What Should You Look For When Choosing A Mentor

by Sidd Pagidipati Inc. 500 Entrepreneur

Do you want to be a successful entrepreneur like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or Jeff Bezos? You should know that you won’t be able to achieve that level of success on your own. You’re going to need a mentor.

Bill Gates had Warren Buffett. Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs. But if you can’t find a famous billionaire to show you the ropes, that’s okay. All you need is someone in your field who’s more experienced and accomplished than you.

According to a study from the staffing firm Accoutemps, 86% of executives believe that having a mentor makes a huge impact on a person’s career, yet only 26% of executives actually have mentors.

The mentor-mentee bond is a two-way street, but you’re probably going to need to make the first move in order to start the relationship. Anyone worthy of your mentor role should already have a lot on their plate. They won’t have much room in their schedule for answering questions and giving advice. It will take some effort on your part to establish the personal connection that’s necessary for a mentor to carve out time for you.

Before you put in all that effort, make sure you choose the right mentor to begin with. Here’s what you need to look for:

Do Your Personalities Match Or Clash?

Business relationships are never only about business. There’s a personal factor to everything.

Some people are extroverted and sociable, while others are introverted and reserved. Usually, it’s best for extroverted people to have extroverted mentors and introverted people to have introverted mentors.

There are other personal issues that may come into play as well, such as class status and political beliefs. If there is tension between you and your mentor, it might not be a big deal at first. Over time, though, this tension can damage your relationship with your mentor. Eventually, you might not have a mentor anymore, and then you’ll have wasted all the time and energy you invested in the relationship.

Are They A Good Teacher?

Just because your mentor knows a lot doesn’t mean they know how to transfer that knowledge to you. The ability to teach material effectively is a rare and valuable skill. Is your mentor a gifted communicator? Will they be able to break down complicated concepts in a way that you can understand?

Can They Help You Build A Network?

Knowledge transfer is a key benefit of having a mentor, but it’s not the only one. Another benefit is the opportunity to make connections - your mentor should be able to introduce you to people who could potentially become investors, partners, customers, etc. As you’ve likely figured out already, success in business is often determined by who you know rather than what you’re able to do.

Do They Listen To You?

Again, the mentor-mentee bond is a two-way street. They’ll do most of the talking, of course. They have the most to say. But if you have some follow-up questions, they should be patient enough to hear you out.

And if you don’t agree with them on a certain point, they should be humble enough to consider that you might be right instead of automatically dismissing you due to your lack of experience. Fresh eyes and young minds can sometimes provide valuable insights that older mentors wouldn’t have seen on their own. Good mentors recognize that fact.

Are They Happy?

You’ll be modeling your career after your mentor’s career. If you do everything right, you should end up where they ended up.

So, how does your mentor feel about where they ended up? They might’ve held an impressive title at a large company, or maybe they built their own company from the ground up. They’re probably wealthy. But pride and money don’t always make a person happy. If they’re not satisfied with where they are now, then there’s no reason for you to follow them.

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About Sidd Pagidipati Freshman   Inc. 500 Entrepreneur

5 connections, 0 recommendations, 21 honor points.
Joined APSense since, November 24th, 2016, From Florida, United States.

Created on Jun 28th 2018 08:58. Viewed 341 times.


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