A fantastic way to round out your entrepreneurial vision is by identifying one or several mentors to help you blaze your path to success. A mentor is typically a professional who has already earned the same type of accomplishments you aspire to yourself. Ideally, this person agrees to act as a mentor for you and provides you with insights and guidance on your own career strategy and journey. Keep in mind that sometimes people can act as mentors without even knowing. Here are 5 tips to help you identify your mentor (s):
1) Determine Your Mentor Needs
It is mission critical that you get crystal clear with what your general aspirations are, so that you are also aware of what you are hoping to gain from your mentor relationship. Begin by examining what facet of your particular industry or expertise it is that you want to expand or develop. Then, consider what area of this focus might be the most challenging for you and therein might be your area of mentor needs.
2) Think Local AND Global
It is ideal if you can find a local mentor whom you can actually spend time with as well as someone who is or has made their mark globally to further enhance your perspective and points of view. The best way to identify both these people is to engage with in-person and online trade/business organizations. Begin with a simple Google search and also ask your social network community where they network and have fun with your community building.
3) Expand Your Horizons
Just because you are a woman, does not mean that your mentors always have to be women. Men can be just as powerful mentors. Don’t narrow your search to necessarily your particular area of work or even your country. Be flexible and open minded about whom might best appeal to you. For example, I am a Leadership Coach and Consultant who plans to expand into media and the television industry over the next few years, so I have mentors who are media personalities but have nothing to do with my core coaching work.
4) Optimize Your Current Network
This exercise can best be accomplished by building up your LinkedIn profile. Begin collecting contacts from your hometown, high school, college, graduate school, previous and current jobs, friends, friends of friends, family, contacts from your place of worship/hobbies/sports organizations etc. No contact is too abstract! You never know who might be able to put you in contact with the perfect mentor.
5) Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
You’ve made it this far, don’t get shy on us now! The beauty of social media is that it takes the laborious efforts of networking and makes strategic connecting easy and efficient. Keep in mind, you always want to be professional and polished on the networks where you are representing yourself professionally and personally. Finally, put your specific mentor request out to your universe and follow up on all suggestions and offers to connect you with the right people.
Now go for it!
Katie C. Kelley specializes in igniting and emboldening women to become more effective, inspired business leaders. She primarily partners with directors, managers and entrepreneurs as a Corporate and Private Coach, a Seminar Producer and as a Motivational Speaker. Ms. Kelley is also a regular expert adviser on Portland’s top rated morning television talk show, ABC’s “AM Northwest”. Influenced by her experience in psychotherapy and business, Katie’s approach combines an innate understanding of her clients’ needs with fresh perspective on risk-taking. www.LegacyBuilderCoaching.com