How to Acquire Mentors
So you're looking for a mentor. You need someone who can offer you the kind of advice that will propel you to that next level of success in business, relationships, and life. Not to worry, it's a lot easier than you may think to acquire mentors- for free! They are literally all around!
The more I became involved in starting my own business, the more I became aware that I needed mentors. My first move was to google "mentors for business development." I found some excellent resources ranging from costly to free. As I did my research on each potential mentor, I discovered they had two things in common. For one, they were all experienced guides who were actually willing to let others benefit from their skills. Secondly, they were all uniquely qualified to impact the trajectory of my business success.
And that, my friend, is how I realized that I had always been surrounded by mentors! I was looking for the formal idea of a business mentor. You know, the kind where you make a call, schedule a twenty-minute meeting, submit to an interview-like process, and then poof! You're out of there, but not before you schedule another $100 session.
My mentors do not all work in offices, but they were all important to my journey towards success in business and life. In fact, many of my mentors have no clue that they mentored me and that they did it for free! My pastor, Bishop Jasper Rolle, has been an extremely powerful mentor and he did it right from the pulpit! Another mentor, Valerie Burton, has no idea that I even exist, or that her books have had such a positive effect on my thinking. I've also had some more traditional mentors as well (again, for free). They include SCORE Mentors and the extremely helpful and resourceful Natalie Williams at NYC Business Solutions.
The point is, your mentors are all around you and they come in all forms. You may not have formal office meetings, but that's quite okay. Your mentors may include a pastor, a conversation you overheard at the train station, a paragraph in a book, or a line in a song.
Now, how do you acquire one of these mentors that I claimed are just running around here waiting to be snatched up? Well, not everyone knows that they would make great mentors and simply asking them to be your mentor may take them by surprise. One of two things will happen: they will be flattered and agree or they will run in the opposite direction, assuming you want a weekly (or worse, a daily) commitment from them.
Your best approach is to be genuine. Ask about what you would like to know. Tell them when something they said or a resource they gave you was helpful. This conversation you are having IS your mentoring session! You are gathering information that will propel you to that next level and maybe to your purpose as well!
Guess what else you just did? You just did some networking! Wow, look at you! Networking, at its core, is as simple as recognizing opportunities and resources and then asking questions that will lead to your acquisition of those resources.
And now you're probably wondering how many people you've mentored unbeknownst to you! Well, it's your turn now. Go get your mentors!