What’s a Mentor and Where Do I Find One?

Have you ever met someone who seemed to embody everything you ever wanted to be or do in your life? And you wished some of what they had could rub off on you? Have you ever asked someone for help or guidance when you felt you’d lost your way?

Many people today believe that having a mentor is the ultimate secret to achieving success in all areas of their lives. A mentor is a teacher, advisor, or guide who can lead you down a proven path to success. He/she has been there and knows what it takes to move from where you are to where you want to be. No need to re-invent the wheel!

Most of us get stuck in our own stuff and can’t see our way out. We may know what our goals are, we may take action, but when we don’t get results, we are frustrated and don’t always know what to do differently. Was it our thought process, our attitude, the words we said? Was it the right action at the wrong time or vice versa? It’s pretty tough, sometimes, to be an observer in your own life and to know how to reach your goals when everything you’ve done hasn’t worked!

istock_000005671280xsmall.jpgThat’s where mentors can help. They cut the learning curve and the time it takes to reach your goals. They have achieved their own success and are ready to give back. They enjoy helping others reach the same level of success they’re achieved.

Mentoring has been around for thousands of years, but has only re-emerged in popularity in recent years, especially with the advent of personal and professional coaching. A coach may serve as a mentor, but mentors don’t have to be coaches. They could be an expert in their field who either wants to offer their guidance to protégés on an individual basis, or who sets up a structured program and serves a group of students simultaneously.

If you’ve reached a point where you think you’re ready to have someone else guide your path to success, and you’re willing to put in the work it will take to get to where you want to go, you may be ready for a mentor. In that case, how do you find the ideal mentor for you? Here are some possible ways you can find one:

1. GET CLEAR. Decide exactly what you want help with, whether specific goals, or the planning, or the process, or shifting your mindset.

2. START ASKING. Let people around you know that you are looking for a mentor, and ask for referrals. Then get some references.

3. GET TESTIMONIALS. Talk to people who have mentors and find out how they work and what results they have had. Ask any questions you have about mentorship.

4. BUSINESS NETWORKING. Check with people you meet at professional organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and the SBA. Some may even have a mentor program.

5. RESEARCH ONLINE. There are many experts who have formal mentoring programs and you can search for them online in your specific area. For example, there are mentor programs in wholesale real estate, Internet marketing, and writing a book.

6. MEET A MENTOR. Ask for a complimentary meeting with the mentor or if not local, arrange for a phone consultation. If you can, talk to a few of their students.

If you are committed to your success and ready to roll up your sleeves, you will find your mentor. Remember the saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Thanks to Working at Home on the Internet for including this post in the Working at Home Blog Carnival.

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