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How to Find a Mentor.
The Right Way.
We've all known and heard stories from successful people who after first acknowledging and giving credit to God, then pay homage to their mother, father, and often a teacher who made a big impact. In some instances, those who were fortunate enough also heap appreciation and thankful praise upon one key person: their mentor.
Having a mentor can often open closed doors, land the job of your dreams, and escalate entrepreneurial dreams into real world ventures.
So how do you find a mentor? What can you do to make sure the mentor says "yes" to take you on.
Tips to find a mentor - the right way ,,,
Let those who know you best also know of your desire to find a mentor. For students, this means guidance counselors, teachers and professors. And do not forget the pastor at your church. Pastors and clergy members in most cases have important ties and relationships with members in all sectors, from business to politics.
If you are just beginning your career - let your human resource professionals know of your desire to find a mentor. If you are an entrepreneur - join professional associations and reach out to those in your profession to find a mentor.
Personal Introductions. Still the Gold Standard.
Sure. You can be in the right place and say the right thing and pitch a mentor. But hear this, please: NOTHING beats the power of a personal introduction. Think about it. More than likely the person who introduces you knows, or has a strong affiliation with the mentor of your dreams. You do not. You aspire that. So once you identify someone whom you believe is your "dream mentor" - drill down. Look at their LinkedIn profile. Explore to find out who you know, or can make contact with who knows that person. Then, get to them first. Explain with your utmost of passion why you need them to introduce you. Yes, they will be a "gatekeeper" of the relationship. But if they believe you, your passion and your capabilities - they will go to bat for you and land that all-important introduction.
Long Lines. Full Plates.
Show respect for those who you want to mentor you. Understand that more than likely - they have more than a "full plate" of responsibilities, and you are not the only one who may have approached them to be their mentor. So if your request is not approved - don't take it personally. Their response could just be the reality that they are "spent" time wise and just don't have the time to mentor as they really know the task requires.
Show Up. Stand Out.
Can't stress enough just how important it is to join professional organizations and associations for your industry category. Be proactive. Volunteer. Get involved. Show up at the meetings and networking events. Stand out by serving --- introducing speakers, making travel arrangements, sending out emails to members. You never know how being in the right place at the right time can put you in the right place to be recognized and get you face time with a prospective mentor.
Before you take on a business partner, make sure you're a good match?