Who’s the right mentor for you?

In the last Issue of Matters of Interest I talked about choosing a mentor to keep you on the path to your goals. But not all mentors are equal. And how do you find one who’s right for you?

I have been working with a mentor for over 10 years and have found the process a great way to turn vague desires into action plans. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.

Step 1. Choose your mentor

Be the person who makes the approach. You may come across individuals with the title of Coach or Mentor, who knock on your door and pitch their services. They may be great people but this is not the way to go about finding a mentor.

You need to unearth someone whose message and actions resonate with you. Perhaps you’ll hear a speaker at a conference and find yourself transfixed by their story. Maybe you’ll read a book or watch a video series that introduces you to some new ideas. Be open to the opportunity and then reach out to the person.

Step 2. Think of mentoring as an investment

It will involve a commitment of time and energy over an extended period. It will involve spending some money. That’s exactly what you should expect from a process designed to unleash personal growth.

I found my mentors Terry Caboon and Dr Fred Grosse this way. Tragically my connection with Terry was cut short by his unexpected death but I have been working with Dr Fred for many years now. I first saw him deliver a presentation at a conference where he talked about designing a magnificent life for yourself. This was exactly what I was looking for so I introduced myself and started the journey.

Step 3. Live the dream

Here’s how the process works. Every fortnight Dr Fred and I have a Skype session where we check on progress towards goals, tease out obstacles and recommit to the plan. Having an independent outsider to keep you on track is a powerful motivator and one of the reasons that mentoring works.

On top of these fortnightly check-ins I fly to Sydney four times a year for a two day catch up. This is where we deal with the bigger issues that can get lost in the day to day. Working with Dr Fred this way has let me move decisively in the areas I wanted to develop.

For example Dr Fred and I focused on my goal of inspirational travel. He encouraged me to seek the opportunities and make them happen. Just months after getting on a bike for the first time, I left for a mountain biking tour of Inner Mongolia. I traveled on my own, overcame obstacles and had an incredible experience. Without Dr Fred’s input it might have stayed a hazy “do it someday” idea that never came to fruition.

Your goals will be different of course. The important thing is to start achieving them. I strongly recommend finding the right mentor to kick start the process.

Would you like to work with Sue as a mentor? Get in touch.