What are the best ways to find and keep an entrepreneurial mentor? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
I've been fortunate enough to have dozens of high quality mentors in my corner.
Everyone from multi-millionaires (even a billionaire), movie stars, and successful business moguls.
The process for finding and keeping a mentor is simple...but executing this process?
It's much more difficult.
Here's a simple five step process that I've used to get mentored by the best of the best and accelerate my own entrepreneurial journey.
Hope this helps.
Step 1: Identify the Right Mentor
Just because someone is a successful entrepreneur doesn't mean they are worth listening to.
Before you decide on who you want to mentor you, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions...
- What are my business goals?
- In what industry do I want to build my business
- What sort of lifestyle do I want to have?
- How much time do I want to spend working and how much time do I want to spend socializing and enjoying life?
- How long do I want to spend to achieve my goals?
Unless you know exactly what goal you are after, it's easy to get suckered into following a mentor who is completely incongruent with your ideal lifestyle.
For example, Grant Cardone is a great mentor for someone who loves real estate and wants to work 60+ hours a week to build a billion dollar business.
But he's a TERRIBLE mentor for someone who wants to live a simple and balanced life while running an online business.
Figure out exactly what you are after before you select a mentor.
And NEVER take advice from someone who you wouldn't change lives with for a day.
Step 2: Introductions and the Initial Question
Once you have identified the people who you want as mentors, you are going to find a way to connect with them (in person is best).
Introduce yourself, tell them how much you admire what they are doing (be specific) and then ask one simple question.
It's important to realize that your results in this process are predicated on your ability to ask the right questions.
For example, if you ask
"How did you get so rich" and they respond...
You haven't accomplished the goal of this exercise.
However, if you ask,
"Wow! You have such an amazing family and seem really happy, are there any specific productivity tips or tricks that you have used to effectively get more done and balance your life?" you will get some real applicable value from their response.
Thank them for their time, ask if there is any way you could provide value to them, and then exit the interaction.
Step 3: Take Massive Action on the Initial Question
Once you've picked their brain and asked them for an initial piece of advice, you are going to lay low, put your head down, and do EXACTLY what they told you to do.
If they suggested a productivity or sales tactic, apply it to your life and business EVERY single day.
You are going to do this for at least 4 weeks before you reach out to them again.
The goal here is to show them that you are an action taker and that you value their input and their time.
Do not reach back out to them until you have internalized, applied, and reaped the rewards of their advice.
For example, if they gave you a piece of productivity advice, don't reach out again until you've cut your work load in half and increased your income.
Once you've done what they said and given it enough time to have an impact on your life, you are going to reach out again.
Step 4: The Follow Up
Now that you have taken action and gotten some results, you are going to follow back up with them, thanking them for the advice, sharing how it impacted your life, and asking another simple question.
Try to make your follow up question related to the first one in some way shape or form so that it's easier for them to answer via text or email.
From here, you are going to repeat the above processes 2 or 3 times until you have made massive shifts in your life from their advice.
Finally, it's time for the grand finale in the initial stage of this relationship.
Step 5: The "Thank You"
If you have asked the right questions and taken action on the answers, then your relationship with your mentor should be pretty strong at this point.
They likely view you in a positive light, think of you as an action taker, and probably consider you a friend or mentee.
Now it's time to seal the deal.
Invite your mentor (and their family) out to a meal either at your house or a nice restaurant.
During this meal, you aren't going to ask questions or try to get any value from them.
You are simply going to show real interest in their lives and business, thank them sincerely for helping you on your journey, and solidify your existing relationship.
This will transition you from being their mentee to being their friend and, if you have played your cards right up until this point, will give you unrestricted access to their knowledge and wisdom.
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