Most humans genuinely want to help others. Paid mentors, of course, have chosen their profession. Choice of profession is often relevant to life experience.
As our podcast explains, if you can’t afford a mentor, this is no reason you should miss out. Friends can help. You can even reciprocate.
Behind some of the most monumental figureheads, are mentors who encouraged them to reach their potential.
set your intention
Consider what you want at the outset. When you choose your mentor, what do you want to achieve and just as importantly, how do you want your mentor to help you achieve it?
Honesty can be both a blessing and a curse. Are you currently thick-skinned enough to take complete honesty from your mentor? Be precise in your request – if you want absolute honesty, ask for it. If you want continual encouragement regardless of opinion, ask for that.
You are the creator. Consider how much can be gained by expecting your mentor to lead the way. Two good examples of this are the sponsorship system in Alcoholics Anonymous, and the coaching system at Trichotillomania Support. Those who expect to quit an addiction by waiting for their sponsor to take action, will wait forever.
When a mentor is not appropriate
It is not a good idea to enlist a mentor if you already have another mentor for something else. Finish working with that mentor or work with an absolute maximum of 2 at a time.
Mentorship is not helpful if you expect the mentor to put in more work than you yourself can do.
Ask your mentor to help you take consistent, active steps in a growth direction.
Mentorship creates productivity levels beyond working solo. It does not alleviate the need for work.