3 top tips for finding and keeping a great mentor in any area of life

3 top tips for finding and keeping a great mentor in any area of life

I have a friend, Isaac Ludlow who is brilliant at asking good probing questions. Today has asked 'who is your mentor?' and I immediately wondered which areas of life he would like to know about - business, spiritual, career, marriage? I'm a big believer in mentoring and have had many mentors over my life. I figured I've learnt a lot from them and so I thought I would share some tips that just might help you on your journey.

Here are 3 quick tips or things I've learnt about finding a mentor in any area of your life

1) Look for someone a few stages on from where you are right now

I've always found that the best mentors in my life are the ones who have been there, done that a couple of times. For example, if I was looking for mentors for my business I would look for someone who has had a couple of businesses, maybe a couple of failures, and who has grown a business or two past where I'm aiming for.

As a small business with less than 5 staff, I don't think it would be overly helpful to look for another small business with less than 5 staff to mentor me. Now let me be clear that there is a LOT of benefit for talking with, and sharing joys and struggles with other businesses my size and stage. But I wouldn't be calling it a formal mentoring relationship.

2) Tell them why you want them for this area of your life

This actually has two benefits - 1) It makes you think about why this person is actually right for this area 2) It tells the potential mentor that you've actually thought about why they are best

I've been on both sides of the equation as a mentor and a mentee and I can tell you that when someone comes to me and asks for me to mentor them I always get a little nervous about what I might have to offer. Most people I've meet aren't sure if they are really doing life as well as they could. So when you ask them to mentor you they wonder if they have anything to offer. You can help them realise that they do by thinking about what they are good at, and what you want from them.

3) Make it easy for the mentor

One of the most important things I ever learned about making a mentoring relationship work was something one of my favourite mentors said to me "Hayden, this mentoring relationship is your responsibility. I'm a busy guy and I won't chase you for a meeting. If you want this to happen, you need to make it work."

If you really want to get the most out of your mentor, make it easy of them - as easy as possible. I find this easy to do with three simple steps

  • Book a meeting at least a week in advance to give them time and work around their schedule
  • Have a topic or question ready
  • Don't waste time with a meeting if you aren't ready, don't have a question/topic, or haven't done your home work from last time.

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