How to Find a Mentor?
Think about this metaphor – how would you be able to visualize your future better, just by standing on your feet or by standing on the shoulders of giants? Yes, you will get a better view by standing on the shoulders of giants. Thus, it’s of utmost importance to find a mentor online who can guide you, show you and make you the man and woman you always know in your heart you can be.
In his book “Mastery”, author Robert Greene mentioned that without a mentor it’s very difficult to catapult your success and reach mastery. Find a mentor online just doubles the results and propels you in the right direction.
But to be able to find a mentor online the first thing you need to do is to be ready to be coached. Most of us are not ready or teachable. Until and unless we become teachable, we can’t learn more, we can’t go further and naturally we can’t find a mentor online. You have heard the expression – When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Thus, you need to first be ready to attract the mentor toward you. You need to understand that a mentor wouldn’t teach you until you are an attractive person. Your mentor should like you; otherwise, he won’t give you his life experiences for your growth.
Process to Find a Mentor Online
In this article, we will see how you can be ready to find a mentor online. The process is not easy, but if you have a burning desire, you would be able to find someone who is as willing to see you succeed as you are.
1. Finding yourself first
Before anything you do, you need to find yourself first. There are lots of different fields out there and there are a lot of people who are at a level where you can see them doing things with masterful abilities; but how would you know whom to choose as your mentor if you don’t know what field you want to pursue?
This is the biggest question of life no matter what you aim to achieve. No, there would be no angels who will drop a golden book from heaven and you will understand instantly what you want to pursue. What you need to do is to listen to yourself instead of listening to others. Author Robert Greene says that listening to other people will not help you find your calling. If you want to write poetry but your parents want you to attend law school, you get confused about which one to choose. But listen to yourself. If you don’t earn writing poetry, earn by doing something else and in your leisure time writing poetry. No-one can say right now, but maybe, in the future, you may become a poet whose poetries are being featured in the world’s top literary magazines or you may be invited to speak to a group of poets who have been writing poetry and want to improve their craft.
The thing is there is no-one like you. Your job is to find your unique self before you ever try to find a mentor online. Once you know which path you want to pursue, things would be easier. The only thing you need to know that it should be your path and suggestions or advice of anyone including your parents, the spouse should not have any relevance to who you would like to become in the first place.
2. Understand what you need to improve
The first mistakes most people make while finding mentors is they think they will learn everything from one mentor. But that’s impossible. Every human being is deeply flawed. One can be extremely skillful in one but unfortunately dull in another. You need to know what you are going to learn from a mentor. Whatever passion or path you want to pursue, first you need to deconstruct the path and see different elements in it and then find out which you seem to be weak at. Find a mentor online who can help you with that weakest part of you. If you have several weaknesses, you need to find different mentors.
How would you deconstruct a path? Simply, do it with the understanding as you have in a given moment. Read as much as you can about the subject, find people who are connected to this profession and talk to them, understand how their life is like and then think and journal. Whatever thoughts come to your mind, write down and try to see if any patterns are emerging from all that you are reading and the information you have gathered right now. Then practice on your own. Trying to find a mentor online before you even practice the craft will not help you much as you don’t know anything about the path.
In the beginning, we talked about becoming ready to attract suitable mentors in your life. Becoming ready means to be able to align your internal curiosity with whatever you are trying to achieve. Once you are ready, you would see that you are being able to create the opportunity for yourself to attract great mentors in your life.
Keys to Find a Mentor in Business
There are several keys which you should practice to be able to find a mentor in business –
1. Look for people who have walked on the path you want to walk on
Finding people like this is hard. Most of the people you will find who has the experience and who can communicate well are those who have heard or learned through secondary resources how to make things tick. You need to stress upon personal experiences. You may choose someone who the society calls a failure. But if you think this person has the experience and learned the tread hard way, you should go to him and persuade him to teach. We can take an example from the novel “The Fountainhead”, where the protagonist Howard Roark went to an architect, Henry Cameron who was labeled a failure by the society. Roark knew that he could learn much more from Cameron than anybody who posed power and called successful in the world of architecture as Cameron has personal experiences and he only listened to his own self which Roark wanted to do.
