Finding a Mentor:Be The Best Version of You
What does it mean to inspire the best version of yourself? Furthermore, how does one attain their best version? What is the secret formula to unlocking that best version of oneself? How is it so many people succeed where others struggle? All questions I ask myself daily when writing this blog.
It’s not a secret, and there is no magic formula. The trick is having the clarity of mind and steadfast belief in one’s vision. But how do we find that clarity? What can we do to cultivate such an earnest belief in our capability to achieve greatness? Personally, I feel that clarity comes when we stop doing what others think is best for us and make a decision to live our dreams. The hard part is getting started, but here are a few questions to get you there.
Finding Your True Calling
- What is it that you do better than anyone else?
- What is it you feel drawn to do most, regardless of monetary rewards?
- Why are you drawn to it?
- Who else enjoys what you have to offer?
- Is this a hobby or can it become a career?
I suggest first taking a good, introspective look at the questions above. And be honest with yourself. The hardest in my opinion to answer is the last question, but in fairness- Is that skill or talent something that someone would gladly pay for? And, how many others offer the same thing? Once you’ve answered these questions and have found the thing you do best and learn to do for the rest of your life, how do you implement it into your daily life? How much time will it take time for you to set it up? Is there an upfront cost to getting started? Is there any special training you need to enable you to do so?
If after you’ve done your research, you still feel the compelling urge to move forward with it I encourage you to do so. Don’t tiptoe gently into it. But rather, jump on its back, grab it by the horns and ride it as fast and long as you can. Procrastination only leads to doubts, self-conscious waffling and eventually a slow, degrading demise. So get down to business. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy. Find your method, perfect it as you go. The day that you stop learning is the day you start stagnating, so pay attention to details, keep learning and perfecting your craft.
While you work and learn, make sure you don’t develop tunnel vision. The best and most successful entrepreneurs learn from those around them as well as the mistakes that they make, not just our own. Adapt your approach as needed. Do not hesitate to reach out to others in your chosen field, as most if not all of us have started from the same humble beginnings. Everyone at one point or another had a mentor either personally teaching us, or maybe we learned simply by observing from afar. But I assure you that we’ve all learned from others on our way and if you haven’t, then you are robbing yourself of a wealth of preconceived knowledge that is there.
Finding a mentor can be simple, or depending on the nature of our industry it can be rather cutthroat. However, do not be dissuaded from approaching someone you admire in your field and asking if they have any knowledge that they might be able to share. Be respectful, and be prepared to get a few negative responses. Here are a few tips to finding a mentor, and how to approach them.
Finding A Mentor/Asking For Advice
- Take a good look at your industry. Who around you is excelling in what it is you want to do? Make a list of those industry influences and rank them according to availability/accessibility, proximity, their level of expertise, & affinity to their work.
Next, learn everything you can about your list. Find out where an influence comes from, what they specialize in, how they started, awards & accolades they’ve garnered (most influencer’s love to be reminded of their accomplishments), and anything you think knowing about the person may help you win their trust or favor.
Find out where your list hangs out, where they produce work, how to reach out to them, and whether they have any specific requirements for contacting them.
Prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time. The worst thing you can do here is to get all the way in front of your desired mentor and freeze up or seem half prepared. Most influencer’s have busy schedules and if they’ve taken the time to respond to you, it pays to be concise and forthright with your questions.
Be prepared for a negative response or even no response.
If they do grant you some of their precious time, be sure you thank them. It’s alright to follow up with a request just don’t be overbearing or stalkerish (Yes, I’m aware it’s not a real word) about it. And ask if they mind if you follow up with them in the future about any additional questions you may have.
Having a mentor in your chosen field is an ultimate bonus, especially if they’re willing to help you learn and grow. Even your mentor themselves once most likely had someone mentor them. It may serve well to ask them about how they learned, and if they had a mentor themselves. I know personally, I love telling others about how someone else helped me, and I love sharing knowledge that I’ve learned through my years.
Bottom line, everyone starts somewhere. But the trick is to actually start. If I had a nickel for every time someone said, ” I could have done this if I’d only taken the initiative to do it.” Or, ” I could have been someone if I’d only taken the chance.” I’d not only be rich, but I’d have a sock filled with nickels to hit them upside the head with and hopefully knock some sense into them.
So here it is- Your moment of truth. Are you going to sit on the sidelines and daydream of what might have been? Or are you going to get up off your dusty butt and do something with your life? The choice is yours, and only you can make your dreams come true. I see you wanting, and I believe in you. So get up, get out, and make something of yourself. Start today! Make yourself happy. Live your dreams and be blessed!