4 Ways To Acquire a Mentor

Mentor

I don’t like brick walls or plexi-glass ceilings. In fact, I resent them.  I know those are strong sentiments but dead ends represent limitations in my mind.  When I hit one in my career, valued relationships, or spirituality, I don’t accept with ease that this is it.  I can come to terms with the end of a thing with factual proof that it’s over; but if there is even a smidgen of hope or proof that matters can be conquered; I’m finding a way to bust through; No question!

Often times in order to make upward progress, I must consult others who have been there and done that!  These consults I refer to as my mentors whether they know it or not.  Mentors are essential for advancement in business and personal matters.  I would not be where I am today had it not been for the act of reaching out to get advice from people who know more than I do.  I have mentors for every facet of my life. My career and spiritual mentors have changed the way I originally accepted myself in various situations. They have challenged me to move beyond my current circumstance and give practical advice on the steps I should take to move forward.

Seeking the advice of a mentor is just simply smart. No one can get to the top or pull themselves out of a ditch alone.  The most influential and business savvy people have and retain mentors through their every advancement.  Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft is mentored by Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest American Business Tycoons. Oprah Winfrey named The Late Maya Angelou, nationally recognized Poet and Author, as her mentor. Finally the Late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple was mentored by Robert Friedland, International Financier.  It is undeniable that when considering these pairs, nothing but perpetual success has been the ultimate result.

The right mentors have the ability to:

  • Help you get started or unstuck

  • Provide Advice on successes as well as failures

  • Lead you In the right direction

  • Hold you accountable

  • Expose you to resources you may not be able to obtain on your own

So you may ask yourself, well how do I find a mentor?  Glad you asked!  I don’t have a Warren Buffet or Maya Angelou to offer but I have used the following as practical resources to propel forward.

1. Consider your current circle.  These are people you work with, friends, associates or maybe those at your local church.  It is highly likely that you know someone who knows someone that has experience in what you are struggling with or what you want to accomplish.  Don’t be prideful or make assumptions that people don’t want to be bothered. Ask!  From a spiritual perspective, I have mentors at my church who I can call on when I need advice.  They have been instrumental in helping me regain focus on challenging matters that I have faced.

2. Buy One!  The wealth of knowledge from those who are experienced may sometimes come with a fee but the investment could very well be worth it.  Several years ago I made a $600.00 investment with a career coach who mentored me for 3 months.  The return I received was nearly a 27% increase in my annual salary or $20,000!  Not a bad return if I do say so myself! That was the largest raise I had ever received at one time and I did not wait for an annual review to get it.  I positioned myself to receive it through mentoring.

3. Research! – Seek and you will find! We are really fortunate to live in times where we have a world full of information at our fingertips by way of the World Wide Web!  Google search mentorship topics.  Purchase books, take classes, go to a conference or seminar that addresses your interest.  They are all over the place! At this phase in my life I am obsessed with the teachings of Napoleon Hill. He is the profound author of the number one best seller “Think and Grow Rich.” Although he passed away 3 years before I was even born, I want to read everything this man has ever penned.  His teachings have changed my life and I am forever grateful for his legacy! Many of his teachings can be found free on YouTube!

4. Self-Identify! – Categorize yourself with a person that you wish to be like or admire.  This person should be sought if they are dead or alive! (Again Use the Internet!) Find out as much about them as you can.  Read about their life, their successes and failures.  Find out what challenges they faced as they moved towards what you want to accomplish.   Since I desire to become a published author one day, The Great Alice M. Walker, world acclaimed author of “The Color Purple”, is my mentor and she doesn’t even know it!  Her journey is amazing and worthy of recognition and praise.

I have had to use a combination of these suggestions as mentorship tools during various aspects of my life. I suspect that I will continue to do so indefinitely or at least until I fulfill my dreams.  They work!  Mentorship may not be easy to find or come in the common forms that many expect (Mother, father, teacher, or neighbor); but being creative in landing one by considering this advice can still yield great results! Don’t let another door slam in your face without seeking counsel through mentorship.  It’s essential and not an option relative to your breakthrough.

Keep me posted on your journey!

For more about the importance of mentors, consider this article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/sujanpatel/2014/11/12/why-every-entrepreneur-needs-a-mentor/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s