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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

More by this author

Craig J Todd

Freelance Writer helping businesses and people to thrive.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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