Most people approach potential mentors in completely the wrong way. As a result, most people have a lot of trouble getting mentors to help them out. When you’re approaching a mentor, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind. This one thing is what will set you apart from all the other people competing for their time and attention.
==> How Most People Approach Mentors
Most people approach mentors with a taking mindset. They ask them questions like:
“Can we grab coffee sometime?” (unless you want to date them, avoid this.)
“Will you mentor me?” (seems pretty much 100% about you doesn’t it?)
“I’d really like to pick your brain” (worse thing you can say… their brain is not there to be picked!)
And so on.
The main focus here is the person asking the question. They’re looking to take value from the interaction. In many ways, this is like a beggar who comes up to you on the street asking for money. He’s asking for something valuable from you while offering nothing in return. Naturally, most people say no, just as most mentors say no. Also, it sets you up in their mind as someone who doesn’t understand the value of their time, and you never want to be ‘that guy’.
==> The Most Important Thing to Remember
The most important thing to remember when approaching mentors is that they’re also trying to get to the next level themselves. Sure, they might have a $10 million dollar company. But they’re surrounded by people with $200 million dollar companies. IF they’re not striving they’re dying – plus they didn’t make a $10 million dollar company by relaxing.
Perhaps your mentor’s goals have shifted from the financial world. Many successful people switch their attention from making money to helping the world. In that case, the “next level” for them is philanthropy rather than money.
Here’s the secret to landing mentors: Help them get to the next level.
==> The Art of Giving Value (the golden rule)
If you help your mentors get to the next level, they’ll naturally also want to help you get to the next level. It’s called the law of Reciprocity, and it’s totally ok to implement this when you’re looking to get a mentor.
==> But how do I help them?
You might be thinking: How can you help someone who’s far more successful than you?
- The answer is to be creative and don’t be afraid to work… hard.
- If you know they’re interested in education reform, call up the 100 top educators in the country and help arrange meetings for your mentor.
- If you know they’re looking to acquire small retailers in California, drive through the state and take photos of the different retailers they might be interested in.
- Go out of your way to help your mentor get to the next level.
Offer value first, before asking for value in return.
==> A Word About Connection
Go out of your way to help out your potential mentors - But do it with people you have a connection with. Don’t just go out of your way to help potential mentors who you haven’t even met yet or you haven’t at least connected with online yet. If you meet a potential mentor at a seminar or an event and have the chance to chat for a few minutes, then try to find some way to add value to their lives. Then and only then should you ask them for mentorship or help.
Next post we’ll dive into how to actually approach, ask, and show even more value for your mentors! And yes – how to have a good time with them too!
Have a mentor? Why not show them how much you appreciate them!