One of the best ways to learn is through a mentor—someone who’s gone before you, who’s walked the path you want to walk, who’s achieved the level of success that you are looking for.
- You want to know how to run a million dollar business, learn from some one who has.
- Want to have a great marriage, learn from someone who does.
- Want to be a great communicator, leader, entrepreneur, musician, author, manager, teacher, pastor—learn from someone who is.
A mentor can help you avoid mistakes he’s already made. A mentor can help you navigate difficult tensions that she’s already managed. The right mentor can be a wealth of knowledge that only comes from experience, typically experience you do not currently have. A mentor can be the reason you make the next big jump in your success.
What’s difficult is finding someone who meets your criteria of a mentor that has the time and is willing to give some of it to you.
“Will you mentor me?”
Nothing scares a busy successful person more than this question. Okay, maybe a question from the IRS, but this one is close. Here’s the quagmire: you want to learn from someone who’s had a level of success, but that success makes them busy. So, saying yes to you, is saying no to other important things. I heard a leader I’ve learned a great deal from say to someone who wanted to meet with him: “The reason you want to meet with me is the reason I can’t meet with you.”
In other words, the reason you want to meet with me is that I have achieved a level of success that you aspire to. But if I met with you and every other person that wanted me to explain how I did it, I wouldn’t have time for the very things that made me successful, thus making your desire to meet with me null and void.
For successful people, time is their most valuable asset. Most of them have many commitments outside of work, including their families, charitable work, and community work. Every hour with you, is an hour they can’t spend else where.