Someone to Watch Over Me

Three Strikes . . . Well, You Know

Linda Phillips-Jones, president of The Mentoring Group, offers a few important "don'ts" in building a successful mentoring relationship.

1. DON'T be desperate or apologetic in seeking help. If you seem needy or oversell yourself, a prospective mentor will probably think you're too big a risk.

2. DON'T give up easily. Some mentors are impressed by prospective mentees who are persistent. It demonstrates both their self-confidence and commitment.

3. DON'T wait too long after your prospective coach shows early signs of interest. Get the help you need before he or she commits to something or someone else.

Next Step

  • Virtually every city in the United States offers mentoring programs--all you have to do is look around. Start by making inquiries at your local chamber of commerce. Many churches, synagogues and fraternal organizations offer mentoring opportunities; college alumni organizations often pair start-up entrepreneurs with graduates running successful businesses. Professional and trade organizations, conferences, trade shows and conventions also provide opportunities to connect with potential mentors.

Bob Weinstein is the author of 10 books and is a frequent contributor to national magazines.

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This article was originally published in the May 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Someone to Watch Over Me.

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