How to find a mentor that will help you succeed

Working with a mentor can be exceedingly valuable for anyone who wants to grow in their career. Mentors can provide insights into specific professional situations, negotiation tactics, opportunities and career path goals.

Finding a good candidate and asking them to be your mentor can feel challenging. It well worth it, however, to gain a trusted advisor and guide. In this article, we will discuss the best ways to find and engage with a mentor.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is someone who extends guidance to another person through experience by offering advice, building trust and listening and responding to questions and concerns. In order to mentor, an individual must be engaged, aware of the needs of the person they are mentoring, authentic and dependable.

In a professional sense, a mentor must also exhibit the attributes that are necessary to succeed in a specific industry or field. The purpose of a mentor is to provide guidance to someone who is starting out in a new field, exploring a new career path or simply wishes to succeed in their current position.

Some benefits of mentorship include:

  • Building professional connections for future opportunities
  • Having a reliable source for a letter of recommendation
  • Gaining honest feedback about your strengths and areas for improvement
  • Identifying opportunities and resources to build key skills
  • Having support during the hiring process for resume editing, practicing interview questions and developing an elevator pitch

How to find a mentor

Follow these steps to find a mentor who can support you by providing the insights and assistance you need.

1. Reflect on whether mentorship is a good fit for you

Consider your attributes and whether you would be a good mentee. Ask yourself whether you would be someone you would like to mentor. If not, why? Are you respectful, willing to work hard, flexible and open to feedback and criticism? In order to succeed in a mentor-mentee relationship, you must be actively building your skills and looking to advance in your career.

2. Identify your mentorship needs

Consider outlining the goals you have set for your own professional growth and think about what it would take to achieve those goals. This can be a starting point for your conversations with your mentor. It can also help you to select someone who can help you achieve those goals.

3. Select people to ask for mentorship

When considering people in your life that may be a good candidate for a mentor, think about the individuals who are ahead of you in terms of their careers or professional growth. Another way to identify possible mentors is to seek out those who have the position you wish to grow into in the future.

4. Start with your personal network

There are several places you can begin searching for mentors. Some examples include family connections, professional associations, your workplace, nonprofit organizations, local businesspeople and volunteer groups. When searching for a mentor, look for inspirational and successful people in your life. Before someone will mentor you, they will likely need to see your potential in the industry, as well as your willingness to work hard and succeed.

5. Prepare your elevator pitch

Be prepared to confidently share your goals, why you think this person is the right mentor for you and what your expectations are of them. Setting clear expectations in the initial conversation—including the time commitment involved—provides your potential mentor with the information they need to give thoughtful consideration to your request.

How to ask someone to be your mentor

Before you ask someone to be your mentor, you want to be sure you’re asking the right person. If you feel confident that the individual you’re planning to ask would have a vested interest in your success, as well as have the time to invest in your growth, the next step is asking them to invest in a mentor-mentee relationship with you. Be mindful that being a mentor is a considerable responsibility.

1. Schedule a meeting

If possible, try to meet with your potential mentor in person rather than asking over email.

2. Explain why you are seeking mentorship

The more clearly your potential mentor understands your needs and expectations, the better. By explaining what you hope to gain from mentorship and offer as a mentee, they can properly assess whether the relationship would be a good fit for them.

3. Explain why you selected them

Explain why you selected them and how much you value their expertise. When you can make a clear case for what you want from a mentor relationship and why you are asking this individual to become your mentor, you are more likely to receive a positive response.

If your potential mentor seems uncomfortable or skeptical, it’s best to step back and keep looking. Even if they want to, they might also simply not have the time or capacity to offer you effective mentorship at that time. A good mentor must be invested and excited for it to be mutually beneficial.

Business mentors

When you’re looking for a business mentor, it’s important to look for an individual who exhibits a few key attributes. They should be successful in the field and possess the skills needed to advance in their careers. However, success is not the only indicator of a good mentor. In fact, a mentor should have the attributes of a good trainer or teacher. A mentor should also be willing to share their expertise, skills and knowledge with you.

If you feel like you’re struggling to form a personal relationship with a potential mentor, you may want to look for someone else with whom you can establish a connection. A good mentor should be invested in your success and take the responsibility seriously.

