Finding someone that has gone before you and gained success at the same goal is the one of the best ways to break into a chosen field or learn more about becoming an entrepreneur. A person like this has the ability to provide encouragement as a mentor and valuable advice. When it comes to choosing a mentor, you will want to consider a few things to ensure it is a proper fit. This shouldn’t be a difficult task, but it also shouldn’t be something you jump into haphazardly. Below are a few things for you to consider.
Personality is something you will want to decide on for yourself before you seek out a mentor. Personality is definitely something to consider as you might find yourself uncomfortable if for example you are an introvert and your prospective mentor is the opposite. However, you might be looking for someone more extroverted to emulate some of their qualities. Therefor it is best for you take the time to map out your goals and what you want in a mentor. When this is done most of the work is already done.
It’s important to find someone with values similar to yours, this will lead to a better relationship. The best way to go about this is to start by, knowing what your values are and write them down. Then make sure your values align with the person you are considering for a potential mentor. Avoid ignoring or compromising your values as this will inevitably lead to your unhappiness. Therefor take the following into consideration, does your potential mentor put their family first? Do they believe in a work/life balance? If they work a 60+ hour week they might not be a great fit for you. Finally, you are more likely to learn more from someone whose values mirror your own.
It Is very important to make sure you clearly define what you expect form the relationship between you and your mentor. Make sure you and your potential mentor are on the same page by being explicit in your expectations and agreements. You should have an idea of how often you want to shadow them, if you like to have time to ask them questions outside their professional setting, how much time you would like to spend with this person and what activities you would like to partake in. It is important to outline the types of activities that you should inquire about and outline before committing to a specific person.
Doing all the above, planning and having clear goals for what it is that you want t0 achieve will not only help you succeed but will make your potential mentor take you seriously.