Here is entrepreneurship 101. If you want to grow a business and not get burned every step of the way, you need to have the support of a been-there done-that. So stop hiring “coaches” and “gurus” who are all title and no experience, and find a mentor who will make a real difference (and not cost you your life savings). The TPE community provides you with 44 ways to find that great mentor you have been looking for:
1. Mentor, Melt Down!
How To Find A Mentor: I was under the impression that once you start a business, a mentor came along as part of the package. Wow, was I wrong! My experience with a mentor became jaded by his inability to provide good information that helped me make a qualified decision to grow my business.
I turned to entrepreneur accountability partners. Find other entrepreneurs who share the same passion and drive you have, and want to grow their business. You gain access to successful business strategies from other industries that can be crossed referenced and used in your industry.
If you can’t find a mentor, then turn to other entrepreneurs and join an accountability group. Hold weekly meetings, trade expertise and help one another reach their goals.
2. Find The Smartest Person You Know And Ask Them To Be Your Mentor.
How To Find A Mentor: Everyone wants to be a mentor but only a few are truly qualified. Think about the smartest person you know in a business area related to your business and ask them to be your mentor. You may have to ask your network for a referral if you don’t know anyone personally, but keep asking until you are sitting in front of someone who when they talk you keep thinking “WOW – what a great idea” because they can see more for your business than you could have ever imagined! Congrats – you have now found your mentor!
How To Find A Mentor: I’ve personally never had a real life mentor per se, but have a whole committee of heroes and heroines who comprise my committee of advisors. Whenever I feel stumped, I close my eyes and imagine my these Board of Advisors sitting around my own personal Round Table. I’ve varied them through the years, but they are my favorite spiritual leaders, inventors, social change leaders, psychologists, presidents, entertainers, simple/down-to-earth folks, etc. Some are living, some are long dead; some famous, some not. I ask them what they’d do in this situation, and I always get th3e answers I need.
How To Find A Mentor: Make sure they offer what I call the F.A.A. – Factual, Actionable Advice. First, the references they site need to be factual – university research, well known companies etc. Second, it needs to be actionable by you – things that you can accomplish given the skill set and time that you have. If the advice meets these criteria, you’ve made a match.
How To Find A Mentor: Look for someone that has done what you want to accomplish, maybe not on the grandest scale but who has consistently succeeded with innumerable challenges. Look for this person in a company similar to yours that is not a competitor. Look in professional organizations where people with your similar goals meet to share ideas and grow. But also look in non-traditional places. You may find them at your church, book group, local pool or gym.
How To Find A Mentor: The hardest part of running a business is taking care of all the responsibilities yourself. There are certain things you may find it hard to do. In cases like this you may get down about yourself. Or you may have that rough day.
The way I overcame my trials is when I found a good mentor. I was lucky in that I found my mentor by way of Meetup.com. I found a group for writers who were self-employed and signed up. When I attended the meeting, I found someone who was in the business for years. We talked and he agreed to help me out.
Ever since that time, if I need help, I just contact him by email or phone and he gives me the advice I need. There are many ways to find good mentors. You just have to do your homework and interview them until you find one you click with.
How To Find A Mentor: Every professional association and chamber of commerce has at least one, a very seasoned expert who is willing to share his or her network and expertise with rising stars and beginners. Don’t be afraid to ask for the kind of coaching or advice you need. Do your homework and ask questions that plumb the depths of their knowledge. If there is no one local, and you belong to a nationally affiliated organization, get to know a counterpart in another city or market. They share you challenges, but can’t and won’t hurt you in your marketplace,
How To Find A Mentor: (1) GET A GRIP ON YOURSELF
Consider your short and longer term goals – and STICKING POINTS. Do you know what they are? If not – start here. This informs what kind of coach or mentor you need, and what to work on. Revisit this question and recognise your needs will change over time.
(2)GET REAL ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE TIME
Decide what kind of mentoring or coaching arrangement you want. One-off, for a specific problem, or ongoing, as a sounding board. You might benefit from spending time with different people at different times. This is easy: mentors can be found on mp3 tracks, DVDs, in books, and in person, over lunch. Often, on reflection, you will realise there is someone suitable in your immediate network.
(3)DON’T WASTE THEIR TIME: GET ON WITH IT.
Do not be afraid to approach and ask for someone’s help. But be committed to be totally honest, open to new ideas, and time sensitive. Their reward is often simply seeing you grow. Their time is precious; use it wisely, and find ways to give back something.
How To Find A Mentor: I have had multiple mentors in my life. I also work with a lot of passionate professionals who are seeking support and hire coaches…in my “I can’t help but observe relationship patterns” ways, I have identified ways to make mentor relationships have momentum:
1. Make sure your mentor “gets” you and what you are trying to accomplish. Sometimes they have their own ideas which can be helpful or hurtful.
