3 Things To Consider Before You Hire a Mentor
Hello, and welcome to my blog. I hope you are having a fantastic day.
I was sitting here the other day thinking about how incredibly grateful I am for my mentor, Glenn. He has the most incredible way of making my life easier by helping me build my business; while at the same time gently nudging me into uncomfortableness. As we all know uncomfortable is where you need to be. It is from here that personal growth and learning take place. Needless to say, I am starting to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Uncomfortable is where growth happens. Click To Tweet
If you haven’t hired a mentor before, I strongly suggest it. I don’t care how good you think you are doing on your own a great mentor may change your life in ways you can’t even begin to know.
This is because they understand the value of a mentor. After all, you don’t get to the top by yourself.
So what are some things you may want to consider before getting a mentor?
FUN FACT: I love goats and have owned a few. 😁🐐
Coach VS Mentor
Before we even begin, let us start by establishing the difference between a coach and a mentor. Often these terms are used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences.
Coach: aims to improve performance by focusing on present issues and facilitating learning; guides you to find your answers to immediate problems.
Mentor: helps someone learn or succeed faster than they would on their own, focuses on the future, and will help you to reach your goals. Think career or personal development.
For further clarification, this site has a great explanation about coach VS mentor.
For this article, I am going to refer to mentoring.
Obtaining a mentor may be one of the best decisions you ever make for yourself. There are many benefits associated with acquiring a mentor including:
- Increased self-confidence.
- Developing better communication skills.
- Experiencing new and different perspectives.
- Learning to self-reflect.
- Improve goal setting.
- Learn new skills.
- Receive support.
- Being uncomfortable.
- Achieving success.
With so many benefits, let’s look at what you need to consider before starting your search.
There are a couple of things you need to ask yourself before you start looking for a mentor.
What area of your life are you stuck on or need help with? Is it to grow your business or for a personal issue? The answer to this will help you determine if a mentor or a coach would be a better fit.
If you want to grow your business, or need help to reach your business goal, you most likely want to work with a mentor. There may even be someone in your business organization willing to take this on.
If you need help with relationship problems or other life goals that are not business-related look for a relationship or life coach.
Let’s stick to business, shall we?
Do you have a specific goal in mind? Are you thinking about starting your business, but have no clue where to begin and need some guidance? Maybe you are just stuck, and don’t know what the next step is?
It doesn’t matter. A great mentor will help you figure out what you need if you haven’t already. But having some sort of an idea will help you find what you are looking for in a mentor.
For example, when I started my blog I had no idea how to go about it. I just knew that I wanted to blog and make money online. Right away I found a mentor who had experience in blogging and making money online.
The idea is to find someone who has done what you want to do.
“Before you settle on a mentor or coach, it’s important to make sure their expertise and experience lines up with your goals and objectives. For example, if you aspire to obtain a leadership role, any mentor or coach you choose to work with should bring significant experience leading teams and organizations. Working with a mentor who’s been where you want to go gives you access to actionable advice that really works, as well as tips about what doesn’t work so you can learn from your mentor’s experience and avoid the same mistakes they made (and learned from).” advises Anthony Gaenzle, CEO at Gaenzle Marketing, and founder of the AnthonyGaenzle.com Marketing Publication. Anthony offers one-on-one personal brand coaching along with other marketing services.
Also, keep in mind you will be building a relationship with this person so make sure it is also someone you like, and get along with.
Once you have an idea of why you need a mentor, even if it isn’t crystal clear yet, you can start looking for one.
#2 How do you find a mentor?
You may already know who you would like to mentor you. If that is the case, then great, you can reach out to them. Maybe they already have a mentorship program making that easy for you to do.
If it is someone in your industry you have been admiring from afar that may be a bit more tricky. You may want to reach out for some casual conversation, getting to know the person before you dive straight in asking them to mentor you. It may be something they are not interested in doing.
Many companies have mentorship programs and will pair you up with someone within the company so this may be something to keep in mind as well. If you aren’t sure whether or not the company you are with does this, ASK.
If this is all completely brand new to you, and you don’t know where to look, ask around. Your network, social media sites such as LinkedIn, even a Google search may be able to point you in the right direction and connect you with an awesome mentor.
Once you find someone who you think might be a good fit, do some homework. Especially if you do not know this person well or at all. Find out what their area of expertise is, what accomplishments they have achieved, and what experience they have in business and mentoring. Do they have a website with testimonials? Check it out. Do they have solid evidence to back up their claims?
As Janice Wald from Mostly Blogging says “The mentor needs to be an expert in the niche. It doesn’t matter if the expert is affordable if the expert isn’t a veteran in your niche. If you hire an authority, you will find the money spent is well worth it as they can share the lessons they learned through their years of experience.”
Lastly, reach out and have a chat with them. The best way to know if someone will be a good fit for you is to have an actual conversation with them to see if the two of you will be able to work together. If you already know what goals you want to accomplish now may be a good time to mention them to make sure this person can help you.
On the other hand, if you aren’t sure what your goals are exactly tell them that, make sure they are comfortable with helping you figure that out. When I had my first meeting I had no idea what I wanted, or how to accomplish, well anything. I didn’t have any clear vision or goals. As time goes on my vision and goals are starting to take shape. It can be a process so don’t get to stressed out about it.
Now, you know why, and you know who; what comes next you may ask?
#3 The rest is up to you.
Well, the 2 of you are going to sit down, and have a little chat. You are going to get clear on your goals or at the very least a good idea of where you need to start. Then you are going to get to work. Your mentor will show you, guide you, and instruct you on how to do things, but it is up to you to get it done.
Ask yourself, are you ready for a mentor? What I mean by this is, are you willing to check your ego? You will not have a successful mentor-mentee relationship if you enter one full of ego.
EGO: a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.Before hiring a mentor be sure to check that ego at the door! Click To Tweet
Now, I am not saying you have to agree with everything your mentor says or tells you to do, but the reason you have sought them out is for their guidance and expertise, right? So, don’t go fighting them on everything. If you are not open and willing to take their advice and counsel, do not waste their time. Believe me, they have better things they could be doing than arguing with you.
Then show up. Your mentor will hold you accountable, to an extent. But remember, they’re not your mother, they won’t hound you to get your homework done. At the end of the day that is entirely 100% your responsibility, and you only hurt yourself by not following through on tasks that are set out.
Engage in honest, and open communication with your mentor. If you are struggling to understand a concept, tell them. Maybe you don’t agree with something they have suggested, tell them. Make sure you are clear on why they are asking you to do certain things.
Likewise, they should be doing the same for you, engaging in clear, and honest communication. Be open, and willing to receive feedback and constructive criticism. Again, the reason you sought them out was for their guidance and expertise. Nothing changes if you aren’t open to constructive criticism.
Your mentor will talk you off ledges of self-doubt. Push you into uncomfortableness. Celebrate your wins and put your “losses” into perspective. They will open your eyes to possibilities you may have never imagined.
All of it. The uncomfortableness, the growing pains, the wins, the lessons, and the amazing relationship you are building with your mentor.
This is a time for growth and change, and for amazing unexpected experiences to transpire.
If everything goes well for you, you will be a different person after working with your mentor.
And that’s a good thing.
Have you worked with a mentor before?
What was the experience like for you? What was your biggest takeaway?
Or maybe you are a mentor, what advice would you give someone who is seeking mentorship?
I always look forward to your comments so please let me know what you think!