How to Find a Mentor in 7 Steps (2024)

  • Brandon Boushy by Brandon Boushy
  • 2 years ago
  • Blog
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A white notepad with a drawing about mentoring

If you’ve ever thought “I need a mentor” this is the blog for you. We’ll provide guidance to help you find a mentor that will help you master your industry.

We interviewed Nic Reed and his mentor Mike Andes, and they shared their knowledge on starting a business and mentoring with us. Nic was employed by Mike at Augusta Lawn Care before becoming his first 3F franchisee. They have some great advice.

We’ll be discussing the aspects of finding a mentor including what a mentor is, the different types of mentors, what to look for in a mentor, how to find different types of mentors, and how to maintain mentoring relationships. 

What is a Mentor?

A mentor is someone who is more experienced and that takes another person, commonly called a mentee, under their wing to help them grow. The mentor-mentee relationship will commonly involve seven dynamics to help the mentee grow:

  1. Teacher: Good mentors help the other person develop the skills to be successful in their career.
  2. Sponsor: A mentor helps the younger person find their way in the social environment.
  3. Advisor: Great mentors will act as a sounding board to help young people look at different perspectives and offer advice.
  4. Agent: Success is often about the number of people who buy into your narrative. A mentor will have already acquired more people in their professional network and will advocate for a mentee, assuming the idea or role is a good fit.
  5. Role Model: A mentor should be someone you aspire to be like.
  6. Coach: Mentors should help motivate and inspire you to be the best you can be. Sometimes we all need a good motivational speech or dose of harsh reality. It should help with your professional growth and build the relationship stronger.
  7. Confidante: A great mentor will be someone who knows when to let you vent and when to offer a few tips. The pressures of building a career path, your own company, and your personal life can be a challenge at times. They’ll be there when they can, but they are busy too.

I reached out to Mike to follow up on our interview and he told me:

Nic was not our first franchise fee but he was our first 3F (Franchise Fee Forgiveness) franchisee. He worked at one of our shops for two years and we forgave the franchise fee. That’s where we really developed a mentoring relationship.

Keep reading to learn about different types of mentoring.

There are Different Potential Mentor Relationship Types

Depending on what stage you are in life, you may need a different type of mentor. You’ll probably read a lot of differing opinions because there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on how to define the roles a good mentor plays, but we’re going to define them as follows:

  • Career Mentor
  • Life Mentor
  • Professional Mentor
  • Business Mentor

We’ll discuss each of these in more detail below so you’ll know what kind of potential mentor to look for when you decide to pursue a mentor.

Career Mentor (Typically Early in Career)

A career mentor is typically encountered early in your career and helps you learn the ropes. They might be a family friend or your first boss out of college. This mentor-mentee relationship is typically going to be one that may stay with you the rest of your life especially if they are in the same industry.

Life Mentor (Personal Mentor)

A personal mentor will be someone who helps you navigate your personal life more effectively. I hope most people have had a few of these. 

Some of the people from my own situation that have played this role are:

  1. My parents, for teaching me I can truly accomplish anything if I put my mind to it.
  2. My grandpa, for teaching me I can say anything as long as I say it with a smile.
  3. My high school chemistry teacher (the only person I knew believed in me when I was struggling as a teenager).
  4. Dennis Rodman, (from afar) shows how you don’t have to fit a particular mold to create an amazing career path.
  5. My manager at Pizza Hut, for showing me that leadership skills are not dictated by position but based on a combination of professional skills and your ability to find mutually beneficial solutions.

These types of mentors can come from anywhere and are what help each of us develop our own varying perspectives. Make sure to communicate to them how much they mean to you. Many of mine died before I truly manifested the lessons they taught me.

Professional Mentor (Paid to Advise)

An iPad with colored pens on a desk

There are people who act as professional mentors either in person or through online platforms. They are paid extremely well but can give amazing advice. Many of the people we interview offer consulting to help others rise above their challenges. 

This might not be the best place to start because the costs can add up quickly, but if you get good feedback and absorb their knowledge it can pay off quickly as you gain from their expertise. 

Business Mentor (Often Called a Business Coach or Consultant)

If you just need someone to direct you on the path forward, a business mentor, business coach, or consultant can help you. When you look for a potential mentor that fits into this category make sure to check their references.

A good mentor might be from the same industry as you or they might be specialized. For instance, you might need a mentor for technology resources, accounting, or human resources. Even a specialized mentor should have experience performing their tasks in your field to be considered a potential mentor.

These mentors differ from professional mentors in that they may not have a mentorship concept currently on their agenda, but if you connect with them, a mentor-mentee relationship may form.

