Finding the right business mentor is critical and can be made easy. A combination of preparation and a simple approach to selecting the most suitable mentor for you will help ensure that your business mentor provides long term benefits for you and your business.
Before you start looking, ask yourself 3 questions:
- What outcomes do I seek from business mentoring?
- What additional skills and experience do I seek from a business mentor?
- What mentoring personality and style would help me the most?
Armed with the answers to these questions, your search will be much easier. You can identify potential mentors through many different routes including personal recommendations from people you know, on-line through Google, and through various web directories. Once you have identified potential mentors, you can use their websites to learn more about them. Websites will often highlight the personality, style and approach of the mentor and already at this point some may stand out to you as a person you could work with. Having a look at testimonials and references is another angle that can help identify the most suitable mentor. Testimonials give you information about the type of clients and the type of work the mentor covers. Use all these sources of information together with your criteria for the ideal mentor to short-list a handful of potential candidates.
At this point, make contact and have a chat on the phone with the mentors on your short-list. After each conversation ask yourself: How would I feel working with this mentor? Based on your feeling, pick 2 or 3 and and arrange to meet with them. All good business mentors will be happy to meet with you to talk through your business and mentoring needs. The meeting helps both parties find out if you can work together and create a mutually beneficial outcome. After the meetings go back to your criteria and ask yourself – “Which of the people I have met would help me the most?”
Picking a business mentor is a long term decision, so taking these steps is a good investment for you and your business. Importantly your investment is one of time rather than money. Once you have identified someone who you feel can really help you, ask them how they propose to work with you and at that point be clear to them about your budget. Having followed this process it is likely that you and your preferred mentor will find a way to work together that suits both parties as well as your budget.