While working on your personal and professional growth it is better to have someone that can guide you to achieve your goals smartly and gives you feedback to improve yourself. A mentor is a knowledgeable and experienced person who has already achieved the height of success that you desire and is willing to help you achieve that yourself. He wants to see you succeed as at some level they see themselves in you so gives you a gentle nudge in the right direction. A mentor offers his advice and insights for free and if you pay then that person qualifies as a consultant.
Before you get a mentor you need to do some work first. You need to have the desire to improve yourself, to master discipline, in other words, you should show great potential which in turn will attract a great mentor.
Importance of Mentorship
Sometimes you can find a mentor in the form of a teacher or a boss who can advise you professionally. But if you didn’t have one in your social circle it’s better to find one that fits with your personality and guides you to get you to the next stage of your career. As he can guide you about so many things that you don’t know by using his knowledge and life-long experiences. There can be different types of mentors depending upon the current stage of your life i.e., academic mentor, workplace mentor or lifetime mentor. In short, mentoring provides you
- Leadership and management development
- Guidance and transfer of knowledge
- Skillset enhancement
- Confidence building
- Professional growth and development
Make sure you are ready to be mentored
You have to self-analyze and acknowledge the following points before finding a mentor that fits into your personality
Look deep into yourself and find out which are your core values, who are you, what do you want from your life, what are your passions, what makes you happy, who are the people you look up to and why and what is so appealing about them. Write all of these down in a journal for analysis.
- Analyse and pick an industry
Based on the answers you gave to the above-mentioned questions and the people you have chosen as an inspiration determine what your personality is and what kind of job or occupation that fits your personality. Be honest with yourself and find a job that doesn’t feel like a job if you do for the rest of your life and once you find it that is your new goal in life.
- Start reading
Understanding the industry you choose is very important. Buy the top 5 best books covering your topic of interest. At least 2 of these should be biographies of personalities that have made big in that industry and learn from their life-time experiences.
- Get better at your business
After you have the product you need to optimize your entire business. Learn as much as possible about different ideas and techniques and have a good understanding of what it takes and how you run your type of business. Only after having a running business, you can think of a mentor. This is incredibly important as people expect to get a mentor right from the start even when they are playing around with the ideas. People willing to mentor others are super busy themselves so they can’t help if you are yourself confused with your ideas.
A mentor will consider helping if you have a good record of doing your tasks with a clear mind and won’t take too much time.
Consideration while Looking for the Mentor
Finding a mentor is not as easy as you have to make sure that his personality and interests match yours. Other than that you have to take the following points into the consideration while finding the best for you
- Identifying a potential mentor
An ideal candidate would be someone from your geography, city, state or even country. To walk the road you need a mentor with a similar niche i.e., the person who has already created and sold the company in your industry or they are running a similar business model at way higher stakes. Ask yourself if you would feel successful if you are in their shoes at that stage, if yes, you have found yourself someone good.
- Personality match
Learn about him via books, the internet or people to know more about his personality. Make an educated guess about their personality style and attitudes to make sure you have a personality match as this is mandatory to have a productive mentoring relationship. Mentor and mentee should complement each other regarding
- Professional attitude (some people are straightforward while others are diplomatic)
- Taking risks
- Leadership skills
The greater the similarities between mentor and mentee more the chances to develop a better understanding and connection between the two.
But if there is a good personality match between mentor and mentee that doesn’t mean that you have to follow him blindly. Make sure that your mentor has the following qualities as well
- Enthusiasm for sharing his expertise
Willingness and enthusiasm for sharing his expertise and knowledge is as important as his knowledge and experience in that relevant field. A mentor should always be open and excited to spread the word and have a deep conversation with you regarding business challenges.
A positive attitude is the solution to so many problems either personal or professional. Instead of considering a hustle, a mentor should be able to teach how to perceive challenges in a positive way i.e., as an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Challenge your limits
If your mentor challenges you occasionally it is good for you as it will be helpful to overcome the fear of rejection. Feedback is always needed to make changes and improve your work attitude.
- Long term Commitment
Commitment to this mentor relationship should be indefinite as true personal change takes place over time. You have to be in contact either in-person or via email to follow-through and keep the mentoring relationship going.
- Be friendly
Don’t only talk about work as it will make your conversations very stilted and formal. Comparatively friendly conversations last longer than the formal. Keep the discussion light and candid by discussing work-life balance and your aspirations.
Mentorship relationship that fits your personality
Everyone is unique as everyone has different needs, priorities and personality traits. It is the reason not every type of mentorship relationship works for everyone. It is a relationship that thrives on mutual respect and trust so you need to acknowledge that the relationship you want from him must be according to your personality attributes. Here is a brief overview of three types of the mentorship relationship
- Formal peer mentoring Groups
If you are an extrovert and feel isolated during your professional journey, it is better to have a peer monitoring group that includes 6-12 participants and a mentor facilitator. Mostly such meetings are held weekly or bimonthly for a 2-hour session to discuss professional challenges. It is mostly recommended as the involvement of more people means more diverse solutions or ideas to the business challenges thus leading to more opportunities for learning and growth. As more people discuss their experiences it will be helpful to build new skills and confidence to succeed.
- Formal one-on-one Mentorship
If you want to have the personalized attention of your mentor and prefer a one-on-one conversation with him then it’s better to have a formal one-on-one mentorship relationship. Meeting with a mentor mostly consists of one-hour sessions weekly to discuss business challenges and allow you to fast track your success. Different professional organizations also make a personality match and recommend you a mentor according to your demands and their availability.
- Informal one-on-one Mentorship
If you want a long-lasting relationship you must look forward to having an informal relationship with your mentor. You can ask anyone that you admire to be your mentor either your teacher, friend or boss. This relationship gives you more control as you are choosing a mentor yourself, the length and frequency of the session and topic of discussion etc.
Benefits of a Mentor
A mentor is a need especially for young businessmen to achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently. A mentor helps you to grow professionally and take your career to next level by
- Exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking
- Advice on developing strength and overcoming weakness
- Guidance on professional development and advancement
Mentorship is a powerful tool to enhance and improve your professional skill set. He helps you to take the bigger leap towards success efficiently. You can have a mentor from your personal, professional circle or can find via online connections by approaching him intelligently. Make sure to have a personality match between you to have a productive and meaningful relationship. It will have a summative positive effect on your business and learning.