How to find a mentor steps 1-5
I can’t possibly overstate the importance of having a mentor. Whether you are an entrepreneur building a business, a humanitarian leader determined to change the world, or a 20-something laying the foundations of a successful life, I urge you to get a mentor.
In fact, “get a mentor” is the most common piece of advice I give to young adults.
Throughout my entire life, I’ve been blessed with amazing mentors. My first mentor, the late Don Paul, taught me how to connect with, manage, and engage an audience. He also taught me the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
My current mentor, Canada’s leading speaker and best-selling author, Jean-Pierre Lauzier, has sped up my success exponentially. He’s taught me how to be a better speaker, a better business person, and ultimately, a better man.
So the question is, how do you find a mentor?
1) Figure out what you want to do. You need to know what you want to do so that you can find someone to help you do that.
2) Once you know what you want to do, think about what level of success you’d like to achieve in that field.
3) Look for someone in your area who has achieved that level of success or is on the verge of achieving it. Ideally she will be at least 15 years ahead of you both in age and in experience. Your mentor does not have to be famous or wildly rich, just successful in the same way you would like to be successful.
4) Send a simple, humble email to the person you would like as a mentor asking for a 15 minute meeting and explaining that you would love to be in her shoes one day. Make it easy for her to say yes by offering to meet her at a time and place that is convenient for her.
Here is an example. Say you want to start a non-profit that works to reduce the HIV/AIDs rate in S. Africa and you are approaching the Exec Director of an existing NGO named Phil.
“Dear Phil –
My name is Jason Connell. I graduated from Concordia University in 2009 and have been working as a professional speaker for the past few years. However, my life’s work is to build an NGO that helps reduce HIV/AIDs levels in S. Africa, similar to yours.
I truly admire the work you’ve done with your NGO and in 15 years hope to be in a similar situation myself. The problem is, I know nothing at all about building a non-profit, and very little about South Africa.
Is there any chance I can take you out for breakfast, coffee, lunch, dinner, or happy hour at a time and place that is convenient for you? I would relish the chance to learn more about your work and experience.
If you’re open to this, please let me know what time and place works best for you and I will be there on the dot.
Thanks, I truly appreciate your time.
5) When your potential mentor writes back with a time and date, do everything in your power to accept her first offer. The meeting is supposed to be convenient for her, not for you.
If a week has gone by and you have not heard back from your potential mentor, follow-up with a polite email reiterating your request.
Once you have scheduled the first meeting with your potential mentor, the next step is to foster a great relationship between yourself and your potential mentor, which I explain in “How to Find a Mentor Steps 6-12” here.