You’ve likely heard that the right mentor can accelerate your learning curve in any environment: be it business, fitness, and finance, or even leadership, family, and relationships.
I’m here to tell you that this is absolutely true if you find the right mentor.
The point of a mentor is to help you cut through the fluff and apply what works for immediate growth and positive returns as quickly as possible.
What does the right mentor look like and how do you find them?
That’s exactly what this piece will be breaking down as the answer may not be as clear cut as it sounds.
Anyone can become your mentor, finding the right one for the right endeavor is critical to charting your course on the most effective and efficient path to success.
Where Do You Find a Mentor?
You have your vision for what you want to achieve, how do you get there?
Your choice of mentor is broken down into two main categories below:
- Those who are living the life.
- Those who are doing the job.
You’ll want to immediately differentiate personal and professional goals as the person who can help you overhaul your business may not be the best individual to help you overhaul your relationship.
Let the experts assist you in their expertise, the entirety of their character is not what you’re after.
You’re allowed as many mentors as you please but the more voices there are the greater the chance of conflicting information and thus, analysis paralysis will have you right where you were before.
How to Find a Lifestyle Mentor
Most people view mentors to be used strictly for learning your way about a new environment (think College, High School, the Military) yet mentors are needed in all aspects of living throughout your entire life.
This includes doing the “inner work” that comes with maintaining relationships, business partnership, self-care, and even parenting.
If you see someone who is living a life you’re looking to experience as well, it may behoove of you to introduce yourself and find out how they reached the point they’re at.
The most important part of this is that your perception of their reality is verified as there are a lot of fakes out there these days.
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Find others who know the person and verify with them that your view is correct; get recommendations and testimonials from those who’ve worked with the person, reach out to have a discussion and get to know them before committing to either a paid or pro-bono work with them.
People who are genuinely happy, in healthy long-term committed relationships, capable of leading groups, and have a positive outlook on life have achieved this through working within their individual circumstances.
Still, some of their life lessons may be universally applicable and could be something which you could use in your own journey to improve your life situation and finally find happiness and peace with where you’re at while always improving where it is that you’re headed.
PERSONAL STORY: One of my mentors when it came to getting sober was Ed Latimore.
While being a success with utilizing social media and blogging as business outlets, that wasn’t what I needed him for.
Ed has been sober for almost 7 years now and that’s what I wanted; so I reached out and asked a few questions then listened to all guidance and recommendations he made.
I saw he was living a life that had something mine didn’t (Sobriety) so on top of making the commitment to myself (helping myself) by getting sober, I stacked that with getting a mentor who’d been there and done that.
I did the vetting myself having shared stages, panels, and collaborated on Podcasts as well as seeing him interact with others in person, etc.
I knew he was living the message inside and out.
Having worked with him, I’m now 43 days sober.
How to Find a Professional Mentor
This is different than finding a lifestyle mentor as this is 100% career focused mentorship.
Whether you’re in sales, software, a mechanic, or in the military finding someone to “show you the ropes” is often the difference between those who thrive and those who barely survive.
What are you looking for?
Obviously, you’re looking for the same as a Lifestyle coach in the sense that results are being delivered and lived out.
Don’t ask the guy who talks a big game about formulas and the lifestyle of the big sales sharks if his numbers are garbage; if he isn’t making sales outside of selling his “Sales Course” he isn’t the one you need as a mentor.
In the photo above I had one of the most knowledgeable men in my shop teaching me the ways.
He was the one people went to if something had to be fixed; he knew how the machinery worked, and he was always the “I’ll do it” guy, so I simply followed him around wherever he went and guess what, I learned and became that same “go-to” guy and it helped me throughout my career.
In your job, you need to find the person who is killing it month after month or you need to invest in learning the skills from someone outside your company who is getting the results you want to obtain.
You may not even like the person, remember that it’s their skill-set, not their personality that you need.
I’m not saying follow unethical practices, I’m saying that if someone is a jerk but can teach you how to be the best whatever you do, then deal with it and learn the skills and move on.
Anyone Can Be a Mentor
Remember this, older doesn’t necessarily mean better, sometimes it can mean the opposite.
There are some older individuals who are still operating from the “Old Books and Rules” which just aren’t up with the times.
You can learn from those younger than you, I know I do.
One of the examples I always use is Nick Lowary, I’m almost 10 years older than him yet he is teaching me things all the time. I’ve watched his Coffee Business explode (Ground Shark is the Official Coffee of The Family Alpha) and I’ve picked his brain along the way.
Remove EGO – this is about your improving your life, who cares what the age of the person helping you help yourself is?
The same goes with getting guidance on something you think you’re already “good enough” at.
I recently had this happen to myself with regards to writing. I thought I knew my stuff, come to find out there was a whole new world out there.
Mentors Will Always Be Needed
Writing is my job and even though I’ve been at it since 2011 (9 years now, holy sh*t) I’m still learning better ways to articulate my message.
I recently purchased a course which focuses on The Best Way to share my message and I’m realizing, a lot of missed connections in life and lost opportunities stem from people not knowing how to best approach potential employers, mentors, and clients with their story.
Remember, potential mentors are looking to invest in those with potential and value within, you need to be able to show why you’re that person.
The way you share your message and the way you approach a potential mentor can make or break the relationship; first impressions still matter.
Whether we’re talking business or lifestyle, if you want to be someone who is worth the time given to you or someone who doesn’t just give money to others to remain in the same position, you’re going to have put in the effort.
A mentor is there to help you help yourself, they are not there to make you the new them; they are who they are because of the lessons they’ve passed on to you, not because someone did the work for them.
A mentor does nothing more than provide information and get you looking at the same problem with a different perspective; getting you thinking of better questions which will have you coming up with better solutions.
Now, the ball is in your court.
Go out and find those who can help you actualize your best self.
The Clock Is Ticking,