Many iconic entrepreneurs did not achieve success without seeking the help, advice, or training of someone more experienced than them. You may be familiar with the phrase, “if someone else has done it, you can too”. You truly can achieve whatever you desire. You can study, put your head down, and work hard. However, one of the most essential ingredients to achieving success is finding a mentor. This is one of the best investments you can make in yourself, your business, and your overall success.
When seeking a mentor, there are some important aspects to consider in selecting the right person for you. We have listed a few of these below:
Define Your Success
In order to find the right mentor to coach you to success, you must define your idea of ‘success’. It is important that you know exactly what you want to get out of your career – whether that is wealth, freedom, leadership opportunities, philanthropy, etc. Make a detailed list of these things and have a definite idea of what success looks like to you. The next step is to narrow these down further and determine who in your network has those things. This is the person you should seek out as your mentor!
Looking in the Right Places
When choosing the right mentor, it is important that you have the correct ‘search criteria’ in place. Your mentor should be successful, or an expert, in the field or industry you are seeking success in. Ideally, this person will have already achieved what you are striving to achieve yourself. He or she can then give you the ‘cheat sheet’ with the specific steps it took to get there and prepare you for challenges you may face on the way. Remember, your mentor was once in your shoes, and will know exactly what to say or do to help you.
Keep an Open-Mind
This last key ingredient is not so much focused on the mentor you are selecting, but more so on how your individual behavior can make or break your success as a ‘mentee’. In many things in life, you will experience the greatest benefit when you have an open-mind. This is especially important when you step into the role of a mentee. There is a reason you sought out a mentor — to help, lead and guide you to achieve something you cannot achieve on your own. To attain the desired achievement, you must be open to your mentor’s coaching, training, and constructive criticism. You have appointed this individual to push you beyond your limits, such that you can achieve success!
When choosing your mentor(s) be very selective. You get to pick your “prophets”, and just because the agent next door to you does a bit more business than you does not make them fit to serve as a mentor (for your business). Just because your neighbor makes more money than you, does not mean they should be your financial guru. And because your friend can run one more mile than you, does not mean they are suited to be your health coach!
You are looking for the tip of the spear; the cream of the crop. You are seeking individuals that have tried and true models that have been stress tested over a period of time. You are looking for someone that is growth minded that has reached a point in their career where they have a passion for teaching and giving back. Just like the cost of a bad hire could be tens of thousands of dollars, the cost of choosing the wrong mentors could lead to even greater damage.