3 steps to getting a mentor
Mark Zuckerberg considers Steve Jobs a mentor. Bill Gates mentioned Warren Buffet as a mentor. Maya Angelou mentored Oprah Winfrey. Sheryl Sandberg was mentored by her college professor Larry Summers. Tony Robbins even had mentors of his own. None of these powerful people would have gotten where they are today without the guidance of someone who had been there before. They knew the secrets of how to get a mentor, and you can, too.
Oprah said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” It can be someone you work with, someone you meet through networking or even someone you follow on social media or whose content inspires you. Tony Robbins has mentored millions through his content, events, Results Coaching and more. The important thing about a mentor is that they inspire you to achieve – and give you the real-life advice you need to take action.
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Why do I need to get a mentor?
If you want to get ahead in your current profession, make connections and learn insider information that can give you a head start on the competition, you need a mentor. Business mentors are one of the most common types, but mentors can help you get ahead in any field, from writing to politics to engineering and computer science. Actors and entertainers have discovered the power of getting a mentor, as have sports stars and more.
Those who are just starting out often need a mentor – college students and professors are a mentor pairing as old as time and doctors’ residencies and mentorship programs go hand in hand. But you don’t need to be young to get a mentor. A trusted advisor can help you at any time in your life. Hit a roadblock in your career? Can’t seem to smash that glass ceiling? Just want to try a new career path? Mentors provide invaluable guidance in all of these situations.
How to get a mentor
Start by asking yourself the right questions to determine the mentor you need. Put yourself out there to find role models. Then, ask yourself the right questions about the person or people you’re considering. Follow these steps, and you’ll get a mentor who is right for you.
1. Determine your needs
Getting a mentor who is aligned with your needs is a vital step. A mentor cannot give advice – at least not good advice – about a problem that they haven’t solved themselves. Ask yourself why you want to get a mentor. Have you set a specific goal? For example, if you want to market your business, find someone with marketing expertise. If you want to better innovate, find a visionary.
You can also find a mentor who is someone you generally look up to. Seasoned professionals in your industry have “seen it all” – and have certainly made plenty of mistakes along the way. Their expertise can protect you from making those same mistakes. Get a mentor who has what you want in life. They can help you earn what they have.
2. Create the opportunity
When you’re considering how to get a mentor, don’t just make a list and start calling people. Getting a mentor is about building relationships. Most people have mentors around them – college professors, higher-level executives or employees at your workplace. But what if you’re an entrepreneur?
How to get a business mentor is a top question for entrepreneurs. Don’t be afraid to think outside the boardroom. Professional networking events are an excellent way to make connections that could lead to mentorships. Join a gym near the businesses in your town or check out early-morning yoga classes before the workday begins. Volunteer a skill that will allow you to meet like-minded professionals, such as event planning or digital media.
3. Find the right person
Once you know what type of mentor you need and you’ve created the opportunities to meet this person, it’s time to narrow down your options. These traits make the difference between a good mentor and a great one:
- They are not threatened by your success; they are proud of it.
- They don’t try to compete with you; they lift you up.
- They are not just interested in your success, but completely invested in it. When you succeed, they succeed.
- They know how to motivate you and challenge you to achieve more.
- They see areas for improvement and are completely honest with you, but are always respectful.
- They don’t push you to fit a certain mold or to be more like them. Great mentors recognize your personal strengths and help you use them to become successful.
- They are trustworthy – a mentor’s advice is only good if you trust them enough to take it.
Some people compare finding a mentor to dating, because in the end it’s a personal match. The mentor that is right for your coworker may not be right for you. Many people have trouble finding that perfect match, and that’s OK. Mentors come in more than one form.
Other ways to get a mentor in the digital world
In today’s digital world, all you really need to get a mentor is an Internet connection and a computer. Online mentorship networks make it easy to find your match, without making someone feel obligated to agree to your request. In these networks, you’ll know the mentors you find are willing to put in the time and effort – that’s why they signed up in the first place.
You can also use social media to get a mentor, but you still need to build the relationship. First, make sure they are someone who engages with their audience online, and start by following their social media, commenting and re-posting their content. Contribute to the conversation with your own thoughts and expertise and offer original content to get the mentorship started.
Want to know how to get a mentor that you can be sure fulfills all the requirements of a great teacher? Tony Robbins’ Results Coaching uses proven methods to help you achieve your goals not just in business, but in life. Coaches create individual game plans that inspire and empower you to take action. If you’re not growing, you’re dying, and our Results Coaches will get you back on track.
No matter what method you choose, we wish you luck. The coaching of a mentor can truly change the trajectory of your career. It’s time you find your own Warren Buffet to take your life to the next level.