Many of us have the wonderful opportunity to work with a mentor. For those that do, I am writing this to share through some thoughts and hopefully they will help you in fostering your mentor-mentee relationship.
1. Concentrate first on building a relationship.
The mentors who have signed up for the programs are all experienced professionals in this space. We’ve carefully selected what we think are the best mentors for your chosen field of study as well as life experiences (your resume). Relationship is a two way street. There’s give, and there’s take. It’s only meaningful when there’s contribution from both sides. With these mentors, they’ve given their time and willingness to share their advice and guidance. You should contribute to this relationship as well! Make yourself valuable in a way that is meaningful to the mentor. What can you offer someone whom you want to learn from? Do you have a free weekend to help them with something? Do you have web-design or online marketing skills? Value comes in many different forms to many different people. Offer it. Make it your goal to provide value to build on the relationship. Additionally, you don’t necessarily need to do everything or anything for free. Offering a discount works too. Whatever it is—remember, provide value to build a long term relationship.
2. Don’t over expect things in return.
I hope you’ve read the previous program structure and understand that this is not an opportunity to find a job. It’s an opportunity to learn and develop all areas of life. You should build this relationship because you want to create a lasting connection that will last for years to come. Like above, provide value, and you’ll receive back. But don’t over expect things. Think win-win, and focus on what’s best for both of you. Most of these mentors might be far more successful than both of us. They are titans in their industries. Your value will help them become more successful. And as a popular saying goes: “A rising tide lifts all ships.” They will lift you as well.
3. Mentors will go beyond to help you, but only if you are worthy.
Most mentors who have signed up show a willingness to help. But some of them will even go above and beyond what’s asked to help you out, but only once they trust you and you have proven that you are worthy of their involvement. Most mentors are busy with their own life and business/work, so they don’t want to waste time. A mentor-mentee relationship is a huge undertaking for both people, and no mentor wants to devote a significant amount of time and effort building a relationship only to have it fall apart when the student/mentee gets bored. Prove that you are in this for the long haul by being persistent, building knowledge, and actively growing outside of the relationship you are building.
Thank you, and I wish you all the best in finding and working with a mentor.