Close to home mentors are the easiest way to begin the teacher/student relationship.
There’s probably someone in your area who does what you wish to do for a living and they’d be willing to help you learn.
Or they’re someone with whom you are comfortable enough to start sharing your desires and goals and they have accomplished a bit more in life than you, at the moment.
Whichever, these people are known to you and they are approachable
When you’re first starting out with a new idea or vision, look for someone in your day-to-day physical world (not Internet) with whom to share your dreams and vision.
Doesn’t matter if they’re in business or not. You’re just looking for a safe starting point.
That person, just by supporting you, is your first mentor.
They may not be where you wish to be but their support of you is your first lesson in mentoring – how to get something of value from every interaction.
Suffice to say, this trusting soul is enabling you to make your first step into your new life as a leader.
And people like this are normally found right in your close circle of contacts.
By virtue of going after a better life, you will face resistance from those who want you to stay the same or who judge you on your past and will put you down for trying.
They may even be loved-ones and friends. Just how it goes. Be careful.
You might also find someone that you can trust in this fashion, who actually is where you’d like to be as a business owner or leader of your chosen field.
If so, you’ll have hit the jackpot.
Your job is to now make yourself useful to that person to the point of martyrdom
(At least temporarily. The martyrdom bit, I mean.)
You need them. They don’t need you. Not in even proportions, anyhow.
Maybe they do but let’s assume for now that they don’t.
That person has succeeded in an area you have yet to master.
They exist in a realm of deadlines, meetings, being the boss, answering to vendors, searching for resources, networking, and many more responsibilities that make their time extremely valuable.
You don’t want to show up and suck their time without giving something of value, in return
What I’m referring to here, is apprenticeship.
In some cases, you really will be an apprentice to a master. Yay! You made it.
Do whatever that person tells you to do if you want what they have.
In most cases, it’s more of a principle thing.
You need their help but truly can’t afford to pay them what they’re worth. Not in cash.
But you can give them value in your effort, your time, and your support, in whatever form that takes.
Remember, they were once where you are now. They’ll appreciate that you’re giving your all and that you don’t expect something for nothing.
You will have proven that you are worth their time
And time is the most expensive resource anybody has. Even yours. Never forget that.
Strong and wise leaders guard their time like it was their child. They protect it at all costs.
That’s one of the biggest reasons that they’re successful.
Time is money.
The sooner you understand what this really means, the sooner your dreams will become reality.
So, find that person in your hometown, or nearby, and find a way to be useful to him or her.
Even if all they give you is a piece of the puzzle, that’s more than you had before you began.
Every mentor you work with gives you something to help you grow, even when it doesn’t seem so.
Nothing left to do now but go be the good student
Find your leader and allow yourself to be led. Then track your own growth.
Check in with your internal compass every now and then to make sure you’re still headed where you wish to go. (That’s an important one.)
Journal about the experience. This will hone the happening of it all into a richer, smarter, and more productive experience.
And be sure to never take what you’re learning for granted.
ALWAYS respect your mentor’s time!
They’ll respect you more for doing so and they’ll end up giving you more of their time than you’d have hoped.
You will have proven your worth to them and they will not be looking at you the way they did when your first reached out to them.
You’ll know when this happens and it feels awesome. Trust me. 😉
The photographer of this post’s featured photo: Jacob Culp