Dear Aspiring Entrepreneur or Professional,
Here’s a thing or two about asking people to mentor you.
Know Your Goals.
Before you ask someone to mentor you, please know what your goals are and how that mentor can help you achieve them.
One common trend I see among young people who come to me for mentoring is that they usually don’t know they want. I ask them what they would like to learn from me and I usually get answers like; “I want to learn anything and everything”.
Your prospective mentor may be great at what they do, but they don’t know everything. They can only mentor you in the areas of their expertise. So know what you want and ensure that it aligns with their expertise so they can better help you.
Mentors Expertise should align with your Goals.
Find mentors whose expertise align with your goals. If you aspire to be a lawyer, you cant expect to get good mentoring in law from someone who is an engineer and has no experience in law no matter how awesome their engineering prowess is.
Make a good First Impression.
First impressions count a lot. When you are reaching out to a prospective mentor for the first time, make a good first impression.
Introduce yourself, talk about what you do or what your goals are and state how their experience can help you reach your goals and what value you can offer in return. Don’t just say “hello” and be there waiting for a response. You will likely not get one.
Personal Initiative and Drive.
Show a lot of initiative and drive. Before you ask them a question, take the time to do your own research on the subject as well. Google, my friends, Google! Let the mentor know that you are serious and you deserve their attention.
When they give you an assignment, get it done and don’t make excuses. No one has time to waste on people who are not serious and waiting to be spoon fed.
Lastly, be patient. Your prospective mentor probably has a lot going on for them and may not be able to respond to you immediately or promptly. Some of them may not respond at all. Don’t take it personal. Not everyone is available or willing to be a mentor.
Now go find an awesome mentor and live your dreams!