How to Find a Great Mentor

Mentor

Ever wanted to ask for some guidance in business, but had no idea where to turn?

Enter, the mentor!

Some of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs and great leaders have been staunch advocates of using mentors, including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Marc Benioff.

But using mentors extends beyond the world of business, with other keen mentees including Oprah Winfrey, Mother Teresa, Robert De Niro, Barack Obama, and Lady Gaga.

Even Harry Potter had a reliable mentor: Dumbledore! 🧙‍♂️

As you can see, working with a mentor can help propel you to the top of your game. In this article, we are helping you to find a great mentor.

What is a Mentor and Why is Having One Important?

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”

– Bob Proctor

While mentors come in many shapes and sizes, a mentor is often a seasoned professional who helps guide a person with less experience in their professional endeavors.

This used to be an informal relationship but, as you will see, you can now hire a mentor in the same way you would hire a coach.

A mentor can help you in many ways, but will primarily offer valuable guidance from their experienced perspective.

They will often:

  • Advise you as you move towards a goal
  • Be a sounding board for ideas
  • Offer a fresh perspective to problems
  • Make introductions to industry contacts
  • Help identify opportunities
  • Help recognize and overcome challenges
  • Provide letters of recommendation

A mentor can obviously benefit new entrepreneurs taking their first steps in the world of business, but can be just as important for more experienced business owners looking to scale, unplug, and/or exit their company.

The Difference Between a Coach and a Mentor

Isn’t a mentor just a coach?

No! Of course, there are similarities in that they both involve somebody giving you advice and support.

Plus, when you are paying for it via an online service (as highlighted below), the lines are blurred even further.

In a nutshell, coaching is performance driven, while mentoring is development driven. But there is certainly some crossover.

Generally, a coach is a short-term solution, from a few sessions up to a few months. The coach will use different strategies to help clients achieve goals, or develop in a personal or professional capacity.

Coaches will often hold coaching-specific qualifications and coaching sessions will be well-structured.

On the other hand, a mentor is an experienced and trusted individual who will be in the relationship for the long term – usually over a year and often over a lifetime!

A mentor will act as an advisor, counselor, or guide to a junior or inexperienced entrepreneur. They don’t often have formal mentoring qualifications and the relationship is usually less structured.

How to Find a Great Mentor

In the past, you may have stumbled across a mentor in your family, network, or somewhere else in your social circle. The experienced professional taking the youngster under their wing.

This is still a very viable route, although today you usually have to be a bit more deliberate in your approach.

For the best results, follow these steps:

1 – Ask yourself what you want from a mentor

First, ask whether you actually need a long-term mentor or if you are better off paying for a few coaching sessions. Figure out your goals (both short- and long-term), then you will have a clearer idea of what you need.

Perhaps it is insider advice or contacts from within a specific industry. Or perhaps you need to learn specific skills. Or maybe you just need that feeling that someone is watching your back.

2 – List your ideal mentors

Now you know what you want, consider what kind of person could help guide you towards these goals. 

Think about the position of your mentor. Are they an entrepreneur who has achieved similar goals to you? Or do they hold a senior rank in a company that you admire? 

It doesn’t always have to be a CEO or president – even somebody a few steps above you on the ladder can provide valuable mentorship.

3 – Contact those on your list

This is the most difficult part as it requires some confidence to ask. However, most people will be flattered, so there is nothing to worry about.

The worst that can happen is that you are rejected… which isn’t that bad at all! Ultimately, you don’t want to be in a mentoring relationship with somebody unless they are fully engaged in the process.

If you have mutual friends or colleagues (LinkedIn is a particularly good way to learn your potential connections), ask for an introduction. If there is no obvious link, then you will have to take a cold approach.

This is when a persuasive introduction is essential. In this message or email, you should naturally introduce yourself, then explain why you need a mentor and why you chose them as the mentor.

Then ask them for a meeting. In person is always best, but understand that they are busy and may only be able to do a quick phone chat.

4 – Make it easy for your mentor

If you find your mentor organically and they agree to help you out of their own good will, then make your relationship as easy as possible.

Be the person to set up meetings, find locations, and create Zoom calls. If you meet in person, pay for coffee.

Consider sending your mentor an agenda in advance, so they have something to consider before talking with you.

Always watch the clock – if you know they only have 30 minutes, then you should be the person who starts wrapping things up at 25. 

Of course, if you are paying for your mentorship, as we outline below, then you can take a slightly more relaxed approach.

Using Online Services to Find Your Ideal Mentor

In the era of Tinder, Uber, and DoorDash, it makes sense that you can now find a mentor online with a few clicks.

Of course, you will end up paying for the privilege, but this investment in yourself can be well worth it for the knowledge you can acquire.

Before browsing the following sites, you should review the above steps, to ensure you know what you need and what your ideal mentor may look like before paying out:

MentorPass

MentorPass allows you to book one-to-one calls with more than 100 top experts from a varied assortment of companies including Uber, Amazon, McKinsey & Company, and Oatly (yep, the famous oat milk guys!).

Depending on your package, the platform provides you with a number of credits each month, which can be used to book calls with mentors.

With more credits, you can access higher-tier mentors. The benefit of the credit system is that you can use multiple mentors throughout the month, allowing you to cherry-pick your advice and support.

Packages begin at $300 per month for 30 credits (ideal for solopreneurs), $600 per month for 60 credits, then $1,200 per month for 120 credits, which will be more suitable for companies ready to scale.

GrowthMentor

GrowthMentor promises one-on-one conversations with ‘the world’s top 3% of startup and marketing mentors’, with more than 400 growth mentors from companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, PayPal, and Microsoft.

Membership is $75 per month (or $60 per month when billed annually), but then you get free calls with a wide range of mentors.

More experienced mentors will charge extra, although it’s your choice with who you schedule a call. You are always in control.

Sparrow

Sparrow is a mentoring service specifically for startups and entrepreneurs looking to scale.

The platform offers mentorship calls with advisors who built, scaled and sold their own startups for millions. There’s less mentor choice than other services, but the mentors are at the top of their game.

There are no monthly memberships here – instead it’s a pay-as-you-learn service; you pay only for the time you spend talking with your mentor (these sessions start at $75 per hour).

However, often you can get a free consultation call with your chosen mentor before you start paying.

After this, there is no commitment, although Sparrow advises using your mentor for at least 90 days to achieve the full benefits.

Clarity  

Clarity is a platform that provides on-demand business advice in a huge range of categories. This includes business, sales, marketing, product, and design, while specific industries are also selectable – from retail to real estate.

It’s a pay-as-you-use service, where you browse the expert that appeals to you and your budget. Calls are charged per minute and range from around a dollar up to $15+ per minute.

You then request a call and connect directly to the expert. It’s a simple system, although it’s often a shorter-term solution than many mentoring relationships, especially when you know each minute is costing you money.

REMEMBER: You can have more than one mentor!

You may find it useful to have just one mentor, but there is great value in having more than one. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with forming an entire team of mentors. 

Different people can bring a variety of insights from different industries or disciplines. For example, you may have a marketing mentor, a sales mentor, a business mentor, and a personal mentor. 

You can combine the mentors you meet organically and through associates with some of the online services listed above. Or – if you have the budget – you can use multiple online mentors.

The Next Steps

At The Whole Founder, we are big believers in investing in personal development. To find a great mentor – or a team of mentors – is undoubtedly one of the most important investments you will make in yourself.

Don’t forget to reach out to our team who can act as mentors as you begin to build incredible teams, scale, unplug and exit your company. Get in touch today and book your free strategy call: success@wholefounder.com

Questions? Comments? We’re here for you at success@wholefounder.com!

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