3 Tips For Finding a Mentor

3 Tips For Finding a Mentor
Image credit: Shutterstock
2 min read

This story appears in the May 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Mentors are an invaluable resource -- both in business and in life. Yet, it can be hard to know how to begin that relationship, and how to foster it. The tips below should help.

1. Be useful to them, too.

The Entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt, CEO of WhipClip, former founder of Demand Media, Intermix
The Mentor Gordon Crawford, media investor

 “A mutual friend introduced us, and so I went to his office and pitched him on my company at the time, Intermix. Gordy was an expert in media, but not tech and internet media, so I brought him up to speed and introduced him to dozens of important entrepreneurs. We became friends -- and because he was more experienced building large media companies, I turned to him when I faced challenges and needed advice.”

2. Don’t pick the obvious choice.

The Entrepreneur Jeff Kushmerek, VP of professional services at Virgin Pulse
The Mentor Diane Gordon, SVP of customer care at Brainshark

 “Many people seek out the most successful person they can -- but that’s a mistake. The best mentors are not loud, outspoken and quote-ready. They’re those who gain respect among peers -- because if they’ve helped others, they might just help you. That’s how I connected with Diane: We used to work together, and I admired how she made others feel comfortable.”

3. Make it natural.

The Entrepreneur Jen Mojo, founder of Paper Dolls
The Mentor JB Williams, marketing for Docusign, Microsoft, Starbucks

 “We had a joint project, and I was as vested in his success as he was in mine. During that time, he became a trusted sounding board and was always asking me to be clear about what I wanted out of our individual conversations. There was no feeling of hierarchy or talk of an actual mentorship. We built the relationship naturally and unofficially.”

More from our advice package:

The Power of Good Advice

loading...

More from Entrepreneur

We created the Start Your Own Business (SYOB) course to help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey. You will learn everything you need to know about testing the viability of your idea, writing a business plan, raising funds, and opening for business.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.

Latest on Entrepreneur