Do you want a mentor? Recently I got to interview Chris and Sheila Gross of Gross Profit LLC and De-Vine Strategies. Their story of stewarding increase, taking risk, leaving financial security, starting business, facing their greatest fears and now seeing what has unfolded is the story of legends…. and the faithfulness of God. One of the keys to this was finding a mentor. Around the room the silent crave for a mentor echoed like a shout in an endless canyon. So how do you find your perfect mentor?
1. Be a Mentor
It’s amazing how you get what you give. If you want to receive mentoring, give mentoring. If you want to find the perfect mentor start by doing the same for others. EVERYONE can add some value to someone else. Consider coaching little league, helping out with disadvantaged youth or tutoring a class in skill you may have. If you are unsure, go along to your local sports, youth or service club and just ask how you might become a mentor for some of their patrons.
2. Be Mentor-able
Mentoring is all about teaching someone what you are good at. If the mentee is unwilling to learn or adjust or receive feedback then the relationship won’t last long. Be teachable! Adjust quickly! Give yourself to the lessons and feedback and demonstrate that you value what you are being given. “Thank-you” never goes t0o far. The more you can demonstrate that you are paying attention and applying yourself to learn, the more valued the mentor will feel and you will receive greater input.
3. Serve – Connect – Engage
Mentors are everywhere… and sometimes visible. The best ones you will find hidden in plain sight throughout your community. To find them get involved with your local community. Serve as a volunteer at a charity event. Connect with local clubs, non-profits and community groups. Engage with the activities going on around you and you will be amazed at who you find.
Check out your local Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation, Church, Rotary Club, Small Business Development Center, College, and more. Talk to business owners who have lived in your area a long time and ask them about the best organizations to get involved with that are actually making a difference in the community. Ask them who they would recommend as a mentor in your desired field.
4. Pray and Do
Ask Holy Spirit to highlight or bring to mind someone who might be, or refer you to, a great mentor.
Now DO something with what you heard. Send them an email. Approach them face to face. Consider who you might know who may be able to introduce you. Phone them. Be prepared with your answers to #5 and #6 below…
What do you want mentoring for? The clearer you know what you want the easier it is for someone to mentor you. Where do you want to grow? How do you want to grow? What do you want to become excellent at? What skills, talents, ability, character…? What would be the ideal outcome of you being mentored?
Who would you love to be mentored by? What do you want to learn from them? What do you admire about them? How have you observed them? How has their life impacted you? What would they gain by mentoring you?
6. Buy a Coffee
Please don’t take their time for granted. You may not have a big budget but show how much you value them by the way you communicate, are prepared, present yourself and take the initiative to do something simple like offer to buy lunch or a coffee. Even a simple, specific, follow-up thank you note will do wonders.
Before contacting them take time to consider what will you ask. How long will you meet? Take responsibility and honor the input of their time. The more valued and honored they feel, the more likely you will get to meet again and have them open up their world to you.
Note: before you meet make sure you have done some homework on them. Check out their website, LinkedIn, books or articles they have written. Be aware of any successes or current challenges.
7. Read, Listen, Learn
Don’t limit yourself to a face to face meeting. It is surprising how much you can learn from someone through something they have produced (website, article, book). Also consider being mentored (at least partially) by someone who has been mentored by them. Who has worked for them for a number of years? What did they learn? How could you learn from their learning? Think also of other ways to be mentored… by email, workshop, webinar, seminar, Skype, phone… letter?!
Be mentored by a book… a blog… a podcast
So… if you could have lunch with anyone (alive) on the planet, who would it be? And what would be your biggest question?
He has worked for a national consultancy firm and leading financial institution as well as investing in international community development.
Andy is the director of Heaven in Business and together with his wife, Janine, leads Dream Culture – a movement catalyzing people to discover and live their dreams. Andy and Janine live with their four children in Redding, Ca. For more see www.AndyandJanine.com.