I know there are many things that I don’t know. There are universes full of universes of things I don’t even know I don’t know and for that reason I’m a mentor collector. I have four of five off the top of my head. I have a writing mentor and a business mentor. I have a professional speaking and I have a spiritual mentor. I even have a mentor who has taught me how to be a mentor.
If I meet someone who is successful in some aspect of life in which I would like to improve my performance and results I study that person. I ask them specific questions about how they achieved what they have and many times I will directly ask them if they are willing to mentor me because in order to be successful you need to seek out people who are successful at the things that you don’t know how to do.
You will need to find mentors who have achieved the goals that you’re working towards to help guide and teach you. This is an area where you cannot allow fear to stop you from doing what is necessary. You cannot be shy, introverted, timid, nor too proud to ask someone wiser than you to teach you how to achieve the goals you’ve set.
The beautiful part about that is, those who are in positions to help you (if you are sincere about what you’re asking) will recognize themselves in you and be willing to do whatever they can for you.You must be willing to do two things; ask and work. Steve Jobs one said "Now, I've actually always found something to be very true which is most people don't get those experiences because they never ask. I've never found anybody who didn't want to help me when I've asked them for help."
There are plenty of free or low cost resources available where you can meet mentors and get the assistance, training and coaching you need to be successful. (A few are listed at the end of this blog.)
Put yourself in a position to be helped.
When approaching a potential mentor or coach, ask yourself “What can I do to deserve their help? What can I do to make them want to help me?”
Obviously, these are questions only you and the person who is your mentor/advisor can answer. I suggest you think them over long and hard.
As with anything, it’s important that you don’t think too long and too hard to where the result is inactivity. Just contemplate your plan of action long enough so that you are prepared to accept or decline whatever terms and conditions are required for that person’s help.
If someone came to you for advice and mentorship, what would you want in return? Would it be financial compensation? Would it be picking up the bill for lunch whenever you meet? Maybe you could offer to apprentice for them.
Create opportunities to meet with them outside of traditional settings. Idealizing, visualizing and emotionalizing yourself as a mentor will put you in that person’s shoes and help you prepare yourself to be a person who other people want to help.
More than likely, anyone that you admire enough to approach for guidance, is someone who has become successful by managing their time well. The best thing that you can offer them, in return, is to not waste their time.Take notes. Ask questions. Implement advice. Be coachable. Be prompt. Be concise. Be serious.
A Mastermind Alliance
The second principle of Napoleon Hill’s classic business masterpiece “Think and Grow Rich” is participating in a “mastermind alliance” (MA). Hill describes this as "The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”
The benefits of belonging to and participating in an effective MA are numerous.
Because of how effective participating in a MA is in making progress toward goals, many successful people from Benjamin Franklin to Bill Gates have participated in them. The famed Knights of the Round Table and America’s Founding Fathers can be considered examples of very effective Mastermind Alliances.
As you begin to more effectively manage your life and push toward achieving your goals, you should have a key group of people who you can call for advice and know will hold you accountable to this things you need to do. As with any successful corporation, you should have your own personal board of directors to support you, the CEO of your own life.
As mentioned earlier I’m including a list of mentoring resources for you to explore and hopefully connect with to further your progress toward your goal. I have used some of them personally and others have only been suggested to me. Also, here is a list of free or low cost educational resources that will make you more informed, therefore, more valuable.
Mentors for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
Mentors for Students
Travis Matheny: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Development Mentors
I am a simple man who has lived a complicated life. The lessons I've learned from the experiences I've been through and the challenges I've conquered have helped me develop a philosophy that life is meant to be lived at a level better than average.