Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Mentor Fairy? You leave your request under your pillow and then the next morning a Mary Poppins-ish mentor shows up at your front door, ready and willing to teach you everything you need to know.
If she could show up with a Dish Fairy, Bathroom Cleaning Fairy and Dinner Fairy, I think I’d be all set.
But, sadly, there is no Fairy Dream Team. The only way to get a Mentor is the good old fashioned way.
A Simple Process For Finding A Mentor
We have talked about the importance of mentors, what to do if you don’t have one, keys to personal growth and more, but today we are going to talk about exactly how to find a mentor.
If you take an hour or two to walk through these six steps, you could have a mentor by the end of the day. Ready? Let’s go!
1. Select Your Focus Area
Pick just one area of your life that you want to focus on. I know that’s hard, but keeping it simple is crucial. I encourage you to fight the urge to attempt an Extreme Makeover: Me Edition. All the reality shows on television (Biggest Loser, etc) depict the results of a slew of professionals and a controlled environment.
Controlled environments are a daydream for a mom. Every day is different and if your family is anything like mine, they want to eat food and wear clothes. Every single day.
Our daily responsibilities aren’t going anywhere. So our personal growth has to fit in between diaper changes, grocery store trips and late nights with kids whose energy levels seem inversely proportional to our own.
We need to keep it simple and work on one thing at a time. Don’t worry, we’ll eventually get to all the other areas, but let’s dig deep and work hard on one area at a time.
2. Set a Time Frame.
Two keys to goal setting are making goals measurable and time sensitive. So set a time frame for how long you want your first focus area to be center stage.
Deciding on a time frame will make the concept of growing more realistic and less overwhelming; it will also make it easier for your potential mentor to say yes. A busy person is much more likely to agree to mentor you if they know it’s not an indefinite commitment.
This period of time could be anywhere from six weeks to six months or a year.
3. List possible mentors
Start jotting down people who might be able to help you in your focus area. You’re going to be somewhat vulnerable with them, so make sure they are people you generally enjoy and believe to be trustworthy.
Beyond that, keep your requirements low. Your mentor doesn’t need to be great at EVERY area you want to grow in, just the one you’re focusing on right now. They don’t need to be a gourmet cook if you only want them to teach you how to be a more organized mom.
Pray about who should be on your list and in what order you should ask them. Don’t keep anyone off the list simply because you imagine they are too busy. You never know until you ask.
4. Pick the mentoring method.
There are a lot of different ways to go about the mentoring process. It’s a good idea to have something in mind so that when you ask your potential mentors, they have an understanding of how much time and energy will be required of them.
I have a friend who asked me to mentor her and she simply emails me each Friday with an update on how her focus area went that week.
If you use this method you’ll need to be pretty self motivated, but it certainly increases the chances your potential mentor will say yes.
Meet your mentor for coffee each month. Come with a list of questions and report on how you implemented what you learned the previous month.
You can mix it up however you think it will work best for you and your potential mentor. You might meet in person the first couple times and then email weekly after that.
The goal here is to simply offer a structure when asking mentors so that they have realistic expectations.
5. Draft and send your email
Keep it short but clearly state all you are asking from them. Tell them briefly about yourself, what you are hoping to learn, why you chose them and what you would like the relationship to look like.
If you want to increase your chances of getting a “yes” – offer them something in return. Offer to schedule meetings at their house and help them fold laundry while you talk. Offer to treat them to lunch each meeting. Granted, most mentors just love helping others, but by offering something, you are showing them how valuable their wisdom and experience is to you.
6. Be persistent
Don’t give up. The first person might say no. The second person might say no. The third person might say no. Eventually, someone will say yes. Your persistance in pursuing a mentor will be indicative of your persistence in your own journey of personal change.
If you start right now and work through these six steps, you could have a mentor by this evening. The only thing stopping you is…you. If you are serious about growing and learning, then it’s time to get started.
Ready? Set? Go!
What is the biggest thing holding you back from asking someone to mentor you…today?