Mentors have always played an important role in my life, especially in business. In fact, I don’t think I would be where I am today if other people didn’t plant seeds of wisdom into me. Naturally, I’m a very inquisitive person. I question things that I am taught and I’ve always had a thirst for knowledge. So once I decided to pursue my dream career(s), the next logical step was to seek mentorship from people who could add value to my life and further my personal development.
3 common questions I get asked:
- Who do I ask to become my mentor?
- How do I find the right mentor?
- Once I know who I want to learn from, what is the best approach?
Before I begin sharing some of the top qualities you should seek in a mentor, I want to stress the fact that your mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be within arms reach. What I mean by that is there are what I call distant mentors who can play the same role although you do not have direct access to them. For example, some of my distant mentors include: Marie Forleo, Sister Souljah, Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg, Danielle LaPorte, Rachel Roy and Eric Thomas. It is possible that I may not ever speak to any of these individuals in my lifetime but it doesn’t mean I can’t take a page from their story. I watch them from a distance, study their habits, read their biographies and take note of their trials and triumphs and apply the lessons to my own life and career. Consider this a strong option when seeking mentorship as well.
When seeking a distant mentor or a potential mentor within your community, it always helps if you approach someone who has their own shit together. You NEED to be able to tell great mentors from poor ones. Here are my top 6 suggested qualities that I believe your mentor should possess in order to positively affect your growth.
Nisha Moodley says, masters learn from masters. This is quite obvious but I need to reinforce it again. You should seek advice from someone who is qualified to provide it, not someone who thinks they know what they’re talking about. Your mind is a sacred space, please be selective with what you fill it up with.
This is the best policy. You don’t want a mentor who puts themselves on a pedestal and always serves you up rainbows and sunshine. What I love about my mentors is their vulnerability. They aren’t afraid to share their past struggles because they understand that your underdog past is the key to your successful present.
This is big because there’s no point approaching a mentor who is living a life of mediocrity. You want someone who is a kid at heart. He/she is a dreamer, believer, doer and thinker. They are not only a mentor but also a professional risk-taker because they believe that life is at its best outside of their comfort zone. That right there is called passion and if it rubs off on you, you are golden.
4. VIBES ON THE SAME FREQUENCY
Your mentor should have that It Factor and should meet your definition of success. Your energy levels should be on par with one another and the mentor-protege partnership should feel natural, not forced. It’s a tricky relationship. However, if you don’t necessarily click with the person, it’s okay. It just means you need to move on. Think about it this way, there are billions of people in this world, one of them has to be the right mentor for you. Keep searching.
5. CAN AGREE TO CREATE STRUCTURE AROUND YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Like with many other things, putting a structure in place will help you tremendously. Your mentor will not come out and create a plan for the two of you. This is your job. You need to take the initiative to suggest a schedule which is beneficial to the both of you. For example, I have a one-hour phone call every month with one of my business mentors. It’s more than enough time for us to catch up, discuss what’s next and come up with strategies to be successful at future goals.
6. THINKS DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU
What good is a mentorship if your mentor is feeding you information that you already know? Seek an out-of-the-box thinker; someone sees life from different angles. A good mentor should challenge your beliefs and push you to your limits.
If you have a mentor, how has your experience been so far?
If not, consider trying my New Girl On The Block Mentorship Program.
Peace & Love,