It’s also important for a mentor to value growth and ongoing learning. When working with mentors, you should feel comfortable receiving constructive feedback and criticism, and they should feel comfortable giving it. Growth happens when you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, using them to learn and be successful to achieve your career goals.

After you form a relationship with your mentor, you should maintain it through regular contact. You might decide to set up weekly one-on-one meetings, for example. Be clear about your expectations of the relationship, ask questions, request guidance and learn from your mentor as much as possible.

When mentors offer constructive guidance and criticism, it’s important to accept and implement the guidance into your professional life. Having a mentor is a great help as you navigate your career path to achieve success.

How to find a mentor that will help you succeed

Tweet This

Today I heard from a lovely new connection on LinkedIn , who responded to a recent post I shared about Why Your Job Search Has Stalled Out. He asked a question I hear frequently from professionals who know that mentorship is important to their careers, but don’t know how to achieve it.

“In my pursuit of THE job (not just any job), I have so far addressed all your recommendations but mentorship. This is the stage where I have stalled out. I have found many professionals that have shared my dreams and are now big successes in the industry, but find myself hesitant in approaching them and asking for help. These hesitations may be due to me not wanting to come across as needy, but I think they mostly stem from lacking the trigger words that would inspire acceptance of such a request. I really need help in this area and humbly ask for your help in the follow-through of this job hunting step.”

I’d love to tackle this question, because so many people I speak to are struggling in their approach to finding mentors, and are ending up disappointed, angry or confused.

Below are the top 4 tips I can share about finding fabulous mentors, and making the most of the help you receive:

First, it’s critical to know that, to find great mentors, you don’t want to reach out to strangers. That’s not how you’ll find them.

Sheryl Sandberg, in her book Lean In, likens asking strangers to be mentors to the behavior of the main character in the favorite children’s book Are You My Mother? The book is about a baby bird that emerges from its shell in an empty nest, and goes in search of its mother. The little bird asks everything it sees (a kitten, hen, dog, cow, steam shovel), “Are you my mother?” The answer is always the same. “No!” This is just like a professional asking a stranger, “Will you be my mentor?”

“If someone has to ask the question, the answer is probably no. When someone finds the right mentor, it is obvious. The question becomes a statement. Chasing or forcing that connection rarely works.”

Instead, find great mentors through the inspiring people you’re already interacting and working with now. They need to be people to whom you have already demonstrated your potential – who know how you think, act, communicate and contribute. And they have to like, trust and believe in you already (why else would they help you?). They also need to believe with absolutely certainty that you’ll put to great use all their input and feedback.

Strangers (especially people in the media and the public eye who’ve become “huge” successes, as the individual above mentions) will virtually always have to say “no” to mentoring requests from strangers. Why? Because their time is already spoken for, and they’re drowning in similar requests. Secondly, they don’t have a relationship with you, and therefore can’t know how you operate or if it’s a great investment of their time to help you.

Find your mentors among the people you know who are 10 steps ahead of you in your field, role, or industry, doing what you want to, in the way you want to. Connect with new people who you can help, and who will find it a mutually-rewarding and beneficial experience to support you. If you don’t know of any inspiring people that fit this bill, you need to go out and find them. Here are some great tips from Kerry Hannon about finding a mentor, and from Judy Robinett about networking that generates amazing results.

2. What can you do to get on the radar of strangers whom you admire?

Don’t ask for mentorship, but follow their work, and be helpful and supportive. Give, and give more. Tweet out their posts, comment in a positive way on their blogs, share their updates, start a discussion on LinkedIn drawing on their post, refer new clients or business to them, and the list goes on. In short, offer your unique voice, perspectives, experiences and resources to further the action and conversation that these influencers have sparked. Understand that you are able to be of service to them, and go out and do it.

3. Be someone who is enjoyable to mentor.

The third piece of attracting empowering mentoring is in how you operate in your career and your life. Are you somebody you yourself would like to mentor? Are you open, flexible, resilient, respectful? Are you eager to learn, and committed to modifying how you’re interacting in the world so you can have even more success, reward and happiness?

– Be great at what you do – while this sounds obvious, it is the most important thing you can do to get noticed.

