Admittedly, trying to find a mentor can be challenging. But if you begin by investing in yourself, then the opportunities often start to present themselves organically. People want to support someone who is on a journey to maximize potential in his or her own life and make a difference in the lives of others. It’s not any different when it comes to prospective mentors.
It starts with humility. The ego is the enemy. You have to first recognize that there are some things that you’re not good at and you’re going to need to partner with people who can help you get better. And although this may seem counterintuitive, think about how you can add value to other people. As Jeff Henderson instructs, I want something FOR you rather than from you. It’s much easier to follow questions like ‘where and how can I help you?’ with ‘will you help me?’ Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask.
Along those lines, don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted question. When you engage with people by asking them a well-thought-out question, you show respect for their time and allow someone to let them help you quickly. Every meeting that you find yourself in can be a mentoring opportunity. Start small by identifying one clear and insightful question that you can ask those folks that you encounter throughout your day. You’ll be surprised at the wisdom gained and how the process of mentoring will begin to unveil itself through these conversations. Find your one question and every single interaction can be a mentorship opportunity.
Lastly, don’t overthink it. Mentorship can come in all forms and fashions. Whether it’s a book, article, web series, or podcast, it’s important to not shortchange the value of good content. Mentorship might not look like a one-on-one weekly sit down for an hour. Release your expectations of what you think it has to resemble and take the guidance and wisdom where you can find it. If you can change the way you think, then you can change your life.
We’ve all got things we need to learn. Mentors, eager to fill in those gaps of knowledge, are all around us.