Have you ever heard the phrase “it’s not who you are, it’s who you know”? You probably know more people than you care to admit, and who you choose to associate with can play a big role in achieving success. There are two types of mentors every business needs to succeed.
Mentors are a crucial part of every personal and professional growth pattern. They serve as sounding boards, educators, and support systems.
“…mentorship makes early stage companies stick around longer (on average, an extra 2 years) and helps make them more successful,” writes Annabel Acton on why you need a mentor. This being the case, it is imperative that you choose your mentor wisely.
If success is your end goal, you should seek mentorship from two types of people: Experts by Results and Experts by Research.
Experts by Results: first type of mentors every business needs
Experts by Results have proven their success in your particular field. They know how to accomplish your goals because they have already done it.
Results-based experts have encountered similar pitfalls, experienced similar hurdles, and emerged (relatively) unscathed. They make extremely qualified mentors for the simple fact that, they’ve walked in your shoes.
If you’re an aspiring CEO, for example, then your go-to results expert should be someone who is or used to be a successful CEO.
Experts by Research: second type of mentors every business needs
Experts by Research are the people that have put extensive amounts of time, money, and effort into studying and understanding situations exactly like yours. They’ve assessed the risks, compiled the best practices, and eliminated the superfluous details in order to come up with the best possible path to your desired destination.
Research experts make good mentors because they have an innate, academic understanding of your current situation and the many viable options you have to move forward.
In real life, they can sometimes be tricky to identify. If we go back to our CEO example, the research expert could either be a trusted advisor or an outside educator.
How Do I Find These Experts?
Sometimes knowing who should be your mentor is the easy part. Finding that person, however, can certainly be more difficult.
There are countless resources out there detailing the various places to find mentors and advisors. Online and in-person networking groups, industry trade shows, and indirect competitors are all good starting places, but they inevitably involve quite a bit of time, and possibly a pitch or two. Luckily, they aren’t your only options.
Friends and Family
Start your mentor search close to home. Did you have an uncle that inspired you to pursue your business dreams? A family friend that dripped success every time he stopped over for supper? If so, reach out to them. Speaking to friends and family is often one of the most beneficial, albeit brutally honest, forms of mentorship you can get.
Check Your Heroes
Occasionally, successful businessmen and women set out to assume mentorship responsibility for those who are starting off in conditions similar to their own. Determine who your business idols are, and then spend some time thoroughly exploring their websites. You might find that they offer educational classes with useful tips and tricks, downloadable books full of their experiences, or even formal mentorship programs with an application process.
Aaron has affected the lives of over 2 million people, in 41 countries from over 100 industries on and offline through his training spanning a decade of mentoring. As a global authority on Activation® he’s authored his best-selling book ‘Think Like’ which explores the millionaire mindset enabling anyone to build an empire of their own.