Although you should never rely on anyone to help you in your career and life, guidance and inspiration from mentors never hurts to help you along your journey.
Many people want to find someone to mentor them, yet they’re not equipped with how. My podcast talks about the basic process of securing mentors for yourself. As a summary, here’s a breakdown of the best process to find someone to mentor you:
#1. Make friends. The first step to find mentors is to spread your net far and wide by being nice to everyone. If you’re not popular, likable, or engaging, mentors will not be drawn to mentor you. Making friends helps you exercise your socializing muscle. Mentors only want to mentor people who are likable and well-liked.
#2. Vet your mentors. Don’t just go with anyone. Make sure your mentor is truly a relevant resource. Judge their expertise in today’s terms. If they’ve only ever been an employee, would they be a good mentor for you as an entrepreneur? If they’ve only done residential real estate, can you expect them to understand commercial real estate? If they themselves haven’t achieved your benchmark of success, how can you rely on their information to be the truth?
#3. Invest in relationships. Put your money, time, and effort where your mouth is. You want to succeed? Invest into it. Don’t expect advice to come cheaply. If you don’t have money, make time and effort. If you have money, spend it. If you have human capital, share it. If your mentor wants referrals and testimonials, give them whatever you can.
#4. Be consistently sincere and follow-up. It’s never your mentor’s job to keep you on your game. If you’re not paying them from a coaching standpoint, they don’t have any obligation to you to “deliver”. You will have to suffice on your own. They may give you a few pointers, but they can’t do your job for you. Keep in touch, send holiday cards or facebook messages. Make sure you’re keeping that relationship alive. You have more to gain from it therefore you have to exert most of the effort.
DG TIP: This can be intimidating because you don’t want to overstep. The reality is, mentors want you to chase them. They will feel special, cherished, and valued.
Overall, mentors can provide timely advice in real time, beyond your regular idols and inspirations. Especially if you can make friends with powerful people in your network, doors most definitely can open up for you. If you regard mentorship from a friendship standpoint, you’re more likely to break free from a formal and forced relationship and into something meaningful and reciprocal.
If you’re a go-getter with ambitions to achieve the life and career you envision, connect with Dandan Zhu to evaluate new opportunities in headhunting and sales.