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Choosing a Mentor for the Season You’re In

Putting yourself in the position to meet new people is a wonderful way to grow. As you have the opportunity to connect with potential friends, you may meet someone who inspires you and motivates you to become the best version of yourself. If you think this person would be a good mentor for you, then […]

Putting yourself in the position to meet new people is a wonderful way to grow. As you have the opportunity to connect with potential friends, you may meet someone who inspires you and motivates you to become the best version of yourself. If you think this person would be a good mentor for you, then follow the tips below.

Ask What Your (Potential) Mentor Has

You need to define exactly what it is that this person has that you want in your own life. When you look at her, you say, “I want what she’s got. She has wonderful friends. She’s pursuing work she loves. She’s traveling every month.”

Or you might say, “She’s spending time with his family. She’s spending time playing the sport I love. She’s a successful community leader. He cares about what’s happening in the world.”

Study Your Mentor

Once you’ve identified what your mentor has that you’d like to create in your own life, it’s time to get to work. Start by observing your potential mentor in action. Figure out what it is they’re doing differently and try to implement that in your own life.

If your mentor is always booked solid, look at what she’s doing to attract clients. If your mentor speaks at national conferences, get the MP3 version of her speeches and listen to them. If she launches products that become best-sellers, pay attention to how she writes her sales copy.

Be Direct and Make that Request

Once you’ve learned all you can from observation, it’s time to go for the direct request. Ask about meeting for coffee or a conversation. Keep your invitation casual. You might say, “I admire the way you run your business. Is there any way I could meet with you and ask a few questions?”

Some mentors will say, “yes” and they’ll mentor you for the joy of investing in someone else’s life. But some mentors won’t do that. They get so many requests to help others that they have to charge for their time. This is known as coaching. You’ll have to count the cost and decide if you’re ready to pay for these services.

Offer to Barter

If you can’t afford to pay a coach, you might want to consider bartering. You could offer to be an intern for a few months in exchange for a few coaching sessions. If you already have some experience in the industry and know what you’re doing, you could offer to form a joint venture partnership with this coach. This gives you a chance to learn from your mentor while still bringing value to the agreement.

Set a Timeline

A mentorship or coaching arrangement shouldn’t be open-ended. It needs to have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Make sure you both understand the agreement clearly. A simple email is enough to spell out the terms. You might say, “I’ve agreed to intern with you for six months. At the end of those six months, you’ve agreed to give me six coaching calls spaced out over an additional six months.”

Keep in mind that you might move from one mentor to another. As you grow and learn more about yourself, you may find you need certain skills or perspectives. If that happens, don’t be afraid to reach out to a new mentor.

Being mindful with your friendships means knowing what you want and choosing it intentionally. Don’t just fall into relationships—if all your friends are your friends because you work with them, then that’s not intentional. That doesn’t mean that work friends can’t be really good friends. But as you pursue mindful friendships, don’t be surprised when friends come from unusual places and bring great joy into your life.

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