One of the major secrets to success in career, business, education and other endeavours of life is mentorship. A mentor is a more experienced or more knowledgeable person who helps to guide a less experienced person within a certain area of expertise; a mentor could be older or younger than the person being mentored.
Everyone needs an experienced and trusted adviser. Some organisations incorporate mentorship programs into their work schedules whilst others do not. If you work in an organisation that has no such offers, it is important to learn how to find a mentor without necessarily going through a formal mentorship program.
Don’t look too far, a mentor can be anybody in your environment; but most of the time, he or she is an older fellow who has already achieved the things that you aspire to achieve. It is really not difficult to spot such people neither is it difficult to get them to mentor you directly or indirectly. All you need to do is introduce yourself and ask if they could grant you the privilege of having a short private chat with them over lunch, dinner or a drink. Tell them you would like to learn from their life’s experiences – how they started, their mistakes or failures and how they were eventually able to get to their present level of achievement.
Everyone loves to talk about themselves and their achievements so expect less than 5% turn-downs. Keep contacting them to know when they are free and be ready to pay to get value for their experiences. It is important to choose a location of their choice or one that befits their statuses so as not to appear over-familiar or disrespectful.
You can do this to as many people as you meet daily who fit such standing. You never know how much impact their failures, successes and perceptions about life would have on your personal life, career and business. Hence, it is important to keep the relationship for as long as possible; you might soon need their help. This also applies to all strong contacts on your network. Maintain a healthy communication line by sending a message or calling them at least once every month or quarter, it will keep you fresh in their memories.