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Top 7 Keys to Engaging a Good Mentor

By Kaya Singer

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A mentor is someone who sees more in you than you see in yourself.

At first I didn't really know what I wanted so I only found other confused people. This gave me an excuse to hide behind my fear. So put your vision in writing in detail. If you were taking a thousand mile car trip you would likely know where you want to end up. That's your vision or your destination.

How to get there is another story. You want to scream out, " I know where I want to go but I don't know how to make it happen." You are not alone but it can really feel like it. Someone comes along at just that right moment when you need inspiration.

You may have hit a brick wall and can't see your way around it. You feel stuck and don't know where to go. Ah, and then you spend an hour or even 15 minutes with someone who has been there and has successfully scaled that wall, and then you know it can be done. It gives you new energy because a good mentor will see the resources in you that you are not seeing in yourself.

Possible mentors are not likely to throw themselves at you saying, "take me." So here are a few helpful hints to help you find and keep a mentor.

  1. Overcome your fear.

    If you meet the perfect person and your fear gets in the way of you initiating, you need to ask yourself if your fear is more important than your success. Go back to your vision and add a picture of you and your mentor together

  2. When no money is exchanged.

    If there is no money exchanged, don't ask for too much right off. Your person may have learned to protect her time and may not know you well enough or be too busy to make a commitment. It is much better to invite her to have a cup of coffee at a cafe near where she works to make it easy for her to say yes.

  3. Always offer to give back.

    Successful people are likely to be busy. You want the expertise and wisdom this person has. When someone says, "yes, I am willing to help you," it is a gift to you especially if there is no payment involved. Appreciation goes a long way. Pick up a check at the cafe, send a thank you note or offer to help them with something they need.

  4. Sometimes you pay mentor.

    Often a mentor will be a person who you are paying for seminars or one-on-one sessions. This can be a better deal for you. Because you are paying, the person will make time for you as it is part of their business. You will get quality and focused help in much more depth.

  5. Listen.

    Begin asking him about his business or project, because not only are you showing an interest, but in listening to him is where the gems are. His stories and experiences can inspire you and help you see how to get past your wall

  6. Take heed.

    Your mentor not only has more experience but also has a more objective perspective. Take the time to really consider the feedback you are given. You may want to be defensive but if you do that you don't really need a mentor.

  7. Ask for referrals.

    Your mentor will likely have a whole network of people that have skills and help that could be beneficial to you in your venture. Ask for what you need whether it is an editor or a house cleaner. If your mentor gives you a name of someone treat it with reverence and treat that person just like you treat your mentor

Kaya Singer is the owner of Awakening Business Solutions. She helps small businesses overcome obstacles and mental blocks.Her book, "Spirit of Business" has been read by hundreds of small business owners and website has free tools to help you move through your barriers to success. http://www.awakeningbusiness.com

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Kaya_Singer

Article Submitted On: January 19, 2008