We can read all the books in the world and still have questions. Believe me, I read a book a week and still have many, many questions and things to learn. This is the distinction between content and context. We receive a lot of content from books and blogs. But to be relevant to a niche audience they need to keep to a level of generality. What we really need to know is how we can apply it directly to ourselves. How to put into context.
Now, you can hire business, life, or marketing coaches, and I have over the years. They have been great during those seasons and for those niche’s or areas of development I was focused on at the time.
If you cannot not afford one or would just plain rather not pay then follow these 5 steps to seek out a mentor.
In general, those who have had success in areas of their life love to help and show others how they to can do the same. Here is how you should go about it.
Step 1. Pick an area you want to see improvement.
First, pick an area in your life and or business that you would like to specifically improve on. Now, you must be specific. Because what you will find is that not all successful people are currently experiencing success in every area of their life. I know for my self, I don’t exercise nearly as much as I should.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Steve, your a slim guy, you don’t need to exercise.” Yeah, unfortunately, I think the same way, but the truth is, we should all exercise.
Pick one a specific topic in one of the big 3 areas.
1. Health: Weight, diet, exercise, or working out.
2. Relationships: Faith, spouse, children, friends, coworkers/colleagues.
3. Business: Business leadership, operations, marketing, sales, product development, focus, admin, or customer service.
Step 2. Make a list.
Make a list of all those people you might be able to reach out to who seem to have success in that specific niche and choose your top 3.
Step 3. The approach.
The way you approach your potential mentor is critical. You cannot just walk up and say “Hi, Jim, how are you? Good. Say, would you mention me in marketing?” I found out one, “Sorry, no,” after another, “Sorry, no,” that this direct approach does not work for a few reasons. Many times they themselves don’t feel qualified to do so. Funny as it seems, I know. Second, that sounds strangely like a long time commitment and if that person has success in their life, it’s because they have proper boundaries in their life and don’t commit time away off the cuff like that. In closing, if you do get some advice from someone, you might call or ask them if it’s ok if you follow up briefly to let them know how it worked.
Here is what DOES WORK.
Approach one of your top 3 and, assuming you already know them or at least have a rapport with them, genuinely compliment them in this certain area, and then ask them if they would have 7 minutes to help you with a question.
Nine times out of ten, they will say yes. They are thankful for your compliment and they should very well be able to fine 7 minutes to help you out. Another vital key here is stay on topic and honor your 7 minutes. If they would like to continue, let them offer. Do not assume they do, but remind them your 7 minutes are up and thank them for their valuable time!
Now the next two step are how you continue your relationship
Step 4. DO IT!
After they have provided their advice, make like Nike and “Just do it!” meaning take action straight away! Do what they suggested. If you asked them just so they would validate your idea, you wasted your time and theirs. Do what they said to do in order to be or have what they have.
Step 5. Report.
After you have taken massive action on their suggestion right away, even if you failed, report back to them. This will show them you are serious about improving your life and that will be very encouraging to them and they will trust you and be willing to another call or two. If you rinse and repeat steps 4 and 5, you could very well have just found your FREE Life, Health, or Business coach!
What are your thoughts? Do you have mentors? Do you mentor others? Given your experience, what would you add or take away from my 5 steps?