– Ask for more responsibility – be sure to have specific ideas for how you can contribute in deeper, more expansive ways. Be creative/think outside the box.

– Don’t be a wallflower – participate in all meetings even “optional” ones. Volunteer to represent your team on important department or enterprise-level initiatives. Prepare ahead of time so that you can meaningfully advance the discussion.

– Promote the success of others – your generosity and openness are critical to your success, and will be remembered.

– Build your support network – reach out to groups within your company and outside your line of business. Learn what they do and how you can help them succeed.

4. Put yourself in a potential mentor’s shoes.

Finally, whenever you’re in a quandary about how to get help from someone, put yourself in their shoes. If the tables were turned, what would you want to see from this individual asking for help? If you were inundated with requests for help every day, what type of person would YOU choose to assist, and why? Go out and become that person that others would love to support and nurture.

Here’s the bottom line: The answers to all your networking and career-building questions aren’t as far away as they seem. They’re right inside of you. Just understand that you have much more to offer than you realize. Imagine yourself in the shoes of those you deeply respect and admire, who’ve had fabulous success in the same ways you want it. Then imagine your “future self” already achieving this tremendous success. Ask your future self what to do. And always conduct yourself — in life and in work — as one who is doing all that’s necessary to attract (and offer) fabulous, high-level help and support.

To build more career success, take my Career Success Readiness quiz and visit The Amazing Career Project.

How to find a mentor that will help you succeed

You shouldn’t take financial advice from people who are broke. That is so aptly stated by Dave Ramsey. The Internet is full of advice but there’s more fluff than substance. The guide on “how to earn $100,000 from your blog” can be coming from someone who hasn’t earned $100 from his blog and you’d never know. This is why it’s important to learn from people who actually made it to the top and find yourself a mentor. Mentors can help you with everything, from idea validation to action plan, and increasing your profits to work life balance.

John Lee Dumas, who runs a very successful podcasting business (Entrepreneur on Fire) has benefited greatly from mentors like Lewis Howes or Jaime Tardy. We recently had the chance to sit down with John for an interview.

Go ahead and check it out.

John has himself mentored a number of entrepreneurs and he has some wonderful advice on how to find the right mentor and make the most this relationship. He paid for the mentorship and he is happy with the investment because he got to utilize the practical knowledge, experience, and education of his mentors.

Mentors can save you from costly mistakes:

Poor pricing strategy, choosing the wrong team, launching too early or too late are just some of the most common mistakes startups make. A mentor cannot guarantee success but he will save you from rookie mistakes.

Improve your self-confidence:

How many times you’ve questioned and discarded your own decisions because you were not confident? Once you discuss your ideas and get the nod from a successful entrepreneur, you will be a lot more confident in your decisions and actions.

The Power of Right Habits:

You will learn a lot by looking at their habits and thought patterns in different situations. For example, how to cope with a setback, how to manage change, how to communicate, etc? A mentor can instill the right habits that will be of great help in future endeavors.

Networking:

Mentors are often quite well connected. They will introduce you to other successful people in the industry. Even if the mentorship lasts for a short period of time, they will open up a world of opportunities through their network and references.

What makes a Good Mentor?

Having some degree of success in business is not the only criteria. Identifying the right person is very important because not everybody can be a good mentor. A mentor is willing to share his knowledge but he will not spoon feed his mentee. He will show you the path but will not try to get in the driving seat. He will nurture and help you grow to your best self instead of encouraging you to imitate his style or behavior.

How to Find a Business Mentor:

Start from making your mind on the role of your mentor. Ideally, you should be looking for someone who can teach you the tricks of the trade. He must be willing to share his knowledge.

Here’s where you can find a business mentor.

1) Your Social Circle

The first place to look at is your existing network. Is there someone in your friends, family, or professional network with relevant experience? They will be a great choice because you will be comfortable approaching and interacting with them.

2) Local Mentorship or Business Development Programs

Search for a local mentorship, startup incubator, or business development programs. These programs have seasoned entrepreneurs and business experts in their panels that you can use as mentors.

Score is a great resource to search for business mentors in your area. You can also participate in their workshops and local events to network with successful entrepreneurs.

You can search on platforms like HorseMouth, which is a social network for informal mentoring.

