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Revealed: The Secret to Connecting with the Best Mentors in Business

Revealed: The Secret to Connecting with the Best Mentors in Business

Do you dream of receiving business guidance from some of the best mentors in the world?

If you have your own business, or are planning to start one, then mentorship is a fantastic way to help you develop ideas, strategies and goals.

Most mentors have walked the talk and succeeded in business on a big scale. You’ll undoubtedly recognize some of their names: Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Tim Ferriss, Bill Gates and Sheryl Sandberg.

Why Is It so Hard to Connect with Top Business Mentors?

Imagine having someone as wise and experienced as a CEO of a Fortune 100 company advising you on your business.

You’d love it, right?

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But you’ve probably never seriously considered it, as surely, they would never want to be your mentor?

If you start of with the attitude above, then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever connect with a great mentor. Not only will you make no effort to contact possible mentors, but even if you did, it’s odds-on that they’ll immediately pick up on your lack of confidence and belief.

The world’s top business mentors are looking to help the next generation of entrepreneurs to succeed. These mentors are already super-rich, so money is no longer their main driver. In many cases, they just want to pass on their wisdom to help young businesses and entrepreneurs avoid common and unexpected pitfalls.

As you’ll see shortly, great business mentors are often open to helping people who have unique ideas, a burning passion and a clear purpose. If you have these traits, then put your doubts aside, as connecting with top business mentors may be easier than you believe.

A good mentor gives you advice that will grow you continuously.

Connecting with great mentors can help you and your business in an abundance of ways.

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A major benefit from mentorship is advice. For example, just think of how helpful it would be to call your mentor when you needed a second-opinion on an important business decision. Their advice could mean the difference between a good or bad decision (and a subsequent profit or loss).

Another important benefit from mentorship is perspective. For instance, your mentor could look at a business problem you are having with fresh eyes – and from a whole new angle. Einstein said it well:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Other benefits from mentorship include: encouragement, networking, and skills improvement.

These are the 7 steps for connecting with the best mentors in business.

Once you’ve set your mind on finding a great mentor – you’re ready to act on the steps below.

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1. Create a dynamic profile of yourself and your business.

The first step towards attracting a top mentor is to make your online profile as presentable as possible. Let’s say you regularly use LinkedIn and Twitter. Make sure that your profile on each of these sites powerfully projects your innovation and passion. This starts with having a professional, welcoming profile picture. From there, let readers quickly see your skills and experience. And finally, pay close attention to your posts and tweets. These should reflect your entrepreneurial spirit, and not be negative or offensive.

2. Search for mentors who match your requirements.

You may already have a few potential mentors in mind. That’s a great place to start from. However, you’ll likely be able to narrow your list down by studying each of the individuals and their interests. The aim is to ascertain which of the potential mentors would be the best match for you and your business. You can do this by: researching them on Google, looking at their latest posts and recommendations, studying their current business interests and investments.

3. Once you’ve found a potential mentor – be on their radar.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to one or two potential mentors, then begin to interact with them. You can do this by replying to their tweets, sharing their Facebook posts, and commenting (in a meaningful way) on their blogs. To be clear, you’re not trying to stalk them! Rather, you’re simply trying to catch their attention before moving to step four…

4. Consider contacting them directly and asking for their help.

If you have a good understanding of your potential mentor(s), then you’ll instinctively know when is the best time to reach out to them for help. If they’ve already replied to your comments on social media, then you definitely have a foot in the door. Whether you contact them via email, or private messaging on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, just be sure to mention some of their posts and blogs that you’ve enjoyed and benefited from. This makes a great introduction. Next, give a brief and engaging overview of yourself and your business. Then ask politely for some advice or information from them.

5. Consider volunteering at an event they are speaking at.

Not all mentors are active on social media, so you may need to try alternative techniques for gaining their attention. One way to do this, is to find out when and where they will be speaking next. If it’s in a convenient location for you, then contact the event organizers and often to volunteer your services. This could take the form of co-ordinating the event, or helping on the day. Either way, you’ll be able to impress everyone with your enthusiasm and skills, and most importantly, you’ll have an excellent chance of meeting and speaking with your potential mentor.

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6. Put yourself into their shoes.

One trick you should definitely adopt when contacting a potential mentor, is to put yourself in their shoes. By this, I mean seeing the situation from their eyes. For instance, picture yourself as a great mentor such as Warren Buffett. Then look at your current self – and see if you would be interested in mentoring you! By adopting this fresh perspective you’ll quickly see how to improve your pitch to your potential mentor. It can make a huge difference to your chances.

7. Be the perfect mentee.

To attract a great mentor, then you need to become the best mentee you possibly can. Do this by being open-minded, ready to learn, and respectful. You also need to be time-aware, as top mentors are likely to be super-busy individuals. So, it’s best to keep your communications with them brief and to the point. Additionally, be ready to show your gratitude for their advice and time.

By actively pursuing your career goals and dreams, you’ll make it easy for you to attract the perfect mentor. And from there – who knows what you’ll achieve?

Featured photo credit: Fortune Live Media via flickr.com

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Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on June 18, 2019

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Making Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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