I hate meetings.
I think I inherited this directly from my Dad, but even so, I totally agree with the old man. Allow me to explain.
Meetings are supposed to be designed to get everyone up to speed on a project, figure out what needs attention, what’s not working, etc.
But most of the time, meetings just become time-fillers used to make everyone feel like they’ve done something constructive and are making progress towards a target.
I much prefer to keep focused on what needs to be done and reach out directly to someone if something needs addressing.
But this article has nothing to do with meetings, and I digress…
The reason I bring this up is because the other day I received an email from someone I don’t know wanting to meet up for coffee (which is starting to happen more regularly). I don’t drink coffee, and I’m very careful with how I spend my time, but I’m happy to meet up now and then if it feels right.
However, when I asked this particular person why they wanted to meet or what they wanted to discuss, they didn’t really have a clear answer. They simply wanted to “chat”.
Now whether or not they were looking for mentorship, this approach will VERY rarely lead to anything worthwhile for either party (unless you find someone who couldn’t be bothered by when and how they spend their time).
Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared some of my top recommendations on how, why, and where to find a mentor.
In the final part of this 3-part series, I’m going to share the best (and worst) thing to do when you finally do find someone who’s a good fit.
Note: don’t just ask to meet for coffee.
Let’s get into it…
THE BEST THING TO DO WHEN YOU FIND A MENTOR
In my post on the how to find a mentor the right way, I mentioned the importance of taking action, sharing results and adding value (however we can) to our mentors.
But after speaking to my buddy and expert on mentorship Doug Stewart, he told me the #1 characteristic that mentors are attracted to. Wanna know what it is?
Curiosity shows that you’re willing to take risks, make mistakes and keep learning. These are the exact factors that make someone more or less “mentor-able”.
Curious people follow their intuition, explore new ideas and aren’t afraid to screw up.
The thing is, the more open and interested we are in other people and things in our lives, the more likely people will be to want to reach out and help us in our own journey.
I’ve seen this so often over the last year of hosting The Quarter Life Comeback podcast. It’s an awesome feeling receiving emails (and coffee requests) from new friends, past guests and random readers alike, all asking how they can help (with no expectation in return). This is because I’ve been showing up every week for the last 52 weeks, and people have started to notice.
There’s an important caveat to mention in the context of this conversation, and something Doug didn’t mention, and that is the reminder to actually TAKE ACTION. It doesn’t help to be curious, but then keep those curiosities confined to ideas and dreams. We need to act if we want to show our mentors that we’re worth their time.
So get curious, find a mentor and take action!
THE WORST THING TO DO WHEN YOU FIND A MENTOR
Now that we’ve covered how to attract a mentor and what to do when you start working together, let me point out the surest way to guarantee an unhappy, unsuccessful relationship…
A mentor is taking (unpaid) time out of his/her day to help you achieve your goals. If you’re looking for a fast-track to end that agreement, then take what he/she has shared with you and ignore it completely.
Mentors want to know that their knowledge and input have helped in some way, so if you do have success, share your wins. If you just ask for advice and then never do anything with it, it’s unlikely that you’ll be receiving more guidance anytime soon.
Besides, if all you wanted to do was absorb information without applying it, you might as well read a book.
OVER TO YOU…
I’d love to hear from you: How can you start exploring and leveraging your curiosity a little more this week? Shoot me a tweet @BryanTeare and lemme know your biggest takeaways.
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