2. Learn fishing, don’t expect the fish sandwich
Most apprentices are looking for quick bucks in mentors. It would be difficult for you to find a mentor in business if you are looking for the outcome only. For example, if you want to be a writer and you go to a mentor to learn how you will make quick bucks through writing best-selling books, it would be a great disappointment for your mentor. Go for the process. The process is more important than the end. But now few are so fascinated about the ends, they forget why they are looking for a mentor in the first place.
A mentor can’t help you (won’t do it rather) with money or outcome; rather he will show you the way. You need to walk on that path and find a mentor in business your own way to mastery. You would see that successful people are rather eager to share their journey with others who are eager to listen. You can contact them directly and ask them for their mentorship. Many will say no because of various reasons, but few will say yes. If you get such an opportunity don’t squander them. If you meet a fisherman, learn how to fish; don’t ask for a fish sandwich.
3. Look for Integrity
Now it’s difficult to know people through and through. Until you meet them, you don’t have a clue what they are up to. Thus, it’s better not to assume or expect anything if you don’t know the person who has been mentoring you. Take your time and observe carefully how they are behaving in a particular situation. Don’t judge them with all their behaviors. Look out for things they say they are good at and try to relate how honest they are in their disclosure of their capacity.
Integrity is a very important thing to see in a mentor if you want to learn something from him. Integrity means their words should match their behaviors. If not, they can’t be good mentors. They are not able to handle themselves well; how they would be able to give you advice on your career? There would be chances that you would find a mentor online like these who are not good at showing in behaviors what they say in words.
In that case, you need to figure out what you shouldn’t do in case you want to learn something from them. Observation is a great skill if you want to absorb everything a mentor is offering you. The more you can observe, the more you would be able to absorb. Don’t just observe the way they work; observe how they talk, walk, meet strangers, communicate with their peers and dictate notes or go out of a meeting. Your observation will ultimately help you understand whether you will learn something that you follow or something that you should avoid doing on your career path.
4. Find a Professional Mentor
You can find a professional mentor from anywhere. You need to be for a lookout. And you should not judge your mentors by the clothes they wear, in the office they work, the position they hold or the net-worth they have. Often a mentor dresses in a disguise. Remember, the idea is to find something useful to use in your career. You can look out in your office, in a friend’s house, in NGOs, in business schools or in a shop where you go and do your grocery shopping every day. You need to be ready to absorb the material they are about to teach you.
If you are ready, you will find a professional mentor much quicker. If you are not ready, even there are many mentors, you won’t be able to find them and wonder whether there is someone to teach you anything or not. And leave your ego behind when you find a professional mentor. You are searching for a mentor because you need guidance, so showing the ugly head of ego will not serve you very well. Keep these things in mind and you will be able to find a professional mentor you are searching for.
5. Possible Alternative
You would agree that nowadays, people are not being able to manage their own stuff, let alone helping juniors. So what’s the alternative? Is there an alternative? The truth is there is an alternative to mentoring. What is the alternative? Books. Yes. You cannot get to learn from the mouth of so many people in your short life if you want to know their journey. Pick any profession or any path. There are thousands, if not millions of books written on the subject. Start with one and keep on reading. If you know how to read and write, you don’t need to be worried in this era of massive information.
Even if you are unable to find a professional mentor, you can learn from many, many mentors through books. The idea is to learn one good idea which you can implement and retain. That’s it. You don’t need to do a thousand things which a book suggests. Ask yourself – “What one thing I can learn from the book which will revolutionize my career path?” or “What’s the prime theme of the book? Can I implement it in my own life?” While reading different books, you will see there are books which won’t teach you anything. Learn from those books what not to read and don’t read such kinds of books. Books can never take the place of real mentors; but if you don’t find a mentor in business at any cost, good books are a great substitute for mentors.
The above ideas are given in no sequence. All of the ideas are equally valuable. It’s not a step-by-step guide to finding your mentor. Because there is no typical or methodical way to find a mentor in business or mentors! All you need to do is to have a burning desire and get ready for the opportunity to learn. You can learn from a mentor, from a coach, from a book or from the not-so-suitable-to-teach person on the street. Learning is dynamic. Thus, it’s not possible to offer you something that is customizable. You need to walk on your path and you need to find your guide. All we can do is a job of facilitation. Hope this article helps to fine-tune your mindset about finding mentors and learn to view the world by standing on their shoulders.
This is a guide to find a mentor online. Here we discuss some keys to find a mentor in business.