3) Search Online

If you can’t find a mentor in your city, you need to find someone online. LinkedIn is a great place to find and connect with such people. You can filter results by industry, locations, years of experience, or seniority level (some of these filters will need a premium account).

How to find a mentor that will help you succeed

Remember you want to benefit from their network and experience so try to find someone in the same business. If they are coming from a different industry, you will end up with irrelevant advice and unusable connections. Choose a mentor who’’ll have time on his hands. If they are fully occupied in their own projects, you will not be able to progress at your desired speed.

How to Approach a Potential Mentor:

Don’t start from sending a mentorship request or asking them to meet over coffee. It’ll sound a little creepy and you’re more likely to get a negative response (or no response at all).

Build a relationship. Engage with them through social media or email and keep the initial messages short and right to the point. Share your plans and explain that you are looking for some guidance. Let them know how much you value their time and opinion. Mentors will be interested in working with entrepreneurs who have done their homework. If you are getting in touch with half-baked ideas, they will discard you as just another daydreamer.

Once they show some interest and get back to you with feedback, you can make a formal request for meeting or mentorship.

Making the Most of the Mentorship:

John has shared a wonderful model of engagement in the above mentioned interview.

Here’s what he suggests:

Opt for a short weekly session with email access in between. It’s better than a lengthy session after long intervals. Weekly sessions ensure that you are getting their input on your progress, plans, and problems on a regular basis.

Prepare for your mentoring session in advance. Make notes on what you want to discuss.

In case you aren’t paying but you are taking a lot of time, consider offering them an equity stake once things start working well.

Lastly, be thankful and keep them posted on your progress even after the mentorship has run its course.

We’re here to help you succeed.

SCORE offers the largest network of volunteer business mentors including mentors who counsel in languages other than English, providing free answers to your business questions. Browse mentor profiles to find an expert or ask a question and let us pair you automatically.

SEARCH FOR A MENTOR

Our experienced business mentors provide advice on every aspect of business and can help you online or in person. Browse mentor profiles and select the right mentor for you.

REQUEST A MENTOR

Do you have a business question but don’t have time to browse through mentor profiles? Enter your zip code and let us pair you with an expert.

FIND A SCORE BRANCH

We offer mentoring locations in nearby communities to help you succeed. Find the SCORE office near you for local expertise and resources.

Browse Our Mentors’ Profiles

East Bay SCORE has a wide variety of business mentors who can help you, including mentors who counsel in languages other than English. Click here to view mentor profiles.

Schedule FREE Business Counseling at our Alameda Office or Local Chamber of Commerce

Temporarily, because of the coronavirus, all such counseling sessions will be conducted by telephone, video or email.

Monday-Friday 10am to 1:30pm; Address: College of Alameda, Cougar Village Room 225, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Pkwy, Alameda, CA 94501

To request a meeting, fill out online request form above, call (510)-273-6611 or email us.

Schedule at a Chamber of Commerce Office near you

Please call to schedule at a Chamber near you

Succeed with SCORE

SCORE Westchester volunteers are experienced entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and executives with a diverse set of industries and specialties who volunteer their experience and knowledge to help small business professionals start, develop, and grow businesses. We also offer low-cost or no-cost business training, and numerous templates and tools.

Even though our office is closed, if you have any questions you may call the SCORE office at (914) 267-6570 and leave a message. We are checking voicemail regularly and will return your call.

  • Our Business Mentors
  • Request a Meeting
  • What our Clients Say

Free, Confidential Business Counseling for start-up entrepreneurs and existing business owners is available by phone or video. Start today, and request a meeting with one of our expert mentors.

What makes SCORE’s free mentoring successful? We listen closely; we tap our network of 40 skilled volunteers with a wide range of business experience; and we have one goal above all else — to help your business succeed, whatever it takes. In fact, we’ll help you define what success looks like and how you should measure it, and be sure you stay focused on the most important actions that will get you there.

How does SCORE’s free mentoring work? You will be assigned a mentor who has business experience and expertise that match your specific needs. In your first meeting you will identify your business priorities and your most critical objectives, and establish concrete goals. You will then meet regularly with your mentor for as long as you need. Your mentor may enlist other mentors who can bring additional expertise to the discussions. You will be given assignments between meetings to ensure that real progress is made over time.

