I was listening to a presentation today on the merits of and the how-to’s of finding a mentor. The presenter extolled the value of being in the right environment and openly sharing value and gratitude with folks who you want for a mentor because their success, the presenter suggests, is something you can learn and do to be more successful. In addition, the presenter suggests you do the same with random folks who just might have some interesting knowledge to become a mentor you never knew you wanted until this chance meeting. To some degree, this is can be useful. It’s usefulness in my opinion, lies in the small scale, tidbits of things someone who is willing to share with you their success story. That’s NOT a mentor. That’s: This is what worked for me.
Most successful people have no clue what will work for you and wind up aggressively espousing their way as the best way for you and anyone else willing to listen or buy their book. Trying to become like them vs. finding the successful strategies that best suit the unique YOU that you are, will yield much more, and reach farther, and provide long term success with personal contentment.
Sure there are things that can be learned from so many people. The problem with that pursuit is that what one person does to become and stay successful works for them because they have a natural affinity, or hardwiring to do those things. Doing those things doesn’t necessarily translate to YOU for a whole host of possible reasons. You may be hardwired entirely differently and therefore, most likely won’t actually DO or sustain DOing what the successful person does. Business is 80% behavioral and 20% head knowledge. It’s the behaviors that you’ll want to find that work best for you. Creating a carbon copy, or many of them is just that, a copy. Creating the best you, you can be, and doing so in a way that works the way you work, is where the “flow” flows. People change poor behaviors and grow best behaviors (real and lasting transformation) in very specific ways that are wholly and holistically unique to them.
So how do you find the right mentor for you?
You find someone who will mentor you in the way that works for you and your uniquely holistic self. That requires a good mentor to have a clean slate and be agenda free. Someone who has the strength, skill, experience to peel back the layers of schmutz you have hidden to reveal the best you so you can apply this best self to your business, your relationships, and to furthering your own unique way of learning and becoming the success story you want to tell in your own unique, holistic way. A mentor is someone is simultaneously your best friend and worst nightmare in a loving and compassionate way, or whatever way you need to get the unique outcomes you want for success. A great mentor keeps an arsenal of tools and will use the ones that are right for you.