I don’t know about you, but I have a few powerful mentors that I rely on daily. These carefully chosen mentors give me all the reliable information I need, so I can avoid information overload. I love to learn, so when I scroll through social media or browse Pinterest, I’m tempted to click on all the savvy marketers’ accounts that populate my feed.
But I realized something. Even though there’s so much information out there, it loses value if you pressure yourself to learn it all from everyone. Instead of a growth opportunity, it leads to paralysis.
Over time, I’ve found the best approach to keeping up with the trends or learning more about my business goals is select a few powerful mentors who can not only show me the ropes, but challenge and inspire me to grow.
I’m going to tell you the framework I’ve developed to choose my mentors, and how to add someone in the mix who just might not be in your wheelhouse. By the end of this post, you’ll know how to select the most powerful mentors for you, and avoid wasting time and money by choosing the wrong one.
I’m so excited to get into this!
Powerful Mentors … Bring A Lot to the Table
Suppose you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner. In that case, chances are you’re always seeking out information about one area of your business. New challenges arise, technology evolves, and opportunities to capitalize on present themselves.
Your mentors should be people who’ve come before you in a similar business and, as a result, can teach and enlighten you on many aspects of the journey.
They’ve successfully created systems to scale or increase efficiency, overcome common roadblocks, and live through similar experiences that you can learn from.
Their approach to business and life should align with yours as well. You have to actually like your mentors, or else you won’t be engaged. You know the ‘know, like, trust’ process that converts fans to clients—no difference in mentorship and education. You’ll eat up the information and be inspired by what your mentors offer if they speak your language.
But don’t get me wrong, mentorship can’t and shouldn’t be all roses and rosé. A good mentor challenges you to go to the places you desperately try to avoid in business.
Powerful Mentors … Challenge You
While it’s essential to connect with your mentor, it’s also important to choose someone who gives it straight. My mentors are very generous with their knowledge, but they expect you to do the work, and insist upon it.
Because they’ve gone through what I’m currently going through to scale my business, they know the hesitance (and excuses) that comes with putting yourself out there and speak directly to it. My mentors offer helpful, empathetic suggestions in a way that inspires action.
They are also motivators, supporters and real people. They admit to failings and have learned from them to persevere. In other words, they are relatable, which goes a long way with me.
And get this: they’re healers, too.
A Powerful Mentor … Can Heal Your Pain Points
Setting and striving for your professional goals takes a lot of self-discovery. As a result, you know your strengths, but you also come face-to-face with your weaknesses.
When you choose your mentors or coaches, it’s helpful to find someone whose killing it in the area you’re lacking. You want someone who will provide you with advice and identify precisely what you need to do to overcome or progress in your improvement area. Their expertise is in offering proven solutions to your pain points or gaps in your business.
A Powerful Mentor … Understands the Value of Teaching Their Edge
When I first started my business, I quickly learned which potential mentors were baiting people with false promises of valuable information and who would come through. There’s nothing more annoying than divulging your email address in return for a sliver of advice and then being up-sold to find the next step.
This is not my style, and that is why these people didn’t end up being my mentors. So, look out for the apparent warning signs, and decide if the knowledge they ultimately are willing to part with is worth the investment.
The best mentors are an open book, who take pleasure and pride in sharing their hard-fought knowledge. They are secure in their success and take an abundance approach to business.
Effective mentors are not only generous with their knowledge, but they’re also strong educators. They’re good at presenting the information in a way that A) speaks to a particular need, and B) is easy to understand, follow and implement.
You’ve probably had a professor or two who was a literal genius but couldn’t teach a thing. This is not what you want in a mentor, obviously!
The best way to decide whether they are a good fit is to listen to their podcast, take advantage of their freebies or read their blogs. If you whip out your pen and paper, mobile or screen recorder, you’ve got your person!
Ask Yourself: Are They Different Enough From You?
I know I’ve talked about liking and relating to your mentors, but I also think it’s important to choose someone that may not work in your niche or industry. I think we are naturally drawn to people like us, so I make a point of having at least one mentor who is nothing like me. Their area of expertise scares the hell out of me, and my niche has probably never even crossed their mind.
They challenge me to think differently and take novel approaches to my business. I recently discovered an entrepreneur called Gaynete who teaches other millennials that it’s more than ok to ditch their day job (cubicle) and bet on themselves. I am not a millennial. I worked 13-hour days, convinced climbing the ladder was the formula for happiness when I was at that stage in life.
Needless to say, I’m enlightened by her story and the success she’s having with her business. Her approach to a working lifestyle very refreshing and inspiring.
I also follow a few men and consult with my male friends for business advice. My clients are female entrepreneurs and founders, so the male perspective is a splash of cold water to the face and challenges me to be unapologetically driven.
These are the main points I consider when I choose my mentors. Note that it is not a quick process, but it will come naturally. As you seek out information, you’ll find the same people show up in your searches because they understand your needs and are excellent marketers.
Three of my main mentors are Amy Porterfield, Jenna Kutcher and Elna Cain. It wasn’t hard to land on these three, and I’ll tell you why. These mentors are so good at what they do that I found every piece of content they put out irresistible. As a result, I trusted what I was learning from them. Whether they were answering questions I already had or offering up something I’d never thought of, it was always valuable and actionable. They are also mega-successful, which is not only a motivator but further proof that they know what they’re talking about.
Powerful Mentors are Gold
I hope these tips on how I choose my mentors have helped you. Selecting the best mentors can literally change your business’s trajectory and lead you down the right path. On the other hand, choosing the wrong ones can leave you wanting more after a lot of wasted time and money.
To avoid getting too much information from too many people, I suggest choosing 2-3 mentors that suit your business needs in the short and medium-term.
Of course, you can always add to your mentor team as new priorities arise or enter new business stages. Still, I genuinely believe focussing on your current needs will serve you best to avoid info overload and distraction.
What do you look for in a mentor? Leave me a comment below!