While many people and publications will tell you mentoring is important, not many clearly define it or tell you how to get started.
As a mentee, you need to be prepared for brutally honest and transparent conversations with mentors. Sugarcoating the realities of life won’t benefit anyone. That approach might hurt the mentee’s feelings at the time. But when a self-aware person looks back at the blunt advice, they appreciate the honesty.
What do you need to do before reaching out to potential mentors?
First, think about what your end goal is. Start there and break it down into smaller bites. Work your way backward until you’re asking yourself, “What can I start doing today?” which leads to “What do I need to know that a mentor might be able to help with?”
Many people are afraid to ask for help - they don’t think that they have anything to offer potential mentors in exchange for their advice. The good news is that there are giving people out there who enjoy the fulfillment of helping people because someone helped them at one point in their life. You need to take the initiative and ask for help.
After my 40 years of being a business owner – starting, running, and selling six companies – if I can help somebody else not suffer through some of the things that I’ve suffered, I will. What good would it do him to just hold it in? It’s better to share it and pay it forward.
In this episode, Mark and I discuss: