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

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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

More by this author

Craig J Todd

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

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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