How to Find a Mentor

You have a goal: Something you want to do, certain things you want to accomplish.

Your problem: You don’t know how to go about it.

Your solution: Find a mentor.

What’s a mentor? Someone who has already done what you want to do, and is willing to teach you how to do it.

How do you find a mentor? Look for anyone who is doing what it is you would like to be doing. Call them up. Make an appointment for 1 hour. Ask them how they did it. Ask them if you can continue to ask them questions from time to time as you work towards what you want. Be sure that if they’re taking the time to give you advice, that you follow that advice.

And then make your own plans to follow in reaching your objective. Use the advice that you’ve been given, and as you encounter problems, your mentor can help you solve them. Chances are they’ve had the same problem and know how to handle it. If not, they have the experience to steer you in the right direction.

When I first got into banking, I took two very successful bankers to lunch. I asked them what they did that made them successful. I asked them what they would do each day if they were just starting out like me? I made detailed notes, and then set up my own plan of action and got to work.

Every month or so, I would touch base with both of them regarding questions I had, and they were glad to help. I followed my plan, took their advice, and within 2 years I was considered a top performer in my region, winning awards each year thereafter.

The moral of the story? Don’t go it alone. Find a mentor and learn the way. My mentors now are valued friends and colleagues.

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