For the past several years, I’ve carried out numerous speaking engagements. No matter the size of the company or organization or the demographic of the audience, I inevitably field the question, “How do I get a mentor?” But a mentor isn’t always something you officially “get;” it’s often something that slowly develops over time.
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In fact, most successful people you might approach about being your mentor are so busy that they would likely decline the invitation. However, if you make your interaction less formal, the relationship often evolves, and one day you may just find yourself saying, “Thank you for being such a great mentor,” to someone who never formally committed to filling that role in the first place. The best mentor-mentee relationships are those that have naturally evolved and were never forced or structured.
Having trouble “getting” a virtual mentor? In today’s information world, there are many unconventional opportunities that weren’t previously available for finding a mentor.
Years ago, people didn’t have the luxury of learning from other successful people unless they had written a book you could read or you had a way of connecting with them one-on-one. Today, it’s much easier to learn from successful role models, as so many share their experiences though social media posts, podcasts, blogs, radio or TV interviews. Take advantage of the valuable effects these “virtual mentors” can have on your life.
Many successful businessmen and women now also share their expertise through online training programs. It may not be as great as having one-on-one coaching from them but it’s a close second and can truly help you advance your knowledge and career.
If you do have the opportunity to learn firsthand from people you respect, take advantage. But remember, you can also learned from expert that you never meet in person. These virtual mentors provided just as much invaluable advice as a face-to-face mentor would have.
If an in-person meet-up isn’t a possibility, find the best way to learn from that individual (or individuals). Does she or he have a podcast or blog? Do they hold live webinars? Have they written a book or do they write articles for popular magazines or websites?
Knowledge from experts today is amazingly easy to access and extremely valuable, too. Take advantage of these virtual mentors.
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