2. Be ready to invest in the success of a meaningful mentor relationship. Your mentor is not responsible for success – YOU are! Ask questions, learn, listen and be ready to be a critical thinker and use what makes sense from your mentor’s mentoring!
3. Don’t exhaust the relationship. Respect your mentor and know that their time matters. Be grateful for the experience and if great results happen, then it may be time to move on!
How To Find A Mentor: My best mentor was a woman I interviewed for an article. She told me a line she had used with her boss– “Here’s where I am. (She placed an X on the organizational chart.) Here’s where I want to be. (She made another X, much higher up.) “Will you help me get there?” I’ve used that line or a variation thereof on many an occasion with great results.
How To Find A Mentor: Finding a great mentor requires the cultivation of three qualities: Courage, Humility, and Gratitude. It is easy to locate inspiring people that we look up to and wish to emulate. But the willingness to ask for help – which takes both courage and humility – sets those who actually find great mentors apart from the rest. And gratitude for what is received is the quality that ensures the success of the mentor-mentee relationship.
How To Find A Mentor: When choosing a mentor, be sure to find someone who can prove that they did what they are potentially going to be coaching you on. There are far too many theorists out there, so avoid them and find someone who has walked their talk.
For instance, if you are being coached on wealth or finances, ask to see some of their bank statements. If you are being coached on entrepreneurship, ask to see their business and marketing plans.
And of course, ask for references from other people who have been coached by this potential mentor. They should be able to offer up contact info of real people who will back up the mentor’s claims.
How To Find A Mentor: I expanded my network via networking groups, attending seminars & joining a mastermind. Within a few months I found 2 amazing mentors & they continue to guide me to this day. Remember you want to find a mentor that has walked the path before you. It takes getting out of your comfort zone & keeping yourself in success driven environments.
How To Find A Mentor: Some of my most helpful mentors are people who found me. Perhaps they saw a piece of themselves in me or they just saw me messing something up and felt sorry for a sista. So… allow yourself to be approachable, coach-able, and grateful for the investment. Tell others that you are hoping to find a mentor and when someone offers “mentoring” receive it graciously.
How To Find A Mentor: One of my mentors once told me I need to “bloom where I am planted”. The same holds true for finding a mentor, because chances are, your future mentor is someone you already know! To begin searching for a mentor, sit down and think of two things: a) what you hope to get out of a mentoring partnership, and b) the names of people you regularly interact with who may have the life experience and expertise you are seeking. Then decide who you want to approach and continue working your way through the list until you hear a “yes” (also remember, your mentor may not be on your list, but someone on your list may know someone who would be a great mentor for you!)
How To Find A Mentor: Don’t be afraid to ask a seasoned professional for help. It’s amazing how many successful business professionals want to help if you just ASK for help. Don’t be afraid…Ask a stranger.
How To Find A Mentor: It is not as much about finding a great mentor as it is staying in touch with one. Most of us have already met someone in our lives that inspires us to greatness, maybe a high school teacher or coach, our first boss, or a family friend. Our job is to stay in touch with these people, keep them in our lives so that we can continue to learn from their wisdom and benefit from their guidance as we grow.
How To Find A Mentor: The best way to find a mentor is to put yourself out there. Get in front of people you want to be associated with and take the first step in the relationship by approaching them. I found the most effective way to build a relationship with a mentor is to ask for their help, be blunt and tell them exactly why you want to meet them. I have solid list of mentors I can go to for business advice, marketing tips, branding ideas, and personal growth suggestions. What I did was just get in front of them, then introduced myself and brought up the idea of them helping me with something they are experts at. That is all you have to do.
How To Find A Mentor: One mentor I had is a woman who started her business about the same time as mine but surpassed me in the revenue she generated-I wanted to find out how she did it -so entered and paid for her coaching program…it was worth every penny!
How To Find A Mentor: When I need to be mentored in a specific area I usually reach out to one of my clients. I feel that it’s really important to get mentoring from someone that has experience that is linked to your business footprint aka size. When I started my company, I worked with an MBA that was with Arthur Andersen (now Accenture) on my inventory issues. Thousands and thousands of dollars later, I found a firm that helped me with a process that was the correct fit for my firm’s footprint. But it wasn’t until I approached the CFO of one of my clients and asked for help, that I learned I needed to be working with someone that had experience with my specific issue. The best business is done when there is a relationship based on trust and respect. I have never asked to be mentored and lost the account or been turned down.
How To Find A Mentor: I happen to be blessed with many amazing mentors that came with the business!
