9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Finding a Mentor | Millennial Entrepreneur Magazine

9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Finding a Mentor (According to Mentors)

9 Questions to Ask- Finding a Mentor

Every entrepreneur hears lots of advice about why you should get a mentor or how to find a mentor. I mean, come on, free, personalized help and attention, to help you achieve your goals faster? Who doesn’t want that?

But mentors are sought out for a reason. They’re busy high-achievers. This means that you may only get one chance to ask someone to mentor you, so you’d better be ready.

I asked several entrepreneurs for the #1 question they wish potential mentees would ask themselves before asking entrepreneurs to mentor them. Use these questions to make the most of the time you have with mentors like these.

9 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Finding a Mentor

I asked entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries to reflect on what THEY wish mentees would ask themselves before finding a mentorTheir responses fell into 5 overarching questions:

  1. Am I ready and able to commit to taking consistent action?
  2. How can I create a two-way relationship?
  3. What are my goals and expectations?
  4. Is this the right mentor?
  5. Am I being respectful?

Below, each entrepreneur shares their specific questions to help you prepare for the best mentoring relationship possible.

1. “Am I positioned with my life to take the kind of measurable actions my potential mentor may ask of me?”

William Kelley, Master Life Strategist and Personal Coach at William Kelley Coaching

William says this is an important question, “Because mentors get ‘paid back’ for their time investment in mentees, by seeing the mentees taking action and succeeding.”

He also suggests you ask:

  • “How can I find a way to express my enthusiasm for working with this potential mentor?”
  • “What can I ask my potential mentor to counsel me on in my initial contact with him/her which is not something they are selling to others or that they have already published?”
  • “Have I taken the time to really follow and research my potential mentor so that when I approach them, I sound truly interested in THEM?”
  • “What are my value propositions for asking a potential mentor to engage with me….in other words, how will them helping me, help their causes and mission?”

2. “Are [you] truly dedicated to growth and have the commitment to do what is necessary to grow?”

Jeff J Hunter, The King of Outsourcing at 9010 Life | VA Staffer

He also suggests you ask:

  • “What do [you] want to achieve?”
  • “Does the mentor have a track record of success in that specific areas? Not just say, but do”

Creating a Meaningful Mentorship

3. “How can I create a meaningful interaction?”

Taylor Jacobson, productivity entrepreneur and creator of Focusmate

“The concept of a mentor is broken,” says Taylor. When we say ‘mentor,’ I think we subconsciously imagine that someone will meet us, decide we are special, and take us under their wing to guide us along the right path. That’s wrong.”

“Mentors invest in us because they find the relationship rewarding too. It’s better to think of mentorship like a kind of friendship; it begins with one positive interaction, and blossoms as each party derives value and pleasure. If you think someone could be a valuable mentor, focus on creating that first positive interaction. If that goes well, you’ll earn the opportunity to create another, and another, until you’ve built a genuine relationship.”

4. “Why are you looking for a mentor?”

Jaime Pfeffer, success coach and author at Jaime Pfeffer, LLC

She also suggests you ask:

  • “How much time are you requesting from the mentor?”
  • “Does this person have something I want to emulate?”
  • “What do I want to get out of this?”
  • “How can I bring something to the relationship too?”

5. Are you “willing to be committed and consistently consistent”?

Rachel Hill, Content Creator and Travel Influencer at Jetlag Flight Alerts

“In a society in which social media creates this ‘glittery picture,’” she says, “it’s important to know and understand if you’re willing to do what it takes to get to the other side.”

She also suggests you ask:

  • “What type of capacity [do you] need insights, accountability, and encouragement in?”

“Mentors are great,” says Rachel, “but it’s important to reach out to those who can really help you move the needle in an area where you are challenged.”

6. “Am I 100% committed to the hard work and dedication it will take to succeed?” and “How can I help this person that I wants to be my mentor?”

Josh Reif, Sales and Marketing Expert, Founder of Digital Skills For Entrepreneurs

He says these are the only two questions you’ll need to find a mentor. “Not everyone is willing to put in the work it takes and almost no one asks the second question. You need to be able to answer both.”

Finding a Mentorship

7. What are your goals, “in a clearly defined fashion”?

Kristin Addis, CEO of Be My Travel Muse

“Nobody wants to be asked if they can go to coffee to have their brain picked.”

Kristin also says, “A great mentor will be someone who asks you questions rather than gives you hard answers. They should help you think about the questions you should be asking yourself. I think someone with a very strong opinion who tells you what you should and should not do is not ideal, but rather someone who helps you think outside the box, and focus on ideas that maybe you hadn’t thought of yourself.”

8. “Am I mentally and physically ready for a mentor?”

Josh Mitchell, owner of Wickid Pissa Publicity

“In order for mentees to be successful,” Josh says, “they need to be prepared for hard work. The biggest mistake people make is they assume they are in a position to be mentored but, in reality, they have too many other distractions in their life that prohibits them from fully committing to the process.”

He also suggests you ask:

  • “What are my distinct goals and objectives from my mentor?”

9. “Are [you] ready to be mentored?”

Noelle Andressen, Dancer/Choreographer at Rubans Rouges Dance

She explains that “if [mentees] have not actually considered if they are ready to listen, learn, be molded, and be dedicated to what I have to offer them, they may be wasting both our time. If they can’t or don’t trust that I have their best interest in mind, if they’re not ready to take my guidance, then they’re not ready to be mentored.”

She also suggests you ask:

  • “Do our personalities mesh?”

“If mentor and mentee are always butting heads it can be challenging to get work done,” Noelle says. “If the mentee and mentor aren’t willing to consider that, no matter how much they may like each other, they may not be a good fit on this level of relationship.”

Top Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Find a Mentor

A good mentoring relationship pushes you toward your goals, but you need to do the work, both while being mentored, and before. Do the preparation and show your mentor you’re ambitious and self-motivated, getting and giving the most benefit possible.

If you want more ideas for questions you should ask yourself, reach out to previous mentors and ask for feedback. What questions would they have appreciated you asking yourself, before asking them to mentor you?

Do you have a mentor? How did you prepare to make the most of that relationship? Leave a comment below.

9 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Finding a Mentor

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