The 3 Things You Need to Consider Before Meeting a Mentor

Mentors and advisors are busy folks. Make sure you are prepared by answering these three questions.

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By Jason Womack

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As the new year is in full swing, many entrepreneurs have big plans for 2014 -- hoping to eclipse goals from last year. One way to make sure you are on the right track is to meet with a mentor. But for these meetings to be a success be sure to meet on a regular basis (at least once a month).

Before I delve into what the meeting should entail, it is important to seek out the correct mentors.

You may have heard your net worth is closely connected to your network. Ready for a great activity? Think about the past 72 hours and write out a list of the people you've spent considerable time with. (By considerable, I'm thinking more than an hour in conversation.)

Related: How to Score an Advisor When Your Startup Has No Money

Next, think about the direction you're going in the next six-to-12 months. Would you want to talk with any of those people about one of the goals you've set or one of the problems you're facing? Or do you know that you're going to have to "add" a new person to that circle of influence?

Either way, email or message someone and set up a time to meet this week. It could be a quick coffee, lunch meeting or for a glass of wine. Explain to your mentor the direction you're heading and ask for the help you need. But before you delve into discussions, there are three prompts to think through before the meeting:

1. What is one of your specific goals for 2014? Those in our network know us, accept us and love us. The danger is when we do get together, it's often easy to talk a little about everything. Don't do that. Tell them what you'd like to discuss and get to a point of clarity with one of the goals you have for the rest of the year.

Related: How to Be an Effective Mentor

2. What do you feel is in your way of achieving it? While you're having the goal discussion, you'll recognize certain hurdles are in the way, while other things will be along the way. Don't confuse them. An apparent roadblock may indeed be a milestone. A problem may be a pivot point. By acknowledging what you think and feel is in your way, you can change and reset your perspective.

3. What is the specific help you need to achieve that goal? Only answer this question after you've done the work of going through the first two. People love to help, they're just wary of being asked. By doing the work of answering all these questions, you put yourself in a position of proactive power.

Keep reviewing and revising the answers to those questions over time. You'll do more than just think about the goal, you'll recognize the effort needed and plan for the support to achieve that success.

Related: 5 Mentors Every Entrepreneur Should Have

Jason Womack


Jason W. Womack is the CEO of The Womack Company, an international training firm that helps busy professionals be more productive through coaching and consulting. He is co-founder of the Get Momentum Leadership Academy, author of Your Best Just Got Better (Wiley, 2012) and co-author with his wife, Jodi Womack, of Get Momentum: How To Start When You’re Stuck (Wiley, 2016). Since 2000 he has coached leaders across industries and trained them in the art of increasing their workplace productivity and achieving personal happiness.


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