How to Find a Success Mentor
Here’s how to find a success mentor, with 6 keys to finding a great mentor and ensuring they become vested in your success, level-jumping your results.
If you’re about to make a big, risky change in your life, why not learn—hands on—from the best? Mentors are truly one of the best assets you can have. And, unlike coaching which can be very expensive, mentors don’t charge money. Instead, great mentors gain satisfaction by seeing you apply what you’re learning and make progress in life.
The trick is in learning how to find and maintain excellent mentors who are willing to share their valuable time with you.
Mentors are Your Network’s Turbo Charger
Mentors are critical to taking life-changing action. Mentors will level-jump your results and change your perception of what’s possible.
Mentors have been down the path you’re headed. They can give you directions. They can warn you of dangers. They can direct you to the shortcuts.
Indeed, mentors have been instrumental in my successful departure from The Grind (the 9-5 corporate life, that is). If there was a milestone in my career, there was a mentor behind it.
I have had a string of mentors throughout my career. These people have opened the door and helped me leave the grind behind. And yours will do the same for you. You just need to ask. Here’s your overview of mentoring.
Read the Top 5 Benefits of Having a Mentor »
What mentoring means to a Grinder
Have you seen someone who excels in your desired field? Do you know someone who has repeated success in whatever they do?
Now, would your life improve if those types of people were involved in your grind-behind journey? Absolutely!
Having a mentor is one of the most rewarding activities you can engage in. To a Grinder, receiving mentoring means:
- Finding someone who has success in the areas you’re interested in.
- Allowing them to tell you how they became successful, including the ups and downs.
- Reducing your risk by having them review your plans, brainstorm with you, and open doors.
Surprise…successful people WANT to mentor
Before asking anyone to mentor you, it’s best to get your mindset right. You may think successful people are too busy and consumed in their own lives that they don’t have time to mentor.
Surprisingly, people generally love to teach and love to know that their particular skills, background, and results are being noticed. I have been constantly impressed with how willing people are to take time out of their day to mentor.
Think about it this way: being asked to mentor is one of the highest compliments a person can receive. You are effectively saying they have achieved what you’re dreaming of.
Thought in this way, at a minimum, you will make that person smile. At best, you’ll have yourself a life-changing mentor. So don’t be shy about asking. It’s win-win.
If you don’t see mentoring in this way and don’t feel comfortable asking, I recommend reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
The Mentor Relationship
You and your mentor will commit both your time and minds to the process. It’s important that you take mentoring very seriously and respect your mentor’s time and experience.
What your mentor deserves from you
If you are asking a successful person to take time out of their life to help you, here’s what you should, at minimum, plan to do in return:
This goes without saying, but I like to completely disconnect from the rest of the world during my sessions. This means I turn off my phone, step away from the computer, and give my mentor full attention.
Eliminate distractions. Nothing will end a mentoring relationship faster than your inattention.
2. Ask questions
Learn how to ask leading questions and ensure the sessions are interactive. Many high-potential mentors may not yet know how to be a great mentor. Come up with a list of questions and hurdles from your current situation, but also make sure to ask questions about their life. Be prepared. Don’t slack.
3. Meet on their terms and set the next appointment
Can they make time once per month over lunch? Great. Take it. Can they talk by phone at 7 p.m. once per week? Take that instead.
Make it as convenient as possible for your mentor. Also, make sure you proactively set up the next session. This shows you are excited and benefitting from the meetings.
4. Keep an open mind
One of the most important things I’ve learned during my mentoring sessions is that I don’t know jack. Success comes in many forms, and it is incredible what some people credit their success to. Just because it doesn’t fit your particular perspective doesn’t mean it is invalid.
This one was tough for me. I’m very skeptical by nature, yet a lot of the themes that came up in my mentoring sessions were spiritual or metaphysical in nature—take Napoleon Hill’s work, for example.
This did not fit into my world view at all. I wrote these ideas off for a while, but after seeing them come up repeatedly, I started taking a deeper look. This allowed me to uncover the science behind their effectiveness and put the ideas into practice.
Mentors also opened me up to the importance of having a positive attitude and leveraging my subconscious. Obviously, those suggestions have made a huge impact in my life and ended up being a major focus of this book. Good thing I let down my guard.
5. Take action
If a mentor is dedicating a good amount of their time to give life and career advice, you should show actual application. Put into practice what makes sense for you, but don’t sit idle.
Nothing will be more satisfying for both of you than seeing actual real world results. And results won’t come without action.
6. Offer your loyalty, and if needed, help
Does your mentor have something you can assist with? Offer to help. Maybe it’s as simple as shoveling snow one morning. Maybe your mentor could use help with a charitable event they’re running. Perhaps their business could benefit from a skill you have.
Mentors generally won’t expect anything in return, but showing your appreciation can go a long way.
What you should expect from your mentor
Mentors are all different. Some people are more adept at analyzing their own lives and teaching than others.
While you should help facilitate and ask questions, also allow the mentor to play to their own strengths. This is the best way to observe this person in their true state, which is what you’re looking for. If the mentor is trying to cater to a specific expectation, you won’t get what you need.
Ultimately, a good mentor will:
- Tell you their story.
- Help apply their learnings to your journey.
- Hold you accountable.
- Provide motivation.
- Link you to their network.
Conclusion and More
You’ll learn much more about mentoring and other human network factors in my book, Leave the Grind Behind.
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