Discover the fastest route to achieving your dreams
The things that had been, it is that which shall be; that which is done is that which shall be done, and there is no new thing under the sun.
There is nothing you ever want to become or achieve in life that has not been or done in a way by someone before. If you ever feel stuck in life, it’s either you don’t know what you need or you don’t know how to get what you need.
While knowing what you need, and knowing how to get it is a major milestone, meeting someone who is manifesting the fulfilment of that need, and ready to show you “how” is the real life-changer- that ‘someone’ is a mentor.
A recent survey of more than 200 small business owners throughout the U.S. conducted by Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform to evaluate the importance of mentorship for this group shows that only 22% of small businesses had mentors when they started their business.
Another 17% indicated they have or had an advisor, possibly a paid relationship for consulting and advice. This leaves 63% of business owners who do not have professional guidance at the onset of their business. The statistics for new business failure are dire: 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% of small businesses fail in their second year, and 50% of small businesses fail after five years when their financing or enthusiasm, or both, dry up. 92% of small business owners agree that mentors have a direct impact on the growth and survival of their business.
A separate previous Kabbage report revealed 89% of small business owners who didn’t have a mentor wish that they did.
If you want to have a life-changing experience, it is imperative you learn how to find a mentor by doing the following:
This is the first step and the most critical of all. It begins with figuring out the kind of person you will like to become. In a simple language, finding a mentor begins with you. You need to figure out yourself at least to a relatable level. It is on this ground that connection with a potential mentor is made (Luke15:17).
The questions to ask include:
What are my desires (needs)?
Who do I want to become?
FIND SOMEONE YOU WANT TO BE LIKE
Look for someone that fits the picture of who you want to become. It could be someone close or someone you know from a distance. If you have followed the first step above, it will be easy for you to identify a potential mentor(s).
OBSERVE THE PERSON
For someone close, observation might happen without giving much thought to it. Observing someone you know from a distance will involve deliberately initiating interaction; it can start with simple actions like saying hello, sending friend invites, liking posts and leaving comments on social media posts. Then create or find opportunities to arrange a meeting. The whole idea is to make sure that you are not asking a stranger to be your mentor.
This step is required for initiating the mentorship process and it doesn’t necessarily have to involve the “will you be my mentor?” question. A survey of 3,000 participants conducted by Olivet Nazarene University to get a more vivid picture of a typical mentor-mentee relationship in 2019 revealed how most lasting mentor-mentee relationships are developed. According to the survey, very few (14%), mentorships begin with a mentee asking for a mentor outright. In 61% of cases, the relationship is procured naturally while mentors themselves made the offer in 25% of cases.
The art of asking involves finding a way of making the potential mentor know that you value their wealth of experience. Every time you have the opportunity to interact with the potential mentor, make sure you have questions that you’re prepared to ask and watch the conversation flow relationally.
A relationship takes time to blossom and mentorship is not an exception. Be patient with yourself and your potential mentor as you build mutual trust and commitment, key ingredients to every meaningful relationship. Don’t expect ‘too much’ from the relationship and always remember that the output from the relationship also depends on you as you will discover in the remaining 3 steps.
The relationship must be appreciated and taken seriously if it will ever bring forth any meaningful fruit. One of the areas in which commitment must be made is in the area of time and attention. Your mentor is very likely to be a busy person, so you have to know how to ‘fit in’ to his/her schedule. It might not be convenient for you but that is the price to pay.
GIVE AND RECEIVE FEEDBACK
From your interactions with your potential mentor, learn to give and receive feedback. Feedback is a way of ensuring that all communicated intentions are well understood. It also helps to deepen communications which in turn deepens the relationship.
Since the goal of mentorship is to become a better person, deliberate action on advice from a mentor is very crucial. Without action, every other activity becomes a waste. Nobody will like to mentor somebody who doesn’t take action; this is the ultimate demonstration of seriousness to the entire mentoring relationship(Luke 15:18-20).
Peter had a life-changing encounter that transformed him from an ordinary, frustrated fisherman to fisher of men when Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, met him and his brother Andrew, who were fishers casting a net into the sea. He said to them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:18 -19). Peter accepted this proposition and grew to become one of the most influential figures in Christian history.
Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
Now, that you know the fastest route to become who you want to be, what else are you waiting for?