How to find a mentor
These days, it seems like everyone is talking about how to find a business mentor. There are websites, blogs, podcasts, radio and television programs popping up all around the globe talking about business mentoring programs and entrepreneurship mentoring, telling us why every entrepreneur needs a business mentor and how to find one in “6 easy steps.”
But not everyone out there knows what they’re talking about, or has the experience to back up their premises. At Maui Mastermind, our team of advisors have personally scaled and sold over $2 billion of businesses. We have decades of experience planning, creating, and growing our own businesses.
We’ve spent years with our mentors and mentees, helping each other learn, grow, and develop our businesses into thriving companies that can operate with little owner reliance. Our experience and knowledge are what put us in the top tier of the industry – and separate us from the pack.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how to find a mentor, starting with what not to do, followed by a list of things you absolutely should do when searching.
Popular misconceptions about finding a business mentor
Let’s start by clearing up a couple of common fallacies about mentoring.
Mentoring is the responsibility of the mentor
Obviously, mentors must shoulder a great deal of responsibility. It’s on us to get to provide a structured method for growth, get to know you and your business, and communicate in ways that are effective and inspiring.
However, if you’re not ready and willing to put in a substantial amount of effort, you’re not going to reap the benefits of any business mentoring program. It’s something you work on, not something that happens to you.
It’s a mentor’s job to tell you what to do
Again, obviously, there will be times when a mentor is going to give you advice and tell you how he would play the hand that you’ve been dealt. But more than that, it’s a mentor’s job to listen to you and help provide you with tools to achieve your own success. You’re still in control of your business, personal life, and decision-making process.
Everyone will benefit from having a business mentor
It’s probably a strange thing to hear from a business coach, but the truth of the matter is, not all mentor/mentee relationships are effective. While I do believe that the vast majority of business owners do have something to gain from finding an appropriate business mentor, coach, or advisor – everyone has different needs, personalities, and learning styles.
That’s why we think it’s in everyone’s best interest to start off with a free consultation or coaching session, with no obligation on either party. This way there can be a fair and accurate assessment of whether the mentor, as well as the coaching program, will be a good fit.
Professional tips for finding a business mentor
Alright, now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are a few tips from the pros on how to find a good business mentor, and how to make the most out of a business coaching program.
Take the initiative
This goes for every stage of the mentoring process. From the moment you start searching to the first meeting, to the second year – mentors appreciate a willingness to learn. It also helps them do their job when you respond honestly and accurately, provide them with everything they need to do their job, and are actively participating in their coaching program.
Don’t seek out validation
It’s a mentor’s job to provide an outside perspective to sharpen your ideas and decisions. They aren’t going to just idly sit back and tell you you’re doing a great job. They’re going to tell you when you’re wrong and when you’re right.
Find someone you admire and respect
One of the best ways to keep yourself accountable is to find someone to hold you accountable. Employees often have a hard time being honest with those in charge. A good business mentor won’t have this issue. They aren’t invested in your company or project, therefore their perspective and opinion are much more impartial.
If your mentor is someone you look up to, you’re much more likely to perform at a higher level, because you’ll be motivated to earn their respect.
Commit to the process
This isn’t going to be a quick solution. It’s not about jumpstarting your business or achieving overnight success. A mentor is someone who is there for the long haul. They’re going to help your business grow sustainably, over time. They’re going to provide you with resources and tools that will help you improve as a leader and strengthen your company.
Which leads us to number 5…
Take full advantage of your program
Many mentors and business coaches have a vast network of associates and a deep trove of resources. It’s in your best interest to explore these and find ways to make them work for you.
That’s just one of the things that we pride ourselves on at Maui Mastermind. Our network of entrepreneurs includes some of the most passionate and driven minds in the nation – both as mentors and members.