In search of a business mentor?

Posted On January 15, 2007 | Written by Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Are you just [tag]starting out in business[/tag] or already in [tag]business[/tag]? Are things not turning out the way you planned? This is the time to seek a [tag]mentor[/tag] – someone who can show you the way, someone to teach and advise you and enable you to become a wise and effective human being. Stepping on the shoulder of a mentor helps you to avoid some mistakes and achieve [tag]success[/tag] earlier than you expect.

These set of people are everywhere around you. You only need to identify what you are looking for in a mentor. If you really desire the change you want, here are ten steps to finding that person:

  1. Look at the People You Know: Look around at the people in your personal and professional life. Is there someone you admire? Someone you would like to emulate in some way? Someone who has the wisdom you need? You might need to consider that person in your choice.
  2. Consider People You’ve Never Met: Research the top individuals in the businesses, organizations and trace associations of your chosen field. Find out as much as you can about them. Read biographies of people who have succeeded in your field. Identify those individuals whose values and accomplishments you most admire.
  3. Select a Mentor Who is a Good Role Model: Look for someone who is not only famous or successful, but who has a reputation for character and solid principles. Look for someone you can admire and respect as well as emulate.
  4. Select a Mentor Who is a Good Listener: The best mentor is one who gets to know you,  your skills and strengths and weaknesses, your individual personality and your aspirations. A good mentor should not serve as a lecturer, but as a sounding board who will help you with your struggles and help you to clarify your principles and belief.
  5. Select a Mentor Who Levels With You: A good mentor does not just encourage you, but will also tell you the blunt truth when you are moving in the wrong direction. It is also a good sign if your mentor is candid and open about his or her own life. Anyone who has accomplished great things has made mistakes along the way and will share those experiences freely so that you can learn from them.
  6. Look for Someone Who is Unlike You in Some Important Way: Our tendency is to gravitate toward those with whom we have a lot in common. But in seeking out a mentor, it is wise to seek out people who have strengths that we lack. For example, if you are a shy and introverted person, seek out someone who is bold and gregarious. Instead of pairing up with someone who will reinforce your weaknesses, find someone who will challenge you to acquire new strengths.
  7. Be Open to Finding a Mentor in Unlikely Places: We tend to think of a mentor or teacher as someone with gray hair and a well-lined face. Not necessarily! A mentor could be anyone who has something to teach you and could be the same age or even younger than you. A mentor could be someone of lower rank and social standing than you.
  8. If the Person Does not Know You, Approach That Person with a Brief Letter of Introduction: You might say, I have followed your achievements in the field of ______ and I eagerly read your book on ______. Like you, I am very concerned about the issue of _____ and I hope to make a contribution in these areas myself someday. I am looking for a mentoring relationship, and I would be grateful if you could spare thirty minutes to discuss such a possibility with me.
  9. Make Personal Contact: Don’t be shy. Ask, “Would you be willing to mentor me?” You may think you are imposing on that person, but I have found that most people who have achieved a place of accomplishment in life are eager to share their wisdom, experience and knowledge with others. When you ask someone to be your mentor, you are truly offering them high praise.
  10. Remember, You Are Never too Old to be Mentored: I have seen people who think they have reached a point where they have a lot of knowledge and experience to offer others but despite all that you think you know, you still have a lot to learn! That is why you need to seek out people to mentor you!

Download this free book – Secrets of the [tag]science of getting rich[/tag]! It is my gift to you.

8 Responses

  1. Great points and am glad I found your blog.

    I especially like your tip, “Look for Someone Who is Unlike You in Some Important Way” because we tend to be drawn to people who are more like us and getting a fresh perspective from someone who is different than you will provide perspective.

    Keep up the great work!

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