A while back I read a column by Alexa Von Tobel, founder of LearnVest, in Inc. Magazine about why you need more than just one mentor. The column about finding multiple mentors has always stuck with me. Her thought is that many mentors serve as your board of directors, providing the diverse perspectives you need to succeed.
Running a family, business or progressing in a career can often feel very lonely. Having a list of people to turn to is not only amazing for growth and development, but creates a feeling of support and security that we often need.
Here’s what I find pretty fascinating: the power of writing those people down in a list. Without the list, these are certainly people you may go to with a question or look up to. But writing it down formalizes it in a weird way, making it more legit, even if those relationships remain pretty casual.
So, do I have a list mentors? I have a husband, a best friend, my entrepreneurial peers and my clients, but a mentor who would be really honest with me about my business or my professional skills? In reality, I likely do. But, it takes intentionally thinking it through and writing it down to solidify them as my mentors.
Myriad types of mentors
I sat down and thought about the type of mentors I think would help me so that I can start to narrow down who I’d want to ask for help, and am sharing my wish list of sorts in case it helps you brainstorm your own.
- A Client or Customer: For me this means a communications or marketing director or business owner who can give me the perspective of the person I’m trying to serve.
- A Solo Entrepreneur: I want to learn from someone who started their business from the ground up and has seen success, particularly someone who provides services and didn’t have a team to support him or her.
- A Bad Ass Business Person: I don’t really care what business they’re in, but I’d love to just learn from someone who has great instincts and knows what it takes to succeed.
- A Working Mom: Blending work and kids and life is tough and always top of mind, so having someone who has figured out more than me on this front, and has kids older than mine would be like finding solid gold.
- A Writer: Talking to writers (any kind of writer) is so inspiring. I think that speaking to a writer more regularly would allow me to get back to the basics, and learn about books, resources and authors I may not know.
Wish me luck as start solidifying a list of mentors I can reach out to with questions. Do you have mentors? One or a whole list?