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  • Writer's pictureThe Self-Made Entrepreneur

How to Snag a Business Mentor That Gets You Results

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Imagine this: You’re at a networking event, and you spot a potential mentor - someone who’s the talk of your industry. You stride over, business card in hand, and launch into a pitch about why they should mentor you. But instead of the enthusiastic response you hoped for, you’re met with a polite nod and a quick exit. Where did it go wrong? Approaching mentorship requires more finesse and a deeper understanding of what you and your potential mentor can offer each other.



Straight to the Point: How to Snag a Business Mentor That Gets You Results


Identifying the Right Mentor for You


Before jumping into mentorship, it’s crucial to know the kind of guidance you're seeking. There are various mentors, each suited to different stages and needs:


  1. The Industry Insider: Offers in-depth knowledge of your specific industry.

  2. The Skill Sharpeners: Focuses on enhancing specific business skills.

  3. The Startup Guru: Guides new entrepreneurs through early-stage challenges.

  4. The Growth Hacker: Ideal for businesses looking to scale.

  5. The Networking Pro: Helps in building valuable business connections.

Why Clarity Matters


Knowing what you need from a mentor is essential. It makes your search efficient and the mentorship worthwhile. For example, if you’re running a restaurant, you’ll benefit more from a mentor with hospitality experience rather than one from tech or finance. Your mentor’s background should directly align with your business needs to get the most relevant advice.


Seeking Out Your Mentor


Finding a mentor involves knowing where to look and how to engage:


  1. Networking Events: Great for meeting potential mentors in a professional yet informal setting.

  2. Online Platforms: Use LinkedIn and other forums to connect with industry leaders.

  3. Mentorship Programs: These formal programs can offer tailored mentor-mentee matches.

  4. Local Business Associations: Often overlooked, these can be goldmines for mentorship opportunities.

Initiating the Mentorship

Starting a mentorship relationship is about striking the right chord from the beginning. Here’s how you can approach the conversation:


  • Express Genuine Interest: “I’ve been following your work in [industry/field], and I’m impressed by [specific achievement or quality]. I’d love to learn more about your journey and perspectives.”

  • Be Specific: “I am currently facing [specific challenge] in my business, and I believe your insights could be incredibly helpful.”

  • Offer Value: “I think there’s a lot I can learn from you. Also, I’d be happy to share my insights about [a relevant topic or skill you possess] if it’s of interest to you.”

  • Request for Guidance, Not a Commitment: “Would you be open to a brief chat sometime to share your advice on [specific topic]? I’m sure your guidance could make a significant impact on my approach.”

These approaches show respect for the mentor’s time and expertise, while clearly outlining what you hope to gain and can offer in return.  Always come to meetings prepared with your thoughts and questions, ready for a two-way conversation. Don't assume your mentor will simply hand over their knowledge; engaging actively and showing genuine curiosity in discussions is one of the best ways to reciprocate their efforts.


Final Thoughts

The road to finding and establishing a mentorship can be full of learning curves. Remember, it’s about building a mutual relationship, not just seeking advice. With the right approach and clear understanding of your goals, you can find a mentor who not only guides you but also grows with you. So go ahead, reach out thoughtfully, and find one or many mentors who can support you on your entrepreneurial journey.

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