Keep reading for information on what to look for in a mentorship relationship.

What to Look for in a Mentor

Experienced mentors are all over the place, but they are busy and their time is valuable. Some of the answers to the question, “What does a mentor do?” include:

  • They are in a good spot in their career.
  • They give constructive criticism in a way that you find palatable.
  • You have common ground upon which you can connect.
  • They have an existing network that is larger than yours. This may be a personal network, in a specific industry, or across a variety of industries depending on what you are hoping to learn.
  • They have the time, desire, and energy to teach you new skills.
  • You enjoy having a casual conversation with them.
  • They need a personal assistant, employee, or intern.

When we asked Mike what makes him qualified to be a mentor, he told us:

I’m not sure I’m qualified (in a self-deprecating manner), but the things I accomplished so far including mowing lawns to pay my way through college, getting my MBA, and Augusta Lawn Care has 34 (now 77 and growing) franchises

Check out this portion of our interview with Nic and Mike below.

How to Find a Prospective Mentor

Most blogs will tell you the process of finding mentors looks something like the one below:

  1. Identify your goals. 
  2. Reach out to potential mentors via email, letter, social media, or phone call (if you know them).
  3. Ask for an initial conversation to help you get to know the potential mentors.
  4. Schedule an in-person meeting or virtual coffee. 
  5. Discuss the industry, things you have in common, and goals.
  6. Ask the more experienced person to provide a mentorship once you’re sure they are the right mentor.
  7. Interact with them to ask for advice, keep them up to date with your career growth, and get feedback.

This approach might work best with family friends or when you are paying them. If you haven’t already built a relationship, they’ll probably ignore you though. So let’s set all of that aside and reimagine how to build a relationship with the right mentor.

Mike told us:

The first thing you have to do is ask and I don’t think that’s right. Absorb as much about them as possible from afar, then give first, ask later.

If we start with that, the process of finding mentors will look a little more like this:

  1. Identify your goals and who inspires you.
  2. Seek all the information you can about them. 
    1. Google them.
    2. Follow them on social media.
    3. Buy, and more importantly, read their book(s).
    4. Interact with their posts by asking relevant questions. 

This process may take a while, but you’ll be getting advice and guidance before ever meeting. If they are famous, you’ll probably want to accept that any guidance will be based on the knowledge they share with the world, but it never hurts to try to connect and build a deeper relationship.

Mike also told us:

The goal should be to figure out how to add value to the subject you want to be mentored by. They are typically extremely busy and are expensive to pay for their time. Just find a way to be close to them and you’ll learn from them.

When looking for a mentor, the next steps would be:

  1. Look for a job or industry meetup that would likely connect you with the person or persons of interest.
    1. For a job, look for one that would include directly reporting to the mentor you seek. Apply for it, and be prepared for the meeting. You have lots of knowledge. Use it. Be ready to show how you are a good candidate for the job.
    2. Industry meetups tend to have keynote speakers and they announce who they are in advance. Most keynote speakers share their expertise, make it a point to connect with the crowd afterward and share their email addresses. 
  2. Follow up. Thank them for their time. Ask them questions you didn’t get to ask them in the meeting. Hopefully, they give you some guidance and request another meeting.

At this point, you haven’t truly asked for any of their time. If they are the right person to provide your mentorship, they’ll be aware you are actually interested in developing a working relationship. If they do not seem interested, don’t press it. You’ll have other places to look at as well.

They might give you some feedback or constructive criticism. If they offer either, don’t take it personally. It’s just a different perspective and an opportunity to learn. Use that feedback to help you find a mentor.

If you get the job or receive a favorable response, that’s your time to shine. You’ll want to:

  1. Work on building the skills and achieving success using their advice.
  2. Reach out again when you achieve a goal using the advice you got from them.
  3. Thank them for the advice they gave you and share the impact it had.
    1. If you worked with them, it probably impacted both your careers and they might already be aware they are developing a mentorship.
    2. Either way, ask them if you can meet for lunch as a way to thank your mentor for their help

That’s the truth about how to get a mentor. It’s not just about asking for the privilege; it’s about adding value for both careers. We followed up with Nic in part 3 of the interviews and he offered some great information on Mike’s mentorship of him.

I actually met my goal back in August. I also hired my first employee. I’ve actually been investing more than I planned into growing the business to help it grow more.

Nic also told us that the mentorship continued with 30-minute coaching calls. He also said:

I also talk with a lot of the other franchisees to learn from each person’s perspective.

In regards to mentorship, Mika also told us:

I think franchising is kinda like a mentorship because the franchisor teaches you how to run the business their way. It is much stricter than a mentorship because you have to use their name, their colors, and their process, whereas a mentorship doesn’t control what you do.

