Most people have an idea what a mentor relationship should be, even though the boundaries and approach to it are still a bit murky. For instance, I once thought it was only well connected or ‘successful’ people who had mentors. There was no place for people like me, young, fresh out of school, to be in thriving mentoring relationships. First of all, where would I have found ‘important’ people to mentor me? Lol.
A lot has changed since then though so no need to judge me, please. Mentorship exists across all relationships, even our friends and colleagues can informally provide a form of informal mentorship. Most importantly, mentorship is actually a vibrant part of the success engine. It doesn’t have to be strict or formal, but you need to have a way to draw from the people who have gone ahead of you in the areas you aspire towards.
Anyway, the gist of this article is to help you get the attention and commitment of a potential mentor. They are no way exhaustive though.
Do your research:
There is such a thing as being the wrong person for the ‘job.’ Sometimes you may be so blown away by the achievements of this person that you jump to the conclusion that they should mentor you. However, you should totally take your time. Find out about their journey. E.g. If they had a wealthy family that provided a financial buffer as they pursued their dreams. (Not to say that this is an excuse.) They may not be able to teach you about learning from scratch if that’s an area you need guidance in.
Know what you want:
You have to be clear from the get-go what you want from the relationship. P.S: Money is not part of the deal o, please be guided. Ehen. Having some clarity as to what you want will help you in a sit-down with your potential mentor. Clarity leads to confidence and with confidence, you are more likely to command the respect/interest of your potential mentor.
Just like business, think of your mentor as a potential client. Why would a person be interested to share their time and experience with you? You have to project your ambitions and accomplishments, no matter how little. Remember, success attracts success. If you want a serious mentor, then you have to have something worth mentoring. Think of your goals, your skills, your commitment to self-improvement, then spin those elements as a sales point to get the attention of your potential mentor.