Inspirational entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey describes a mentor as, “someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself” while Matt D’Angelo, a writer, sees a mentor as “a seasoned professional who informally helps guide a less experienced person in their professional endeavors”.
Deciding to have a mentor who can guide you in every area of your life is one of the best decisions one can make. A mentor can help you avoid some mistakes that ordinarily you would make.
John Crosby said “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction”.
Having a mentor does not show that you are weak, rather it shows you as one who is striving for success.
A mentor can be a very valuable asset, especially for young, aspiring individuals.
As Benjamin Franklin, American writer and politician said, “Tell me and I may forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” When I was starting out, I had no idea what was involved in running a business, including making a business plan, budgeting, handling daily operations, making strategic decisions or running a marketing campaign. With a mentor there from the start, I tapped into a wealth of knowledge that got me up to speed faster and shortened that learning curve”.
Another thing mentors do is to see where we need to improve, where we often cannot. George Lucas, a movie maker noted that mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults that we were not able to perceive or see ourselves.
According to him, “they will always be brutally honest with you and tell you exactly how it is rather than downplay any weaknesses they see in you”.
In finding a mentor you have to look for someone whom you see your future in. It shouldn’t be someone who has the type of job you want or a position you covet. Find someone with same kind of strength and skills you want to emulate. These people are everywhere; your work place, social gathering, churches, family circle, online, authors of books, presenters, managers and a host of others. Just take your time and search for them.
It is advisable to have options before settling for one.
After finding the person, conduct your research and study the person. You are at advantage if the person is someone you can easily reach but if not, try digging deep to know in details about the person.
After your researching and studying, you can now proceed to meet the person unofficially and make your intention known to him. Try not to be official while asking. Build a good relationship first. Try as much as possible to let the conversation flow.
After the first meeting, which could be physical or virtual, have another meeting. This will pass the message that you actually know what you want. Be inquisitive as much as you can be. Ask reasonable questions that are beneficial to you; your relationship, career and family life, depending on the one with priority.
Keep reaching out and keep learning. Make sure you build the relationship in such a way that your mentor can rely on you. They can easily give you projects to handle and also recommend you to people.
Do not forget that mentors are humans too and are prone to making mistakes, don’t allow your expectations to be extremely high.
Now that you have known why you need a mentor and how to find them, why not get started! Look for that man or woman who fits into what you desire in your career, business, marriage, relationship so that they can help you have a safe landing.