We are Business Owners, Company and Team Leaders. We feel the pulls of making the right decisions, we run the balancing acts of getting it all done, and we question what tasks are the ones that will move the needle forward the fastest.
Ladies, you need a mentor. You do. I do. We all do.
In our last article we covered the importance of mentorship and the absolute necessity having one brings to our journey. What’s tricky and beautiful about mentorship, is that mentorship needs and styles vary. Which begs one of the biggest questions I get asked about Mentorship… “How do I find the right mentor for me?”
The number one mistake I see women making when searching for a mentor is:
They look at the mentor’s qualifications first before they look at what their own needs are.
While qualifying a mentor to make sure they have the experience and knowledge to help lead you in the right direction is a necessary part of the process, it shouldn’t be the first step.
We need to flip that around and ask ourselves, “What am I really needing mentorship around right now?” Answering this question honestly will be crucial. You need to understand what path you are going on, so you and your mentors have the right shoes for the road.
Let’s go a little further into depth by asking yourself these two questions:
- What am I struggling with the most right now? Building a business? Learning how to level up your skills and presence for a raise or new position? Needing a guide on how to find more balance in your life? Needing to make your health a priority? We need to determine where we need the guidance, so that we know who to look for in help. *Important note: We tend to read through this list and start saying ‘yes’ to each thing, feeling like we need to be at a perfect 10 in each area. This is a gentle reminder that the question was ‘What am I struggling with the MOST right now?’ Pick one area of focus, and give yourself grace for being human and imperfect. There will be time to work on other areas in the future.
- What style of mentorship do I need? Is it inspirational mentorship? Or guidance mentorship? Accountability mentorship? Get clarity on what each of those mentorship styles are in our recent article.
Now we have something to work with. The answers to those questions will give us the direction needed to narrow down our search for qualified mentors.
Let’s begin our search.
Ask for Referrals
Currently, I prefer to start my initial search by asking women I’m connected to, follow on social, or are building businesses similar to how I want to build mine “Who is your mentor/business coach?” After I compile my list of recommendations, I do some research on each person, with the perspective of my answers from above. Ask yourself, “Can they help me with what I am struggling with the most?” and “Do they offer the style of mentorship that I need?”. If you have a yes to both, they are a top contender to be your mentor!
New to business? Don’t have any referrals to start off with? Here are a couple of tips for finding your next mentor
Podcasts. The most helpful place to find your mentor is podcasts. You can search for exactly what you are looking for; business start up, marketing, scaling business, real estate business, etc and have an entire library of episodes and shows at your fingertips. This gives you a first hand look at the host or guest, how they present their information and how their style is. In the process you will learn TONS of new information and maybe even find your next mentor.
LinkedIn. The professional platform for professionals! (Ahem, if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you really should be). An entire directory of business mentors that you can search through and qualify. I also like LinkedIn because it is more about the person than it is about how fancy you can make your feed look.
Instagram. This isn’t my favorite method, but also shouldn’t be ruled out. There are a lot of incredible mentors on Instagram AND there are a lot of distractions. It can become easy to waste time, get lost in the search and a major time suck. When you use this method to search for your next mentor, go in with intention. Set a timer for the amount of time you will spend searching, use hashtags to search, and try to stay mindful of searches that lead you to distractions. Find a group of up to 10 mentors. Click for notifications and start to consume their content. You will know pretty quickly if they are a right fit for you or not.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that they are a lot of esthetically pleasing marketing tactics and strategies that are used. Both of those things are valuable, except when they portray something that they aren’t. As we all know, the internet can do an incredible job of painting the picture we think we want/need/desire… but if the quality or honesty isn’t there, you’re wasting your time.
There are too many business owners out there spending too much time looking for tricky marketing tactics, and not enough time developing and honing their skill and craft. There, I said it.
I have had far too many women come to me frustrated and in tears because they overinvested in a mentor or were promised one thing and were delivered something completely different.
If you are looking for either guidance mentorship or accountability mentorship, be prepared to invest. Before you invest, make sure to book a discovery call with a potential mentor and come prepared with questions. Questions like,
“Here are the things I am looking for (include a thoughtful list of things you need). Are those expectations you can meet?”
“When I’m off track, how will you hold me accountable?”
“What can I expect during our time together?”
“If expectations aren’t being met, how should that be communicated?”
If you show up to a discovery call, just allowing the mentor to guide the entire conversation, you may end up with a bad partnership. There are different mentors for different people. Instead of getting sucked into the sales pitch, make sure this mentor will actually work for you.
Does this sound like work? It should be! If you are wanting different results, you need to take different action. Finding a mentor that will help you transform, will take some digging to find. Put in the work, I promise it will pay off.