I speak a lot about the importance of mentors. Having a person in your life that can lead and inspire you has the potential to shape your career more than you know.
What in your opinion, is the difference between a mentor and a coach? Simply put, a coach is someone you pay, and a mentor is someone that helps you for free. So why then, would someone want to mentor you? What’s in it for them? If you want to find a mentor that is interested in giving up their precious time to mentor you, then you have to add some value to them as well. Follow them on social media, share their content with your audience, engage with their posts, add insightful comments, and before you know it, your potential mentor might start to notice you.
When you show that you’re committed and that you value what someone does, they’ll appreciate that. If you do the above for about three months, you would have started to build a rapport with the person and then you’ll be able to message them and tell them that you would love to learn from them and ask them how you could potentially go about doing that. Then see if they would be interested in meeting with you once a month (over skype or in-person) to give you some business advice. In return, you could tell them that you’ll continue sharing their content with your audience and doing anything else that might be beneficial for them and their business. Chances are if you position it like that- the person will say yes!
Below, I outline some of my top tips for making the most of your mentorship and being the perfect protege:
1. Willingness to ask for help: I’ve met a lot of people who want to do things their way and don’t want to accept advice from others. I was also like this before I met my mentor. I thought I knew it all, when in fact I was far from knowing anything at the time. Respect people who have been the field for longer than you. Ask them questions and learn from their success stories. You won’t be sorry!
2. Readiness to try new ideas: It’s never easy stepping out of your comfort zone but don’t expect to get a new result by doing the same thing. Mentors are there to offer suggestions and ideas. Try as many new ideas as you can!
3. The ability to accept constructive criticism: I’m the kind of person who says it how it is. If you want to grow, then you’ll have to stop being offended and start using the constructive criticism offered to you to your benefit- not detriment!
4. Be personally responsible and accountable: The only person responsible for you is you! Blaming others will never get you far in the workforce. Be honest with your mentor. No excuses.
5. Ready, willing and able to meet regularly: Just like you can’t expect to eat sugar on a diet and lose weight, you can’t expect to learn from your mentor if you aren’t there to take notes. I met with my mentor every single day for more than eighteen months. It paid off big time for me, so imagine what it could do for you? Should your mentor not have the time to meet regularly, then perhaps you should consider paying a coach to meet with you more frequently (should this be something that you need).