Finding a Mentor
Finding a Mentor
Self-education isn’t solely about what you can teach yourself but also what you are willing to learn.
In addition to educating yourself by “learning what you don’t know”, you can also find people who already do. Who are these people? These people are folks who have been in your field of interest, has had some success & failure, and can provide you with some tidbits and guidance on your journey. Where can we find these amazing folks? Look all around you. They are everywhere. There’s no secret in gaining a mentor, it just sort of happens. You can encounter these kinds of folks at various networking events, the Small Business Administration, MicroMentor.org, and so on.
Start by attending various business networking events, charities, stop by different businesses and pass out your card. There are tons of local networking events put on by the government, by other entrepreneur professionals, and even banks. The point of these events are to get your face well recognized, market your brand, and gain new knowledge and connections. You never know who you will run into and what experience they have.
The Small Business Administration can connect you with local volunteers, entrepreneurs, and the likes thereof who don’t mind sharing their knowledge and expertise. The great thing is that if the mentor they set you up with isn’t your cup of tea, contact the SBA to arrange to meet with a different mentor. There are tons of people interested in guiding fresh faces into the industry.
Another great resource is MicroMentor.org. It’s free to join and connects you with mentors all across the country. Each available mentor has a brief description of who they are, their past experiences, and where they’re located. You can connect with someone local or in a potential market.
Last but not least, you may someone in front of you who wouldn’t mind being your cheer coach. This could be a business consultant (like Consult Kelly, LLC), a great friend, a friend older than you, or even a coworker. To point out, you can have more than one mentor. Just the same as you can have more than one best friend. Each person maybe has something the other doesn’t. The point is to get out there and start connecting with this new community hub, build relationships, and promote your self-education.