Now that you understand the process to find a business mentor, let’s look at some of the resources available to find a good mentor both in person and virtually.

How to Find a Mentor for Adults

Adults will need to look for a potential mentor via some of the following resources:

  • Online
    • Facebook Business Groups
    • LinkedIn Groups
    • Twitter
    • Business Mentoring Sites and Apps
  • Work
  • Career Development Centers
  • Charity Work
  • Local Business Gatherings
  • Co-working Office Places
  • Think Tanks and Incubators

How to Find a Mentor Near Me

If you are looking for mentors near you, try the following options:

  • Limit Online Searches to Your Location
  • Work
  • Career Development Centers
  • Charity Work
  • Local Business Gatherings
  • Co-working Office Places
  • Think Tanks and Incubators

How to Find a Business Mentor

A business mentor can be found by looking in the following locations:

  • Online
    • Facebook Business Groups
    • LinkedIn Groups
    • Twitter
    • Business Mentoring Sites and Apps
  • Work
  • Career Development Centers
  • Charity Work
  • Local Business Gatherings
  • Co-working Office Places
  • Think Tanks and Incubators

How to Find a Real Estate Mentor

A man searching for a real estate mentor online

Some ways to find a mentor in the real estate industry include:

  • Go to continuous education courses.
  • Identify successful brokers in your town, and offer them a good deal to work under them and learn their ways.
  • Go to networking events and open houses to meet other real estate professionals.

How to Find a Mentor on LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is a social network. Be social and join groups in your industry. Follow business leaders that interest you. Ask questions on their posts. Join the groups they are in and allow for meaningful connections. Develop a relationship and build it into a mentoring relationship naturally.

Use a “Find a Mentor App” or “Find a Mentor Website”

There are a ton of mentoring apps and websites listed on TrustPilot. Most tend to be industry-specific though. 

Where Can I Find a Mentor for Free?

There’s no such thing as free. Everything costs time or money, but your best bet is family friends because they tend to already look at you favorably. Some call it nepotism, but it’s mostly people who like helping people they see as similar to themselves. You can try online, but that takes time.

How to Find a Mentor on Reddit

Reddit is a social network. You interact with people about subjects that interest you. Everyone in the group shares a common interest so you’ll eventually find people that you find insightful and can help advise you. 

Some tips for using Reddit include:

  1. Follow members that seem knowledgeable.
  2. Ask questions. 
  3. Develop relationships and watch them grow into mentorships organically.

How to Find a Mentor for a Teenager

A man searching for a mentor

If you are a teenager and you have made it this far, kudos to you for wanting to learn how to find a mentor! There are some unique advantages that teenagers have over the rest of us. You are still in school and typically have larger social networks. 

Some of the unique opportunities for teenagers to find mentors are:

  • Teachers, professors, and other educators
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Guest presenters at colleges
  • Coaches
  • Youth activity leaders

Developing the Mentorship

Now that you know where to find a mentor, try this approach to develop the relationship:

  1. Identify your goals and who inspires you.
  2. Seek all the information you can about them. 
  3. Find a way to meet when they are a keynote speaker or apply for a job that reports to them.
  4. Follow up, thank them for their time, and ask questions.
  5. When you achieve a goal using the advice you got from them, reach out again.
  6. Thank them for the advice they gave you and share the impact it had.
  7. Offer to assist them or take them to lunch.

Mentoring Relationships Have Several Benefits for the Mentor Too!

Now that you know how to find a mentor for business, I should point out that finding a mentor can benefit the person who is guiding you as well as yourself. Some of the reasons someone might want to be a mentor include:

  • Helping others that are struggling
  • Building a legacy
  • Filling time in retirement
  • Building a team to help achieve more than they can achieve on their own

Go Forth and Become Titans of Industry

Image of successful entrepreneurs

A relationship where someone helps you navigate the challenges of the world can be an immensely rewarding relationship. When you find it, make sure to cherish your mentors for all that they do. 

We are working on creating a section of the site to help people share their ideas, and seek mentors or mentees. Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to get updates on the services offered.

Hopefully, these insights will help you to achieve your career goals. I want to try to do something different below. Let’s make this comment section a way to honor those who have touched our lives. Who have been the most positive influences for you?

Join The Discussion

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2 thoughts on “How to Find a Mentor in 7 Steps (2024)”

  • Marijanne

    Looking for a business mentor how do I find one??

    • Brandon Boushy

      I would recommend starting with one of the links in the blog that connect mentors and mentees, alternatively go to networking events and see if you meet someone in your field that inspires you. Then interact with them to develop a natural relationship.


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