The term mentor and or mentorship have become much more popular in the last few years. It’s almost as if the secret to get where you want to be in life faster has been released to the public and now everyone is ready to tackle and take advantage of it. Well that can pose a few challenges for a burgeoning mentee. First the challenge of finding a mentor, secondly the pressure to find the best possible mentor, and what do you do if someone you want to mentor you isn’t available? Look you haven’t even started your mentorship endeavors and all these challenges are all ready popping up. Well relax it doesn’t need to be overwhelming or stressful and to help in the next few paragraphs I’m going to guide you into the world of mentorship as well as provide valuable insight into how you can find success as well as a lifelong champion in your corner!
Finding a mentor is much easier then you think especially when you change your perspective on mentorship. The definition of a mentor as per (diction input) . However you can make your own definition for mentorship as well remember it’s your experience and you can have a strong influence on how that experience goes. By creating your own definition you can set the standards for what a mentor is for you. I suggest to break your mentors into a few categories:
Dream Mentor- this is someone who you really are inspired by and who motivates and or maybe amazes you. They typically would be someone who has significant social, political, or cultural status. An example would be President Obama.
- To have a Dream mentor you just need to find a connective way to gain insight, knowledge, and understand what it is this person has to offer. This can be done with ease and on your own time. How is that you may ask? Well these individuals typically have written books, had articles or books written about them, or they are a figure who has an element of celebrity. You can become their mentee by simply picking and reading their book, following them on social media, watching documentaries or interviews about them. They are providing personal information and personal insight within those mediums of communication and it’s up to you to digest it and utilize that to improve your life and benefit your future.
- A personal example for me is President Obama, no I don’t have a desire to become president but I do find his story and path to the highest office in United States inspiring. I consider President Obama my mentor and I’ve applied the lessons he’s taught me. In one of his books he stated a message that spoke directly to me, that I was able to apply in my life to see opportunity. “The fierce urgency of now” let me understand his thinking and his application to those words, I realized that at times you must take immediate action even if those around you or even your mentors express conviction to concern about taking immediate action. There maybe a unseen opportunity that will only present itself in the now and your ability to realize that and take advantage of it may get you closer to your dreams and ambitions.
Professional Mentor- This is a person that has reached a certain professional level that you find intriguing. They don’t have to be in the same area of study you’re completing, nor do they need to be in the career field that interest you. They simply need to have a level of expertise and or a professional designation you see value in.
- An example would be well me Shaun C. Robinson CEO of Strong College Students Franchising! Now that sounds vain however think about this you may be interested in field of human resource management. I’m not in that field however I have hired, trained, and developed thousands of students which gives me an area of expertise. My knowledge and perspective would be juxtaposed to someone who specifically works in that field or even an analogous field which an perspective and value for you.
Personal Mentor- this can be any of the above as well as someone you have close access to. A mentor that you can establish a relationship with locally and meet with them on a consistent basis. This person typically will have a career, lifestyle, or philosophy, or accomplished some goals that you admire or attain to acquire. This person could be younger than you, older, a similar age the most important factor is that you have the ability to reach them directly and develop a personal relationship. It’s possible to develop this relationship with a dream mentor or a professional mentor as well. If you have direct access and can reach out to connect with them GO FOR IT!
- Use any means necessary to connect with them. Email, phone, social media, other friends or relatives. Once you attempt to contact them stay consistent. Express who you are and what your objective is. Many professionals will be open and willing to help a eager and motivated young person.
- Example- I know you’re time is valuable and you make great investment in your time hence your success. I would like to first introduce myself and let you know an investment in reading the rest of my email will benefit you greatly! Now that’s a bold statement however I believe your investment in my personal development could be the catalyst for my launch to success. If you could spare a few more minutes of your time to confer with me I’d greatly appreciate your generoisty. I’m positive the impact you could make in my life would leave you feeling like you accomplished something great and leave me with continued motivation and passion for achieving more.
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A few tips to help you:
- Don’t be afraid to say The President of the United States is your mentor and that he gives you advice on a regular basis.
- A mentor doesn’t need to be in your career field, just someone who has attained a level of success you admire.
- Mentors can guide you in more that a career, you can have lifestyle mentors, philosophical mentors, or whatever inspires and motivates you to become better and improve. I love to travel the world and I have travel mentors!
- BE BOLD and don’t be afraid of hearing nothing or even an unfortunate NO.
- KEEP TRYING- successful people admire perseverance. Overcome the perseverance and keeping trying to connect with those you desire to mentor you.
Last point: BE A MENTOR- you have skills, expertise, life experience, and knowledge. Pass it on to others and be willing to guide and mentor youth, peers, and family to help them become or achieve more. If you’re interested in mentorship you already have a desire to lead and improve the lives of those you impact. Start creating that impact today!