An individual seeking a mentor should seek someone with a reputation for deep knowledge and wide experience in their field. If they are entrepreneurs, they should seek the help of a successful entrepreneur. And if they are in a profession, they should seek someone who is a thought leader in that profession.
A mentor will be able to help them because they were once beginners, too. However, over the years, these mentors learned how to become subject experts, thought leaders, and influencers in their industry and beyond.
Many highly successful people have credited their success to a mentor. For example, Benjamin Graham mentored Warren Buffett while Maya Angelou mentored Oprah Winfrey.
How to Find a Mentor
A well-connected person can find a mentor through their business or professional network. It’s also possible to find a mentor online if they have a website.
Look for someone with the right qualities to be a good mentor, such as a verifiable record of success in their field or profession. The mentor should also be easy to get along with as well as eager to pass on their knowledge and skills to those willing to follow their advice.
If there is no way to get an introduction to a mentor, contact them through a cold email. Since writing an off-the-cuff email is unlikely to get any response, someone seeking a mentor should use a pitch template. They are more likely to get a positive response if they use a template with proven copywriting techniques.
How to Build a Relationship With a Mentor
Many people have the misguided impression that a mentor-mentee relationship is rather like a master-apprentice relationship. They might, for example, think of it as the classical master-apprentice relationship portrayed in Star Wars. In that movie saga, Grand Master Yoda taught naive but open-minded Luke Skywalker how to become a legendary Master Jedi.
Unfortunately, in real life, things are not as simple and straightforward. A mentor is much less likely to be a sage and more likely to be someone who offers advice. He or she will also probably not teach as much as suggest possible directions.
A relationship with a mentor, like most human relationships, is likely to be complex and nuanced depending on factors like personality and circumstances.