Something extraordinary happens when a group of students graduate from their course. Take personal trainers as an example…
Some trainers book out quickly, impact a lot of lives, make a name for themselves and possibly even open their own facility within a few short years.
Others get promoted to work for amazing companies within the industry. For these trainers, it seems amazing opportunities just land on their plate.
Yet for other trainers, they struggle. They never seem to get ahead. They barely manage to pay the bills, their knowledge doesn’t grow, and they’re left scratching their heads as they watch the high-achievers zoom past them.
It’s easy to write the high-achievers off as “lucky”. But in reality, there’s something much more obvious when you peel back the veil.
Do you want to know what they did?
They found a mentor.
Why Mentorship Works
If you study the high achievers in any field, you will see they often served an apprenticeship under a mentor.
Ryan Holiday was mentored by Robert Greene, as he rose to the Director of Marketing for American Apparel before he finished college.
Tim Ferris was mentored by Jack Canfield, who helped him to write the New York Times bestseller, The Four Hour Work Week.
The list goes on and on.
A mentor will help you to grow, and will steer you away from mistakes. Often times they will see these mistakes before you even make them.
And the good news is this: all of you can find a mentor within your grasp. They’re really not that hard to get to. Here are 5 steps to finding and working with a mentor.
5 Ways To Find A Mentor
#1 – Identify who you would like to learn from.
This isn’t going to be a highflying celebrity. Rather it will be someone just a few steps ahead of you.
If you’re new to the fitness industry, perhaps it’s the trainer at your gym with decade of experience, and always seems busy. If you’re an experienced trainer, perhaps it’s the owner of the gym who has the lifestyle you desire.
It may even be an online expert who lives on the other side of the country, who you may have read about or heard on a podcast. Once you select a few people you can reach out to, move on to step 2.
#2 – Start small.
Ask someone you can learn from a question that will actually help you. Wait for an answer, and take it from there. Be gradual. [Would you have a beginner client perform double body weight back squats in their first month? Exactly.]
Chances are if you’re asking a complete stranger over email to give you hours of their time and demand it’s called a “mentorship,” you’re going to be very disappointed.
#3 – Be realistic.
Elon Musk is not going to mentor you. Sorry.
Neither will Zucks, or Branson. Seeking a mentor is not an area where I encourage you to go big straight off the bat. Work your way up.
#4 – Master the approach.
You have to play your cards correctly to find the right way to approach your mentor.
Go with a giving hand.
Respect their time.
Don’t be obsequious.
Remember they were once young, too. They know what it’s like starting out.
#5 – Invest.
Some mentors will gladly help you over phone, email or in person for free. Over months and years, they will offer pearls of wisdom for you.
Others you may have to invest in their program to receive their mentorship. I’ve had to spend some hard-earned to receive mentoring, whilst others have been for no monetary investment [I say monetary, as I had to invest time and energy instead of cash.]
This will depend on your situation but if the timing is right, be prepared to invest in your own education.
#6 – Bring something to the table.
If you don’t have massive amounts of knowledge, bring energy. Bring passion! Bring a hunger they’ve never seen before.
You could bring knowledge, by forwarding them some articles and books on a topic that they recently blogged about, or you saw them tweet.
Put yourself in their shoes and ask, “How can I make their job or their life easier?”
Be polite. Be sincere. Be coachable. And work your way up slowly. If someone is generous enough to dedicate their time, let them know how it impacted you.
Mentors can come in many forms. And what most people don’t realise is that successful people are almost always willing to lend a hand.
The difficult part is in knowing where you want to be in the next two or three years, finding someone who is a few steps ahead of you now, and then mastering the approach.