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The Secret to Finding a Great Mentor: Don't Ask to Be Mentored Many entrepreneurs think of mentorship all wrong. And that means they're missing the great mentors in front of them.

By Jason Feifer

This story appears in the July 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Nigel Parry

"Will you be my mentor?" When I became editor in chief, I was unprepared for how often I'd be asked this question. It came from a teenager at a business conference, who waited around to talk with me until everyone else had left. From a first-time entrepreneur through an Instagram DM. From a podcast host, after an interview. From a startup founder, after I put her in the magazine. It happens every few weeks now, and I'm not alone in this. Many successful entrepreneurs tell me it happens to them, too.

Related: 7 Reasons You Need a Mentor for Entrepreneurial Success

We almost always say no, for reasons I'll explain below. But it doesn't have to be this way. The question these people are asking is, I think, a symptom of a larger problem: Many entrepreneurs misunderstand what it means to have a mentor.

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