t meet just for the sake of meeting)
- How confident, ambitious and motivated you feel after the session (self-assessment from 1 to 10 before and after a meeting)
- Number of market/life insights you get after a session (count them)
- How you do things differently after a meeting (number of things you start or stop doing)
If you don’t change your behavior and how you do things after a mentoring session, you probably haven’t really learned anything new.
Your goal should be to always find a better way to do things in a discussion with your mentor.
My personal experience with mentoring
I was mentored a few times in my professional career, and I mentored many people in my lifetime. Let me start with how mentors helped me advance in life.
- My first mentor taught me to think
- My second mentor taught me to lead
- My third mentor taught me to be more flexible
Learning how to think
Here’s the story of how I got my first mentor. I got interested in startups and at one of the business schools, I organized a lecture with a guy who started the first venture capital backed hi-tech startup ever in my region. That was around 15 years ago at the beginning of my professional career.
I went to the lecture and I understood close to nothing. Nevertheless, I clearly knew one single thing. I wanted to learn from that man. After the lecture, with my hands shaking, I introduced myself and I asked him if I may invite him for a cup of coffee, because I’m really interested in his professional story.
He said yes, we talked for hours and afterwards, we worked together for almost a year. I learned more in that one single year than ever again in my life; I especially learned how to think boldly, analyze, create and really use my own brain; besides how to build startups. The mentor challenged me and my abilities to the limit, and changed my life forever.
Learning how to lead
My second mentor was a rich investment banker. He wasn’t officially my mentor, but I worked with him a lot and learned how to be a real leader and develop my personal style and charisma. His charisma and style are not far from Michael Douglas’ in the Wall Street movie.
I was lucky to work with him when he was at the top, leading one of the biggest investment companies in the region, and when he lost more than 100 million dollars. I saw how he handled success but also even more importantly how he handled failure.
From him, I learned to be a man of action, to be bold and assertive and to have style; even when things go wrong. I learned to have ambition, always tell my own opinion, listen to markets, be a gentleman, that marketing is everything and how to lead people. In that period of my life, I learned how to back my thinking with focused action.
In those years, I also spent a lot of time with other successful people (business angels, VC fund managers …) and I saw how their mental blueprint was unique compared to the rest of the population. There is a lot of luck in success, but a lot can also be contributed to the mindset.
In every one of my successful friends or business partners, I saw at least one thing that really stood out – it could be how they handled money, how organized and systematic they were, how they saw the world, how they employed creativity, how they handled their own doubts, and so on.
I learned so much when I was intensively working with the richest and smartest people in my region that it can’t compare to any book I read. So yes, it’s not only about having a mentor, but also in general about the people you spend most of the time with.
Learning to be more flexible
I learned how to think and I learned how to act. But there was one big ingredient missing in my character and so the next mentor came into my life. We were business partners for more than three years and I learned a lot from him, as he did from me.
Before I met my third mentor, I was more of a “my way or the highway” kind of a guy. But there are many situations in life where flexibility works much better than trying to go through a wall with your own head. Darwin figured that out centuries ago.
It was my time to learn how to be more flexible and find a positive way out of any negative situation. The last mentor taught me that optimizing your life for productivity is not enough, you also have to optimize it for flexibility. Times have become too turbulent for being only productive.
Well, now I’m even writing about how to be more agile in life on this blog.
Industry change and specialists
As you probably know, I switched from startup and venture capital industry to publishing. In 2016, I decided to dedicate my full attention to this blog. So I am now building a network of people in the new publishing industry. For me, that means building things from ground up.
I currently don’t have a mentor, but I do have many specialists who help me in certain areas of life.
Currently, I especially work a lot with personal trainers, physiotherapists and nutrition advisors to optimize my health and become really fit once and for all. I’m also surrounded by many other specialists and make sure I learn from other people that I meet in my life. Nevertheless, I also wonder in excitement who my next mentor will be.
My experience with mentoring other people
If we switch to the mentoring side, I’ve mentored many people in the past years, mostly for free. Now in monk mode, I don’t mentor anybody, but somehow I miss it, since I like to help and empower people.
The one think that struck me the most when mentoring people is that people usually don’t believe enough in themselves. They don’t have parents or partners or anybody else who would see their potential and encourage them to go for their peak potential. I mean real peak potential, global maximum.
Besides giving some practical advice, that’s what I focus on the most – finding people’s strengths, seeing their potential and then encouraging them and sometimes pushing them a little bit harshly to achieve that potential.
On top of that, the most valuable thing I can usually give to mentees is also to show them how to hustle and how to be a grinder and a fighter. Let’s sit down and list 50 people you should contact, write an email template and then just do it; or sell me your product and if your pitch is good, I’ll really buy it.
Once you reach a certain level of experience and success in life, it's kind of your duty and moral obligation to share it with others.
Alternatives to personal mentoring
If somehow you can’t find a personal mentor, there are many other things you can employ to achieve a similar result. It’s not the same as having a mentor, but it can bring a lot of value into your life. Here is what you can do:
- Read biographies and watch documentaries
- Public appearances
- Model people
One thing you can do is to read biographies of successful people. I am currently reading the biography of Elon Musk and it’s really motivating.
You get at least some insight into how successful people think, what kind of decisions they made and what kind of struggles they had to overcome. In the same way, you can find many interesting documentaries.
You can also learn a lot about people by going to see their public appearances, from talk shows, lectures, roundtables, TED Talks and so on.
Mentors usually give similar advice one-on-one as they do in their lectures. Not all their secrets and the most personal ones, but many others.
The last thing you can do is to model other successful people. You study in detail how they made it, analyze and research all the data available on them and their success, and try to model the steps they made that led them to the top.
As I mentioned, it can’t be exactly replicated, but you can definitely learn a lot and increase your own chances for success.
Find yourself a mentor now
The only thing that’s stopping you from finding your own mentor is being only a talker and a dreamer, and not a doer. Be a doer and surround yourself with successful people, including a mentor who will accelerate your success. Now you know how to do it.
It’s not hard, just follow these steps:
- Budget and goals: Decide if you are prepared to invest any money into personal coaching or not, and what exactly would be the mentoring goals and objections.
- Priorities list with contact details: Write down a list of 20 to 50 people who could be your potential mentors – brainstorm people from the company you work at, local community, industry, authorities, specialists, mentoring programs, friends of friends, there are numerous possibilities. Prioritize the list and don’t forget to add emails to every name.
- Detailed background check: Do extensive background research for every option on your list – from social media, review sites, people you know, interviews, videos, lectures, articles and prioritize your list again.
- Preparing a pitch: Prepare an outstanding pitch and mentoring proposal, including your professional presentation (CV), plan, commitments, why the mentor should do it. Make sure you prepare something really unique and that your proposal starts with small commitments.
- Action: Start contacting people on your list, all the way until you get to a yes. If you don’t get to a yes, write down additional 20 names on your list and repeat the process. Every no gets you closer to a yes.
And at the end of a mentoring session, never forget to say thank you to your mentor! Now you know for sure how to find a mentor who will really accelerate your success.