When I was growing up, no one ever talked about the importance of mentors like they do today. Instead all I heard was this…
“If you want to be successful, you have to go to school, get a degree, and find a stable paying job once you graduate.”
Although there is nothing wrong with taking that route, having a great mentor is one of the quickest ways to become successful. Not only will the right mentor profoundly alter your mindset for the better, but they have the ability to shorten your learning curve, help you limit mistakes, and most importantly push you to achieve success faster.
Finding a mentor is a hot topic nowadays and I hear this question being asked all the time, “how do I find a mentor?” I’ve seen some poor advice when it comes to answering this question. That’s why I wanted to throw in my two cents and discuss how you can actually land a mentor while avoiding some of the biggest mistakes most people make while going through this process.
The fact is, many people tend to overcomplicate the process of obtaining a mentor. So today I want to share with you my simple 5-step guide for finding your first (or next) business/life mentor.
Step #1: Get Crystal Clear
Before you begin approaching any prospective mentors, you need to become absolutely certain on the outcome you desire.
Begin this process by answering the following questions:
- Why do I want a mentor?
- What type of mentor do I need/want?
- What will this relationship bring to my life/business?
- What value can I provide to a potential mentor?
- Who has the results that I’d like to replicate/model after?
You have to be crystal clean on YOUR goals so that you can find the RIGHT mentor who is equipped to help you achieve them.
You will want somebody who aligns with your unique personality, the vision you have, and most importantly your core values (integrity, ethics, lifestyle, etc).
It is crucial that you do not settle or compromise when choosing a mentor. By getting clarity in the areas I mentioned above, you ensure your success in the following steps.
Step #2: Research & Due Diligence
Create a long list of your “dream” mentors. Don’t hold back. Literally write down any and every name that comes to mind no matter how impossible it may seem to acquire that mentor. By doing this, you are creating a ”dream list” of potential targets to aim for. (This step can be skipped if you already have clarity on exactly who you want to be your mentor – it’s good to have back ups though)!
Next, go back to your answers from step #1… what names best align with your desired outcome in life/business? Think this over carefully, and then pick 3-5 people you would like to pursue as a mentor.
Step #3: The Value Audit
Always look to make a deposit before asking for a withdrawal. This is one mistake most make right out of the gate. If you are just looking to selfishly gain from this person before giving anything of value, you will significantly hurt your chances of acquiring them as a mentor.
Take a two-step approach and see how you can give and add value to that individual before ever thinking about asking for anything in return. By conducting a value-driven approach you will differentiate yourself from everyone else and stand out from the pack.
The goal here is to establish a solid relationship with your prospective mentor. This action will create a bond that allows you to ask them for help when needed. If you make enough deposits to this person, you will have accumulated enough of a balance when it’s time to ask for a withdrawal.
How to lead with value:
- Research the desired mentor’s website, business, and ongoing projects.
- Search for areas the mentor may have a potential weakness to fix or an opportunity for growth.
- Based on your current skills/resources, brainstorm how you can improve or add value to the mentor’s business or life.
Upon analyzing your potential mentor’s business, you may discover that one of his potential weaknesses is social media engagement. With this knowledge and your experience, you could construct and share a detailed action-plan illustrating how to better leverage and promote their content so they develop more comments, engagement, and customers.
How this helps you stand out:
- You approach offering a solution for an issue they currently have (that they may not even know is there).
- You demonstrate to them that you’re a person of authentic value that just wants to give.
- You demonstrate your willingness to go the extra mile.
- You activate the law of reciprocity and establish trust.
- You successfully differentiate yourself from everyone else who is contacting them asking to “pick their brain” or “sit down for a quick coffee”.
Most importantly, you aren’t selfishly asking your preferred mentor for help without offering anything in return. Instead, you’re leading with value before that conversation ever comes to the table. This is key!
BONUS TIP: Successful people are always looking for more ways to get TIME back and make more MONEY! If you can identify a way to help them do this, you’ll be well ahead of the time suckers and “ask-holes”. Also, don’t overlook the importance of being likeable. People enjoy spending time with those they like being around, so make sure you aren’t a nuisance and make the effort to enhance that person’s life or business every time you’re around them.
Step #4: The Strategic “Ask”
Now that you’ve produced actual value, the big question is, “how do I contact my desired mentor?”
There are two basic ways to connect:
- A Warm Introduction
- The Cold Connection
The best approach is through a warm introduction. If you happen to know someone who’s already associated with your anticipated mentor, a referral would be the easiest option as you can merely ask for an introduction by phone, email, or text.
If you don’t have a mutual connection, you’ll need to get a little more creative and reach out “cold” to initiate the association. Do not approach asking them to be your mentor right away without establishing a relationship first. Find some common ground – whether that’s through a compliment, a shared connection, or mutual hobby. It has to be something that you can both relate on. This is very important.
It’s all about the delivery. Whether it’s a warm or cold introduction, always make sure you’re leading with genuine value and displaying that at every available opportunity (without actually telling them this is what you’re doing).
Step #5: Strengthen The Bond
Once you have your foot in the door, remind yourself that this person is letting you in their world because they see potential in you. Use the first few opportunities to be around this person to simply learn, continue adding value, and deepen your rapport and trust with them.
As the relationship forms, you’ll find yourself getting indirect mentorship as a result. This process will allow you to see how your new mentor’s mind works, their daily activities, and you’ll be in the position to ask some basic questions from them as you push yourself when implementing these new strategies you’re learning. Eventually, this will become more of an official ”mentor-mentee” relationship, and ultimately over time become a friendship that is mutually beneficial for all involved.
So there you have it… My 5-Step Guide to Getting Your First Mentor.
Now, I’ll be honest with you…there is a chance that you won’t be successful on your first attempt…or your second…or third! It is important to understand that it can take time for the relationship to develop and grow. When I’ve landed those life changing mentors myself, consistency was the key. It’s the people who keep showing up and adding value that are the one’s who win. Just remember, they want to help you, but first you must prove that you want to help yourself and can show you are willing to do whatever it takes to deserve their time. Now get out there and land your dream mentor. You’ve got this!