009: Mentorship

I believe the only way to unlock your potential is to tap into the experience of others. Today, it’s the solo show you, me and the experience of all these other amazing individuals that I’ve been able to interview online. Then, some of the conversations I’ve been able to have offline with them. Today, let’s talk about the power of mentorship.

A common thing that keeps coming up with them in their keys to success or their pillars of success is mentorship. Let’s talk about that real quick, the pillars to success. Number one, surrounding yourself with the right people. Number two, the willingness to invest in yourself. Lastly, being able to take action through experimentation and letting that experimentation hold you back. Each one of these people that I’ve been able to interview, they keep coming back, and they have mentors. Mentors have mentors.

Here’s the thing, the hardest part about finding a mentor is knowing where to look. I’ll leave you with this story growing up. I was brought up in an entrepreneurial family. That meant at that time, I didn’t get to see a lot of my father. Now, I didn’t realize that I was craving and thriving some form of mentorship that I wasn’t getting at that point. I have a great relationship with my father. No fault of his own that I wasn’t getting it at that time but he wasn’t able to be around. So that being the case, I worked at a golf shop, clean the clubs and cart barn, and work the cash register. All the while, I had hundreds of mentors around me. I just didn’t realize it. Fortunately, I listened. They were willing, maybe not always, talking with me.  Having conversations that I was able to be around and talk about the personal life, business lives, their hopes, their wants, the dreams, how they were doing it, who they’re working with, who they’re networking with, all the time. I was taking that in like a sponge and waiting to unleash. I didn’t realize that I had constant mentors around me.

Why is the hardest part about finding mentor knowing where to look? Well, number one, we’re never taught where to look. I’m not saying we always need to be told and taught how to do things. But as we get older, it is helpful. Number two, there’s not one centralized place location that’s going to tell us who would be a good fit. Then lastly, our fear of failure, failure to launch. I think this is one that I can definitely sit there and say that I had for a long time. I sat there and I was afraid that if I found the wrong mentor, if I found the wrong individual to help me get to where I was going like, I stunted my growth before I even got there. Don’t let yourself get in your way. If you need to sit there and have the same slow to hire quick to fire, think about that. Go with that and know that it’s okay that if you do find the wrong mentor break up with them. It’s a real thing.

So how do we overcome these three things? Well, these are three things I suggest you could look into when it comes to knowing where to look. Number one, network with like-minded people. They don’t have to be in your industry. If you’re networking with like-minded people, they’re going to have access to other areas that you might not have. They’ll hear what you’re looking for or what struggles you’re having in what you’re trying to build. They might be able to point you in a direction.

Number two, on a quarterly basis, challenge yourself to be in one new room, one new group, or one new event, to make yourself uncomfortable. Here’s what it’s going to force you to do, you’re going to be in those new situations, and listen to what the people are saying. Again, it almost goes back to number one, you’re going to have access to places and people that you might not have by putting yourself in that uncomfortable situation on a quarterly basis. Now, continue doing the rooms that you’re used to, but change it up from time to time.

Then lastly, find someone that you’re interested in and do some research on them. The internet’s a wonderful place. Do some research about the person you’re looking at as mentor. If you work in corporate America, some companies have mentorship programs, some don’t. If you are in corporate America and they don’t have mentorship program, find someone that you admire or you look up to in the company that you’re working for. Reach out to them. They don’t have to be in management for you to actually reach out to them. It doesn’t have to be a mentorship program.

Now, if you’re an entrepreneur, see steps one and two. Research that person. See what their willingness to communicate with you is.  Right now, people are a lot easier to gain access to that you thought previously unattainable. Reach out to who you’d like to be mentored, once you’ve done your research on them. See if they’ll communicate back and forth with you. Number two, through your communication with them, see if they align with your values, beliefs, and ethics. You need someone like a sandpaper to give you a little bit of grit. But if you have giant, too big of a piece of sandpaper and they go against everything, you believe in your ethics, your values, it’s not going to be a good situation. Make sure that though they challenge you, they actually align with what you’re looking to do.

I always like to leave with a good article that I found. Jill Griffin wrote an article on mentorship and it talks about what to look for and the best ways to find a mentor. She interviews an amazing CEO by the name of Cindy Miller.  They talk about making sure when you’re looking for your mentor, how to build trust, how to have communication or how to have goals, and what you’re wanting to develop. It is really a good article that I think you should check out.

Key Takeaways:

  1. – Surround yourself with the right people.
  2. – Network with people.
  3. – Put yourself in one uncomfortable networking situation a month.
  4. – Find someone that you’re interested in and do your research.
  5. – See what their willingness to communicate with you is.
  6. – Be willing to invest in yourself.
  7. – Take action through experimentation

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