Not everyone needs or even wants a mentor. But I have read several recent posts from those just starting out asking how exactly does one find a mentor? There are certainly various ways to go about this, one being to find someone and pay them.
This may result in the quickest method to finding a mentor, but it may not necessarily equate to truly getting what it is you need in order to advance yourself. If you find a good mentor or coach that is worth the money AND you can afford it, then by all means take the plunge.
But for those who can’t afford to pay someone to coach them, there are other ways to finding a mentor. I found mine simply by participating in a forum (read my full story here), but I thought I’d provide my top three tips to finding a mentor without having to worry about forking over a bunch of money.
Do be prepared, however, to put in your time. The worst thing you can do is waste someone else’s time by not taking heed to the advice and guidance you are given.
This will also be a great way to burn bridges, so make sure that you are truly ready to learn as well as DO something.
Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to ask questions in IM forums, IM blogs, etc. Get yourself out there and show everyone that you are there to learn, that you are eager to learn (without seeming too desperate), and allow others to get to know you. It’s impossible for anyone – especially the experts – to even know that you exist if you don’t put yourself out there.
Tip #2: There is no such thing as a dumb question. And if someone calls you out on that, then that simply narrows your choices of who NOT to look up to. Genuine mentors will never see your question as too dumb, nor will they ever try to make you feel dumb.
Tip #3: Keep your eyes peeled for those that continue to come back and help you. If you engage in a forum for long enough, you will definitely learn who is there to genuinely help others and who is there for simple self-promotion. Take the time to get to know those who are taking time out of their day to help you. If they continue to come back and help you, it’s a good sign that they may be willing to further mentor you. The important thing is that you take the time to build that relationship as it will benefit both you and your potential mentor.
Mentors can truly help you bridge the gap between building your business and taking off. They can be your greatest cheerleaders while opening your eyes to various methods, guides, and tools that you may have never known about before.
I will also add that my mentor/business partner is an awesome choice! To reach out to a larger audience, our goal was to build something (i.e. Niche Optimizer) that could benefit many people at the same time, so I hope that you guys feel that sense of support from our end.