It wasn’t until a few years into the business that I realized the impact they have on my industry and how lucky I am not only to have their wisdom and knowledge but friendship as well.
There is a catch when it comes to finding a mentor…They are out there and willing to support, train and encourage but YOU have to realize you NEED it in order to be successful.
When it comes to finding a good one make sure you respect them and their wisdom. I personally look for people that have been there done that. There is more knowledge from people that have experience rather than those that just talk the talk.
How To Find A Mentor: Over 20 years ago when I decided to open my own
publicity agency, I found my mentor at home–my
father! He had always been his own boss and worked in sales. He told me I wouldn’t starve
because he wouldn’t let me and he didn’t want me
wondering years later “what might have been.”
He gave me emotional support and sound business
How To Find A Mentor: Finding a mentor is easier than most people think. If you are a keen observer of others it is simple to identify those in your company or extended business community who have achieved the levels of success that you admire. Many of these titans of industry would be thrilled to help others, and getting them to agree to meet with you, and possibly mentor you only involves you reaching out to them. I have discovered that those who are most successful; financially, emotionally and spiritually are the most likely to want to help others excel. Remember, mentoring is not just about you finding people to help you up the ladder. It is an eco-system, and you need to also look for others whom you can mentor and extend a boost. Look for ways to be a mentor and you will find others will be most willing to be your mentor. Those who are selfish have a hard time getting help. Those who are giving by nature seem to get all the opportunities.
How To Find A Mentor: Be careful about who you choose, a good mentor wants his apprentices to spread their wings and fly higher than they did. A bad mentor will poison your soul.
My first mentor was an older guy who’d been in the business for 30 years. I was very excited, and it was great to have someone to help guide me, and to share my small successes with.
Then I realized that most of his “guidance” consisted of telling me all about the contacts he had in the industry, while getting me to do free work for him.
I eventually realized that this guy wasn’t a real mentor- he was a user, and after speaking with others I found out he hadn’t ever helped anyone out with good advice or introductions, despite his contacts and stature in the industry. He just liked having people worship him.
How To Find A Mentor: Finding a great mentor is like finding a spouse. It happens by being where the action is. A great mentor isn’t going to come knocking on your door and say something like “I had this vision that you needed a mentor — here I am!” Great mentors are great because they are in action, working and making mistakes, fixing mistakes, learning and doing better. So you have to be where they are. I’ve volunteered to be in groups and committees and worked for free, just to be close enough to the guru so I can learn from them and soak up all they have to teach.
How To Find A Mentor: One great way, I have found recently, to finding a great mentor , is to call or email the people you admire in your field and ask to interview them for some article or blog you are writing or some book project you are making or even just because you admire them, and in the process, you get to share your own ideas, expertise, confidence, humility and thirst for learning, which makes them want to show you more of their wisdom.
How To Find A Mentor: The best qualifier for a mentor is that “they have what you want.” Regardless of industry, position, or sex, my greatest mentors have demonstrated the behavior, attitude and success that I wanted for myself. Looking for a mentor or coach in general, is rarely enough to inspire the work it takes to benefit from that relationship. Willingness to hear criticism, direction and/or encouragement and make the desired changes is most often present when the ‘seeker’ can identify the outcome they are looking for and know that their supporter has realized those things in their own life.
How To Find A Mentor: I have many mentors in my life from family, past bosses to clients and I think the best tip I can give is to always keep an open mind and seek out opportunities to connect. A very smart entrepreneur and mentor of mine (my Uncle) always told me that, “Teachers will appear when the student is ready.” It can sound cliche, but any experience is an opportunity to find a mentor and you can not and should not discount anyone because of their background, age or career that may be different from your own. Challenge your own thinking. You learn the most and grow in business and personally when there is diverse life experience brought to the table.
How To Find A Mentor: Looking for a great mentor to guide you in your business? Consider an accountability partner.
I have one that I met over 3 years ago at a professional conference for our industry (she does the same work I do, but across the U.S.) and we’ve been holding each other’s feet to the fire, sharing ideas, acting as a sounding board, creating material together and serving as mentor’s for each other on a weekly or bi-weekly basis ever since.
How To Find A Mentor: People are much more inclined to help you long-term if they are getting something valuable in return. What works better for me is to collaborate with someone who has the skills and knowledge I need and wants to learn a little bit from me, too.
I found my mentor/partner while doing some business research online and we’ve been working together every other Monday for 3 years now. It may take a while to find the perfect fit, but the give-and-take of the relationship will provide huge dividends for both of you.
How To Find A Mentor: I found my mentor in Jim Horan, creator and author of The One Page Business Plan. Key to this was being aware that I needed a mentor and recognizing that Jim could be the one. When the opportunity arose he offered his help and I took it. Jim has a way of asking the tough questions and I am naturally motivated to think and respond. He was instrumental in causing me to move from a generalist to going back to my roots and creating my niche business.
