Jumpstart Your Professional Growth: How to Find a Business Mentor

By July 20, 2023 September 7th, 2023 Tips to Improve Performance

Last Updated on September 7, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

A mentor is usually an unbiased professional who has either been where you’ve been or knows how to direct you.  They offer moral support, expertise, advice, and coaching, too.  The mentor-mentee relationship is not one to take for granted — and it can be mutually beneficial, professionally speaking. 

You may be unsure how to find a mentor matching your personality and needs, and that’s OK.  If you’re wondering how to ask someone to be your mentor, it’s simple.  Read on to learn how to find a business mentor.

A professional woman manager mentors a younger woman.

Mentors for Professional Growth

Your mentor may get a few things wrong when first mentoring you.  Instead, not everyone is meant to be a mentor, sponsor, or leader. 

Often, if it is their first time (or even second and third), they’re learning best how to teach and support you in a way that feels organic to them.

Before working with your mentor, could you check if your goals are aligned and achievable?

How to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor

Asking someone for help can be difficult for some people.  But you’re not asking for just help — you’re asking for a mentor who will devote time and energy to your interactions and even think about your situation while you’re apart.

Here are some questions to ask a leadership mentor:

  • What has your experience been with mentors/mentees?
  • What availability do you have for this relationship?
  • What do you hope to get out of this experience?

If you still need one, here is how to build a mentor-mentee relationship.

  • Offer to help – talking through problems helps both sides grow.  It’s not one-sided.
  • Show up – you’ve asked for help, so show up mentally and physically.
  • Express gratitude – send Thank You notes

If you are truly serious about convincing a mentor to work with you, try this approach in your own words:

I want to be one of the best at my job.  So, I commit to you to invest time and effort in my career development and our relationship.  I know I can’t do this without your help.  Will you help guide my growth?  

Mentoring relationships are unique because they are usually entered voluntarily on both sides.  Both of you want to be held accountable for some professional progression.  Sometimes, a mentor can also be a sponsor, or someone can be a sponsor. 

What makes a sponsor great?  They spend their political capital to advance more junior sponsees through advocacy and other tactical moves.  It’s essentially having someone champion you internally to other business units and possibly within the industry.

How to Find a Business Mentor

You may have just left your 9-to-5 position and are finally moving your side hustle front and center.  Here are some questions for your entrepreneur mentor to ensure you’re in good hands.

  • What do you wish you knew before starting, and how did you learn it?
  • What are you currently pursuing?
  • How much time do you have for our relationship?
  • What do you think the next year will look like?

A true mentor will realize they’re mentoring a future leader.  Their role is not to tell you how to do it or what to do.  Instead, they should help foster your ability to ask questions and find answers. 

Learning how to ask someone to be your mentor is easy — the hard part is following through and implementing what you learn.

Click here to schedule a complimentary video call with Coach Dave about how to find a business mentor.

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