Reasons you may not have a mentor…
By Thea Washington
Having a mentor is beneficial in your career, business or life. Your mentor should add value with their expertise, network, understanding, wisdom, etc.. They can save you from making costly mistakes, giving up, and may have referrals that can take you to your next level in your personal, business or career growth. If you do no have a mentor, this should be on your 2018 vision board or “to do list”.
However, before reaching out to a mentor, examine your approach! How are you approaching potential mentors? Are you asking complete strangers or accomplished colleagues to teach you everything they know? Are you asking them to help you advance in your career? Are you asking them for clients and trade secrets?
These professionals are where they are in their careers or business for a reason. They have invested in themselves, went to school, learned by trial and error, made costly mistakes, sacrificed, gone to workshops, paid business coaches, sacrificed events with family and friends. You are essentially asking them to give you the fruits of their labor simply because you are you! This approach is entitled and wrong!
According to Shark Tank /Fubu’s Daymond John’s new podcast “Rise & Grind”, mentorship goes both ways. John recommends writing a list of five possible mentors, two being in your immediate rolodex, two being top in your industry and one being a celebrity. He then advises you to offer them your service for free in exchange for a lunch, phone call or occasional access to them when you may be in need of expertise. Volunteer to help your potential mentor, invest in their interest, help them when they are in need. It could be as simple as helping them organize papers, or helping them with social media. Build a relationship! If you invest in your mentor, they are surely to be more interested in investing in you!
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