How To Find A Mentor: At the embryonic stages of starting my business I was fortunate enough to meet a graphic designer who has a similar background of working in a corporate environment and then left to start her own business like me. We’ve been working together on many creative projects and because she’s had a successful business in the past, she’s continually giving me new ideas on how to run my own business. My clients love the work we’ve been doing and it’s always a win-win situation. Find an experienced associate or partner you might like to work with and they can be the best mentors around!!
How To Find A Mentor: Finding a mentor who’s a good fit for you may take a little legwork but it’s well worth the extra work. Here are several tips to help you along your journey:
• Make sure the person isn’t trying to push his or her agenda but is focused on what is best for you.
• Let your mentor know how you’d like him/her to help you so there are no surprises, on either side, down the road.
• Take your potential mentors to lunch (or for coffee) and see how it feels to be in their presence. When you think about working with this person as a mentor, how does it feel? What does your gut say? If your head says “yes” and your gut says “no,” listen to your gut.
• Be clear on your values in business and in life, in general, and choose a person with similar values.
How To Find A Mentor: ESTABLISH A PERSONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS! Think back over your business and college career. Who strikes you as a true “leader”? Whose opinion do you value? Who has provided you with personal and / or professional coaching and guidance that has been spot-on? Who can you trust? Who really knows you? It is probably someone for whom, if they called today to discuss a career situation, professional need or personal challenge, you would absolutely make time.
Contact these people and make them your “sounding” board. Nothing official is required, simply use them as resources when you need them!
How To Find A Mentor: I have found that no single person can ever been all things to a mentee because everyone is different. My advice is to find a few people (3 or 4) who can serve as a sounding board and role model. The point of having a mentor is to allow you to find your inner voice more easily—not to copy what that other person would do. When you have several opinions, the correct option/path/choice is more likely to surface.
How To Find A Mentor: When anyone tells me they have the ONE and ONLY way to do something, and I HAVE to come to them, I turn and RUN!
I prefer to work with someone who believes in what they are doing, knows it works, but recognizes there are many ways. Obviously, I’m trying to learn new patterns and techniques, but I’m not planning on joining a cult.
Everything should filter through your gut; if it feels bad, get away.
How To Find A Mentor: Mentors are available for whatever you need whether business or personal and most don’t consider themselves mentors they are just doing what comes naturally or maybe not so naturally to them. Join professional groups, network, go on twitter or facebook, get out there and observe people who have the traits and abilities you want to have. No don’t stalk or follow them but get to know them and ask if they will help you achieve your goals. In return find a way to help them from a bottle of great wine to giving of your time. They are doing you a favor be appreciative.
How To Find A Mentor: Finding a mentor is difficult. I’ve taken a different approach and picked a handful of successful people to study, read about and learn from. Among them is Jimmy Buffett. Sounds goofy, right?! Buffett has to walk a fine line between his persona of a rum soaked island hopping Margaritaville mogul and the extremely hard working and focused businessman behind the scenes. That’s the juggling act when you’re running a lifestyle brand (live the lifestyle, but stay focused on growing the business)…hence the reason I look to Buffett as I grow my own lifestyle brand. He hasn’t built a mutli-million dollar brand / empire by drinking margaritas on the beach all day, but certainly can choose to kick back and do just that whenever he pleases now.
How To Find A Mentor: Some of the best mentors are ones that I can offer something to. I know that mentoring is not supposed to be about what the mentor gets out of it, however, it is a way for the mentor to feel value for themselves and make you more valuable overall. For one mentor I took care of changing her typewriter ribbon, she was wise, just not mechanical.
How To Find A Mentor: As I was researching and planning my business, I spoke to dozens of people in a variety of relevant business groups, asking them to recommend a mentor for a start-up company. When the same name popped up a number of times from people I respected and who had thriving businesses, I felt confident I had found my mentor. I gave him a call, and he far exceeded my expectations.
How To Find A Mentor: 1. Pinpoint someone who is successful (with a winning personality too) to be your mentor. Be it a family friend, college professor, or anyone you admire and respect in your community.
2. Can’t find a winner in your circle? Switch things up and attend business seminars that feature leading entrepreneurs! Do your research. Introduce yourself to the Guest Speaker. Have ‘small talk’ about how he/she became successful. Keep it short, spicy and memorable. Be sure to exchange business cards, make eye contact with a firm hand-shake (BTW – It’s a GREAT CLUE about personality).
3. Call or send a follow up a ‘thank you’ card highlighting something in your brief conversation and simply ask if they can be your mentor.