How do SCORE’s services compare to what I get from my accountant, lawyer, and online resources? SCORE’s focus is on your business’s overall success. A lawyer or accountant can be invaluable in helping you solve specific problems. You can get answers to many questions online. But only SCORE gets fully involved in all aspects of your business, from planning through execution. Your SCORE mentors become your partners in setting and reaching your goals.

How do I find a mentor? Go to Request a Meeting, or call (914) 267-6570.

Comments from some volunteers.

“I mentor because I enjoy working with clients and, hopefully, giving them advice that will prove helpful to their business needs. I treat my clients as if they were members of my family, with dignity and respect. I recently made a suggestion regarding how to get concessions from a landlord on a commercial lease, and the client was able to negotiate that benefit into their lease.” — F.K.

“What makes a successful business owner? Unbridled passion for the business; ability to multitask; powerful work ethic; dedication and commitment to the task at hand; willingness to design and follow through on business and marketing plans; willingness to ask for help and work with a mentor.” — C.A.

“Why do I mentor? I feel I have been fortunate in life. I have worked hard to succeed and feel it is now time to give back to my community to help others achieve success. I want my clients to learn not only from my experience and successes but also from my mistakes and failures. One can only achieve true success by always trying new ideas and accepting errors as a learning experience to broaden our horizons. An example of advice I’ve given that really made a difference: I have a client who has always struggled financially, because she had never analyzed how to price her product to achieve the financial results that she needs. She is now finally starting to make a profit, because her product is now priced properly to support her needs.” — R.F.

“Each client is unique. I respect the fact that each has chosen to pursue their path and fulfill their vision. For those with no, or minimal, business experience, the need is to school them in business fundamentals such as formulating a business plan, a budget, an understanding of the marketplace, etc. It is usually effective to play the role of a (gentle) devil’s advocate to encourage them to look at their business from all sides and consider the whys and what-ifs. It is important for the client to understand the challenges and risks and to learn how to prepare to meet them. — RP

What Our Clients Are Saying.

“I gained practical guidance on how to set up my business; I learned how not to overwhelm myself; if you need guidance and direction on how to manage your business, SCORE is the best way to go.” — H.U.

“My SCORE mentor has provided me with a listening ear, helping me to focus my energy in the right places. He has been extremely accessible and generous with his time and advice.” — E.H.

“My SCORE mentors are invaluable in that I have been able to review with them my overall business model, specific event plans, ideas for growth, and my website. I have been educated, enlightened and even challenged by their suggestions. They are genuinely concerned about my business — they ask for feedback about my events and challenge me to use those learnings to improve going forward.” — R.G.

SEARCH FOR A MENTOR

Our experienced business mentors provide advice on every aspect of business and can help you online or in person. Browse mentor profiles and select the right mentor for you.

MENTOR REQUEST

Do you have a business question but don’t have time to browse through mentor profiles? Enter your zip code and let us pair you with an expert.

FIND A SCORE BRANCH

We offer mentoring locations in nearby communities to help you succeed. Find the SCORE office near you for local expertise and resources.

We’re here to help you succeed.

SCORE offers the largest network of volunteer business mentors providing free answers to your business questions. Browse mentor profiles to find your ideal expert, or let us pair you with the right expert.

  • Meet Our Counselors
  • Our Locations

SCORE has been mentoring new and existing businesses for over 40 years and has a network of over 13,000 volunteers who donate their time to help entrepreneurs. As highly successful and experienced business professionals and entrepreneurs, SCORE mentors deliver valuable, timely, and practical advice. Whether you are a start-up or an existing business, our mentors will help you and your business open new markets, reach new customers, and achieve new goals. These SCORE mentors will help you start and grow your business through free and confidential business advice online and in person.

Please call 860-388-9508 to obtain free counseling at one of our nine Southeastern Connecticut locations or by choosing one of the options below:

FIND A SCORE BRANCH

We offer mentoring locations in nearby communities to help you succeed. Find the SCORE office near you for local expertise and resources.

SEARCH FOR A MENTOR

Our experienced business mentors provide advice on every aspect of business and can help you online or in person. Browse mentor profiles and select the right mentor for you.

