In response to yesterday’s post (find a mentee), several of you have commented or emailed me with a simple question: How do I find a mentor?
You can’t. A mentor must find you, want to invest in you and most importantly l-o-v-e you. By love I mean that your mentor wants to promote your growth and has compassion for you. You can’t find that, at best you make yourself available for it.
You can’t find a mentor and convince her to adopt you any more than you can network with a bigtime person on LinkedIn. What is in it for the mentor?
Let me suggest the following steps to increase your chances of being found:
1. Adopt a mentee and invest heavily in him or her. You are paying it forward and putting yourself in a positive feedback loop. This makes you attractive to others, especially qualified mentor candidates.
2. If you find a good mentor candidate, help him out with a non-knowledge task. This sends a signal that you intend to reciprocate however you can. I always suggest helping a potential mentor make network connections.
3. Share your point of view with people that you meet. If you have ambitions and dreams, share them. A good mentor will come along, fall in love with your vision, and decide to adopt you and grow you.
I emphasize that to be a mentee, first you must be a mentor. Why else would you be worthy of help?