Is finding a mentor on your business wish list?
If entering into a mentorship arrangement is an important priority, then that is an extremely positive step forward for your business. Mentors can really guide you towards achieving business success.
However, it’s of utmost importance to find the right advisor who has chemistry with both you and your business. When first thinking about seeking professional instruction, it is easy to form a picture of the perfect mentor. This person may be someone with lots of qualifications, years of business experience, some public popularity or a proven track record for success. All of these qualities are desirable, and you can find someone who fits the bill.
But make sure that you are looking in all the right places for your successful mentor. Also, make sure that you are prepared to approach them in a professional manner to make the case for why that person should become your mentor.
Here’s some practical advice on finding and winning over the appropriate mentor for you:
Pitch Yourself in Multiple Places
Every entrepreneur should already have developed and practiced an exceptional elevator pitch.
One of the tricks with pitching is honing in on a really entertaining and engaging antidote or personal story that really gets your potential mentor’s attention. You can take some time to think about that memorable narrative and then test it out with others. If you come up with a hilarious opening line or an incredible closing that receives a positive response, then you are on the right track.
Once you find that story that sticks, you can go out and start testing your pitch. A great way to get started is to cold email a potential mentor. The email should be short, sweet and to the point: quickly introduce yourself and ask for a brief phone conversation or meeting.
Also, you must make sure to choose the appropriate place and time to deliver your story. If you meet up with your prospective advisor for coffee or an informal event, then be prepared to give your pitch. Please share your story with some degree of professionalism and find the right opening to telling it (perhaps the beginning of your sit down when your mentor asks you about yourself works well.)
Focus on Commonalities Throughout the Relationship
The beauty of a mentorship relationship is that you and your mentor will share similarities but also honor each other’s differences.
Most mentors want someone that they are compatible with to some degree, but also challenged by at times. To start, you can find some commonalities by doing some online searching about your potential mentor. It is perfectly acceptable to browse over the mentor’s LinkedIn Profile.
Look for anything that you may have in common with them. When you finally secure that meeting, make sure that that commonality is mentioned and celebrated. Finding a mutual interest can be just the thing to persuade that mentor to seriously consider you as a mentee. Opening up about your similarities is a great conversation starter!
Give to Gain
An important rule of thumb in any relationship is to give something as well as receive things.
If you only ask for things from your mentor, then they will be less inclined to help you. In fact, this constant asking may turn them off.
From your initial contact, give something to your potential mentor. A compliment, congratulations or offer to help them to solve a pain point related to their business (you must do good research on this person) are great gifts.
You can make a habit out of giving with your mentor, and they will surely appreciate it.
There are a great group of prospective mentors waiting for you on New Shifts. You can put the above tips into action and find the right mentor today!