MENTOR REQUEST

Do you have a business question but don’t have time to browse through mentor profiles? Enter your zip code and let us pair you with an expert.

We’re here to help you succeed.

As highly successful and experienced business professionals and entrepreneurs, SCORE Chester & Delaware Counties mentors deliver valuable, timely, and practical advice at no cost to you. Below you can browse mentor profiles to find your ideal expert or fill out the mentoring request form and we will pair you with the right mentor to help your small business thrive.

SCORE offers the largest network of volunteer business mentors providing free answers to your business questions. Browse mentor profiles to find your ideal expert or ask a question and let us pair you with the right expert. We’re here to help you succeed.

During the current crisis, we are not offering Face to Face mentoring, workshops, and seminars. Remote Mentoring at no charge to you is available. Mentors are available to “meet” with you via video conference, phone discussion or email, whichever is most convenient for you.

Find your mentor and get started today! We are here to listen and to help.

Our experienced business mentors provide advice and resources on every aspect of business and can help you start and grow your business. Browse the mentor profiles and select the right mentor for you.

All mentoring sessions are now remote, either by phone, email, or online. We will be available for Face to Face mentoring in the future.

  1. Browse our mentor profiles below, OR
  2. Click the link below and filter your mentor search by language, communication method, expertise, and industry.

How to find a mentor that will help you succeed

Let us pair you with a Mentor

Enter your zip code in the box below and fill out the mentoring request form. We will pair you with a mentor and assist you in setting up a free virtual mentoring appointment.

Today, many are paving their own path to success. Whether they start their own company or follow in the footsteps of their mother or father, the road to success is bumpy and paving your own path by yourself can seem impossible at times. That being said, leaning from a support group or even a person you look up to can be your shoulder to lean on when times get rough.

It is said that 90% of startups fail, and that is a very daunting statistic when entrepreneurs desire to start their own business and be their own boss. Entrepreneurs envision a life full of success but oftentimes fail to realize that this road is much harder than they anticipate. Starting a business from the ground up truly takes commitment, perseverance, and an unwavering desire to succeed, for this journey can become their life for many years to come.

However, how do successful business owners get to the position they are in today? Believe it or not, very few successful business owners did it by themselves. The majority of these business owners had the help and guidance of a mentor. This mentor’s advice and guidance were a catalyst for their success. This mentor likely encountered the same challenges along the way and their prior experiences gave them the ability to coach someone else through the hardships they may face along the way.

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” – Oprah

If you are interested in finding a mentor to guide you along your path to success, you may need to look within your own circle and select someone that can not only relate to you and your goals but also someone that can give you the proper guidance to increase your chances of succeeding.

There are many benefits to using a mentor, but finding the right mentor may take some time. Mentors can help entrepreneurs secure funding, help develop a successful company culture or even offer advice on how to mitigate workplace tension between employees. Below, you can find a guide created by Fundera that will not only help you find the perfect mentor but also statistics on how beneficial mentors can be.

Need advice from someone who’s been there, done that? Here’s how to find a mentor to help you catapult your career.

Ramit may have doubled his business over the years, but he didn’t get there alone. He’s not ashamed to admit that he sought out a trusted advisor, which helped him make $100,000 in one month. Yep, you read that right.

Wondering how to find a mentor and see results like this for yourself? For Ramit, it all started when he bought a book by Jay Abraham called Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got . This inspired him to buy a seat in a program Abraham was launching for small business owners. Each month for 15 months, Ramit flew from NYC to LA to not only learn from his hero but to surround himself with a community of like-minded, inspired entrepreneurs. This year+ changed the course of his career and launched him towards great success.

Amazing stuff, right? Ramit realized the benefits of working with a mentor were:

  • Firm but friendly advice on how to advance in your career or business
  • Accountability, a mentor will help you stick to your business or career goals
  • Fresh ideas and a sounding board to test out your own
  • Career coaching to help you advance down your dream career path

How to find a mentor that’s right for you

Ready to get started? Here are some top tips for seeking a mentor if you don’t already have someone in mind.

Find that special someone you admire

Finding a mentor is unsurprisingly all about choosing the right person. If you don’t already have a dream mentor in mind, there are a few exercises you can do to find that special someone.

