How to Find Mentors


Help Them First

Maybe you saw that coming, but yeah, the best way to find mentors is to be an excellent helper first. If you work a part-time job, do everything you can to contribute above and beyond what's expected of you.

These might seem trivial, but most people don't do these simple actions. Doing them shows that you care about the business and doing a good job, and for you, it's not just a paycheck. If that's all you want out of the relationship, that's fine too, but it's probably not going to get you a fervent supporter.

If you don't work for someone else, make friends with business owners in your community or others who are farther along the path than you. Ask them questions and look for ways you can provide help in their endeavors.

This is how I ended up with so many mentors.

In all these cases, I found a need and met it, while also doing what I could to demonstrate both appreciation for their valuable time (it is valuable if they are worth knowing, by definition) and genuine liking for them as people.

Respect Their Time

People love to share what they've learned, so don't be shy in asking for advice or help, but make sure you respect their time.

One of the best ways to do that is to set a meeting outside of normal workaday interactions. You can phrase it however you like, but I've found it very effective to ask, "Do you have some time this week to help me with some questions I have about X, Y, and Z?"

This gives them the chance to gather their thoughts and doesn't take away from their busy lives or your work time.


And when you do sit down, don't just wing it. Take 5 or 10 minutes to compose some questions you have and write them down.

I've found that taking notes at meetings with mentors does a couple things:

  1. It helps me remember what we talked about and what I need to do next
  2. It gives the impression that you care enough about what they are saying to write it down, encouraging them to do it again some other time

If you're not comfortable writing during a one-on-one, that's fine, but I urge you to give it a try. It has transformed my overall effectiveness.

Be Open to Alternative Ways to Learn

Your mentors might not always be the kind of people who can simply compose their thoughts and deliver them in pithy comments. And maybe they're shy or don't have the patience for sitdowns.

That doesn't mean they don't want to teach you. It just means you must be open to alternative teaching methods.

Basically, it all boils down to being extremely helpful and being willing to learn. As long as you are those two things, most people will naturally want to help you succeed.