Make It Happen Monday: Find A Mentor

“We all need someone to inspire us to do better than we know how.” -Anonymous

Mentors have been an integral component to my success as an entrepreneur.  The right mentor can make all the difference by sharing their real life experience with you, so that you don’t have to make those same mistakes yourself. Here are some tips for finding the right mentor for you:

Define what you want.  

Take the time to identify what areas of expertise you are looking to learn from in a mentor.  If you are a marketing expert who lacks management experience, look for someone who has the majority of their experience in the area you are least qualified in.  If you are a young entrepreneur this may mean that you are looking for one or more mentors who are skilled in a variety of areas.

Get outside of your industry.

Just because you are an entrepreneur in the pet industry doesn’t mean you need to stop within that vertical to find your ideal mentor.  An experienced entrepreneur in the oil industry may have a lot to share with you about managing several projects or managing large groups of people.  Get outside of your industry to gain valuable experience that you can apply as a trailblazer to your own.

Date before you get married.

This is solid advice for all of your relationships in business and your personal life.  Have a few coffee meetings over a month or so before you commit to a formal mentoring relationship.  You want to make sure that your communication styles match, that you understand their experience and core values, and that they have the availability to commit to regular meetings.  A great mentor that you never see won’t work.

Set expectations.  

Once you have identified a great mentor candidate set expectations.  On your side you should commit to doing the work, showing up on time, and being as authentic as possible.  A clear set of expectations will save you disappointment in the future.