“A coach is someone that sees beyond your limits and guides you to greatness” – Michael JordanAll the successful people I know have had coaches in one form or another. Click To Tweet
1. Know your goal:
Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve for the next 12 months. 90 days is too short for a strong mentorship relationship and 5 years is too long. Just focus on what you want by the end of the year. For example if your goal is to improve your networks then find a mentor who not only does that well but can articulate and show you how they do it so well.
2. Look for the person who has done that already.
Ask your friends, colleagues, Facebook mates, LinkedIn connections, Google it or Tweet it. Industry bodies can also be a good place to start. You’re not just looking for any mentor. You’re looking for the one that will help you achieve that goal that you’re hoping to nail so they may not be in your immediate sphere, you will need to cast your net wide. With the power of the internet you can even start a mentorship relationship across continents.
3. Ask if they mentor people.
Once you’ve found the right person you may have to pay them for their time. This is an investment in your future and the reason that person has been able to do it means they are successful and likely very busy. A coffee or buying lunch for them is not always going to cut it. Alternatively you can offer to do something for them like helping them on a project. It has taken them years to work out what you’re wanting to learn in an hour so be respectful of the value they bring. Even if they do not charge you, offer a token of appreciation. What this shows is you value their mentorship relationship with you, you value their time.
4. Relationship is key.
Make sure you like and trust them. They don’t have to be your best friend but it’s going to be an open conversation most times. Make sure you’re comfortable to work with them. Your mentor will grill you, they will call you on your weaknesses and they will force you to face your fears. If you are not comfortable talking to them about anything relating to your journey then I suggest you find another mentor.