Last week we spoke a lot about the importance of being unique in business. If you are your true, authentic self and let that shine through, you will find everything else becomes much easier and you will face a lot less competition in the world.
I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to focus on being unique and not to copy other “gurus” or “success stories” that they see online, at that surface level.
However, that isn’t to say you shouldn’t look to others to learn from. There is so much to learn in life and in business, and there is so much information available to us these days. We just need to be careful to look for the right sort of people and listen to the right sort of information.
Masterminds and support groups
A great place to start when it comes to finding the right mentor is looking for masterminds or support networks within your specific industry. Trust me, it doesn’t matter what sector you operate in, there will be one out there for you.
Just add the word “Association” at the end of whatever you do, and you’ll find one!
In my case, it’s the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). This is a group of successful financial advisers who meet once a year at a big conference to share ideas, provide training and discuss the latest developments in the world of finance.
Of course, groups like this aren’t free (the good ones rarely are), but they need to be seen as an investment, not a cost. The information you learn and the people you meet here will accelerate your company’s growth massively and inspire you to keep aiming higher and setting bigger goals.
Becoming the best version of yourself
This is particularly important for those businesses that operate in service-based industries. As a service-orientated business, you are sharing an idea with somebody. Your USP isn’t being given away in a product; it’s you. It’s your essence, and therefore you need to be the best version of yourself that you possibly can, which takes constant learning and development.
Finding a mentor on a budget
Some of you may not have the funds yet to invest in a big, top-end mastermind programme, and that’s ok too. The thing is, there are tons of potential mentors out there who are more than happy to share their knowledge with you for little or no cost.
For example, if anyone wants some help or free information from me and my business, all they have to do is ask, and I’ll send them a free copy of From Financial Struggle to Financial Success: Ten Step-Guide to Financial Freedom.
So even if you don’t have a lot of money, there is someone out there to help you. It’s just about hunting them down and reaching out to them in the right way.
Where to look for your first mentor
Finding the right person to help you can be as easy as looking on LinkedIn if you know where to look.
The main thing to look for here is the level of experience that your potential mentor might have in your field. Don’t be distracted by their fancy-looking profiles. If they have snazzy pictures and 10,000 contacts but have worked in ten jobs in ten different industries, they probably aren’t going to be the sort of person you want to learn from.
It’s likely (but not always) that they are a salesperson, so they are mostly looking for short-term gains, which is fine, but that probably means they are not the kind of person you want to take business advice from.
What to look for in your first mentor
You need to go out and look for people who are passionate about the industry you are in and have found their calling. These are the sort of people who share the same values as you and can add a lot of value to your business’s long-term success.
So when you are looking for a mentor, review what they do and what they have been doing for the last five to ten years, not necessarily how they act now. Sometimes you will just get a gut feel for someone, which is great, but you need to do your research first, especially if you are going to invest a lot of time and money with them!
If you do your research and follow that gut feeling, sometimes it can lead to some wonderful partnerships.
A great example of one is my relationship with Sarah Bloxom, CEO of Let’s Talk Mortgages and Insurance, who reached out to me at a conference in Auckland. Together, we completely transformed her business!
You can read about our story here.
Don’t take people at face value
Looking for the right mentor isn’t about taking people at face value and copying everything they do. A mentor is there to help you become a better version of yourself and to help you achieve your big, hairy and audacious goals.
Sometimes that person can be really hard to find, and it may just take a bit of digging around first before you find the right one, but if you can ignore overnight success and dig a little deeper, you may just strike gold.
If you’re keen to learn more about goal setting, seizing on opportunities or just getting the most out of life, I’d love to hear from you.
You can also learn how other people have achieved their goals by tuning in to my weekly podcast Goals Do Come True.
Or just email me at email@example.com.