It seems like every successful entrepreneur has had and endorses getting a mentor. Most people think of a mentor as someone that teaches them about business, but a mentor can actually provide overall life advice. Many times, life advice can make the biggest impact towards success in business.
A mentor can help shift your mindset from fear to growth, teach you financial strategies to save and invest, encourage you to take chances in business and lifestyle, and push you to maximize your potential. Their purpose is to help you grow, and for growth to happen you need to be pushed beyond your comfort zone.
Being a mentor myself, I receive messages and emails every week asking me to be a mentor. Talking to other successful entrepreneurs, I can see this is a consistent thing for them as well. Looking for a mentor is the right thing to do, but there are certain practices you should consider when doing so.
Below are three things you should never do when trying to get someone to be your mentor:
1. Ask “Will you be my mentor?”
Asking someone to be your mentor right away is a waste of your time. Anyone qualified to be someone that you should listen to will likely not answer that question. Think about it from the side of the mentor; they’re successful, very busy, and likely have many people they deal with on a regular basis that would love to be mentored by them.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
It is highly unlikely they are going to just randomly say yes to someone they don’t know. Instead of asking for something, try contacting them and giving them something. Research them and find out what they like or what you can do to help them. They will appreciate the gesture and now see you as someone of value.
2. Be uncommitted
The last thing anyone wants to do is invest time into someone that isn’t committed to the mission. Having a mentor is not a straight path to success. There will still be many ups and downs during your journey, but you have to trust the process. This is the same when trying to get someone to be your mentor.
Finding a way to give to someone is only the first step. You need to begin to follow-up and find ways to keep engaging, or else you risk being forgotten. Successful individuals are contacted all the time by people looking for handouts who quit the moment they don’t get it. Show your potential mentor you’re serious and are committed to helping them and you may find that they will start to take an interest in what you’re doing.
3. Be scared to invest
Whether it is time or money, a successful entrepreneur has likely invested lots of it to get to where they are. It would only make sense that they would expect the same from you. If you’re scared to invest money in your personal or business growth or can only invest a certain amount of time because of a job, relationship or your favorite TV show, then you can’t expect someone to invest in you.
“Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.” – E.M. Forster
Finding a mentor is not something you can do in a day unless you’re willing to pay them. It takes time to provide enough value to them that they will become interested in working with you. So before trying to get the keys to the castle right away, remember to find ways to give, stay committed, and be willing to invest your time and money.