  • What do you want to be like in 10 years? Time for some daydreaming. Imagine your life in 10 years, what does it look like? Who do you want to be like?
  • Identify what you want in a mentor. Do you want someone you feel comfortable with or would you prefer someone who says it how it is? Are you looking for someone who has overcome the challenges you’re facing right now?
  • Make a list of people you know or admire and check who meets all your criteria. Your dream mentor doesn’t have to be someone you know personally. It could be someone on social media or an author of your favorite business book.

It’s never too late to start building healthy habits. Download my Ultimate Guide to Habits to get started TODAY.

Learn everything you can about them

Once you’ve made your choice, it’s time to learn everything about this person you can. Preferably in a non-creeper way. You don’t need to know how they take their coffee but you should read up on their background. Learn about their experience, how they got where they are and the reasons behind their success.

This will put you in a great position to approach them because the information you learn here will be crucial to succeeding in the next step.

Approach your dream mentor

How you approach your dream mentor is all about first impressions. First off, let’s take a look at what you shouldn’t do.

The most common reasons people get rejected when they ask someone to be a mentor is because:

  • They come off as desperate or weird
  • They’re arrogant and irritating
  • They’re lazy and haven’t done their research

The chances are the person you’re asking is busy all the time. That means you need to work hard to get their attention , not waste their time and show you’ve done your research. If you ask vague or bland questions, you’re probably not going to get a response.

The simplest and easiest way to get in touch with a potential mentor is through email. Here are three simple steps to approach your mentor and get them to say “yes!”

Bonus: Want to finally start getting paid what you’re worth? I show you exactly how in my Ultimate Guide to Getting a Raise and Boosting Your Salary

Step 1: Focus on them

You’re trying to get their attention in a sea of thousands of emails. Make sure your opening is punchy, to the point, and of course, about them.

You can do this in a lot of ways but Ramit’s 1-2-3 Choice Technique is a simple way to introduce yourself. It goes a little like this:

“Hi [mentor’s name], I loved your [talk at X/your blog/book] and really liked the part where you said XYZ. I’m trying it out but I’m stuck on something. I have 3 options to try out next:

  • Choice 1
  • Choice 2
  • Choice 3

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think I should do next.”

This achieves several things. It shows you’ve done your research, you’re already putting their advice into practice, you value their opinion and want more of their advice.

Best of all from the mentor’s side is they just have to do one simple thing — pick one choice and explain why. A direct question like this will have a much better response rate and leaves a great first impression.

Step 2: Make them interested in you

The next step is to spin it around to you. Why are you interesting? What skills do you have? What’s your background?

When you email your mentor, don’t leave it generic . Be specific, be engaging. When you tell them what you do, give examples or even samples of your work. Don’t say “I’m great at writing sales emails.” Instead say, “I’ve helped [company] increase their email list by X in three months.” That second line is much harder to ignore. It’s direct, it’s specific, and it shows your value instantly.

If you can tie this into something relevant to the mentor’s business or current needs, even better. What the mentor wants to know is who are you and how do you make their life easier? What’s in it for them?

Step 3: Give them an offer they can’t refuse

You’ll want to make whatever you’re asking for easy to say yes to. So, what can you offer?

It could be offering to do some work for free in exchange for advice. If you can help your mentor out on a side project they just don’t have time for, it becomes easy for them to say yes.

Just as a side note, if this all seems like an overwhelming amount of information to throw at a potential mentor, don’t worry. You don’t have to pile your life story into one golden email. If, in Step 1 or 2 you can prompt the mentor to give a response, you can then follow up with Step 3 if that feels more natural.

Be the best mentee

If your potential mentor agrees to work with you, congratulations! You just tapped into one of the best keys to professional growth you can get. But the work doesn’t stop there. You still need to make sure you’re a good mentee.

The mentor-mentee relationship is all about give and take. Make sure you listen and more importantly, put their advice to action. A good mentor will hold you accountable and push you to succeed, so don’t waste their time. This will be key to a good long-term mentoring relationship that works for both of you.

Now that you know how to find a mentor, go on … find your Mr. Miyagi, your Dumbledore, your Yoda. Ramit did and now look at him.

Having a skilled mentor can get you closer to living your Rich Life.