Whether we realize it or not, we've all had mentors at one point in our lives. Early mentors started with parents and family members, followed by teachers in school. These mentors taught us skills and lessons we needed to know in order to properly develop into functioning members of society. However, the most successful people understand the importance of continuing to learn, and do so through finding mentors. A mentor is someone who you can learn from that has already reached a position in life where you are trying to get to. When you find the right person, they can have a profound impact on your self confidence, world view, and life trajectory. With that being said, finding the right mentor is very important. So how do you get started on your search for that person? Here are a few starting points.
1. Look At Your Current Network
If you look at your current network, is there anyone you know who specifically stands out as someone you are aspiring to be like? This is the best place to start since you already have some history and a relationship with this person. You can start this process by asking them to grab a cup of coffee to discuss what's on your mind. Scheduling regular coffee meet ups where you can ask questions and discuss topics you are looking to learn more about will naturally grow an organic mentor/mentee relationship.
2. Volunteer For An Organization
If you don't know anyone in your network who would be a good fit, start looking outside of your network. LinkedIn is a great place to start. I would discourage randomly asking strangers to mentor you. This approach is like asking a stranger to become your best friend. Instead, look into a local organization that shares your values and think about what you can do to get on the radar of the person who runs it. One of the best ways to do this is to add value to that individuals life. Volunteering for that organization is a great way to do this. You'll naturally begin to form a relationship with the leadership and the networking opportunities will expand your options for mentors.
3. Read a book
Perhaps the easiest way to find a mentor is to read a book. There are hundreds of biographies on successful individuals and how they accomplished all that they did. Pick a famous person from history that you connect with and dig into their story. The best part about this type of mentor is that you can spend as much time as you want looking into their life!
4. Work with a therapist
Talk therapy can be a a great form of mentorship. In fact, many people look at their talk therapist as a form of mentor or life coach. A talk therapist is specifically trained to help guide you through your emotional framework to help you leverage your strengths in order to accomplish your goals.