How do I find a passionate and purposeful mentor?
Working with a mentor is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself in business.
Being able to share your fears and frustrations, desires and aspirations with someone you trust and respect, in a safe environment, is invaluable. I only have one rule of thumb when it comes to working with a mentor: choose them wisely!
Over the years I've had several mentors; some good and others not so. The mentors, who haven't contributed value, have always been wolves in sheep clothing. I met a couple of wolves in my earlier years that not only gave me bad advice, but when the going got tough, they got going! Demonstrating they were in it for the wrong reasons.
No matter what you've been through or will go through in future, I can guarantee someone else has gone there before you. A good mentor has been there. The will also help you navigate the murky fog and offer practical advice to help you get towards your destination.
A mentor can be utilised to develop most areas in business, particularly ones that aren't your strengths, i.e. finances, leadership, entrepreneurialism, motivation or sales, to name a few.
You dont have to catch up with your mentor in person every week, you can meet via phone or Skype once a month or every quarter, whatever works for you both. Or it can be on an ad hoc basis for areas you need help with on the fly. Just remember a good mentor is in demand so dont abuse their generosity or time. And always offer to help them in some way in return.
What's in it for the mentor?
Most successful people just get a buzz from helping others. Perhaps you remind them of themselves in their early journey. Mabye they just like you and your vision. Many successful people love sharing their journeys and passing on vital lessons and wisdom to others. You would be surprised at how many good and willing mentors are out there that never get asked for help. So ask! You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Where do you find a good mentor? They are all around us. It could be a client. A friend of a friend? Perhaps a father in law? Your Mother? Someone you respect and trust? Or maybe it's a person who is where you want to be life? For me personally mentors have always materialised through people that I know and trust, making them a safer bet.
Always be wary of wolves and false prophets. Working with a mentor that you dont know very well can be fraught with danger, so proceed slowly and cautiously.
In my experience many successful mentors are older, but that's not always the case. And not all successful people are good mentors, that will depend on their natural instinct for coaching.
Working with a good mentor shouldn't cost you more than a coffee or the odd lunch here and there... but if you find the right mentor that small investment could pay off big time!