How to find a mentor that can 10x your potential

Ramit may have doubled his business over the years, but he didn’t get there alone. He’s not ashamed to admit that he sought out a trusted advisor, which helped him make $100,000 in one month. Yep, you read that right.

Wondering how to find a mentor and see results like this for yourself? For Ramit, it all started when he bought a book by Jay Abraham called Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got. This inspired him to buy a seat in a program Abraham was launching for small business owners. Each month for 15 months, Ramit flew from NYC to LA to not only learn from his hero but to surround himself with a community of like-minded, inspired entrepreneurs. This year+ changed the course of his career and launched him towards great success. 

Amazing stuff, right? Ramit realized the benefits of working with a mentor were:

  • Firm but friendly advice on how to advance in your career or business
  • Accountability, a mentor will help you stick to your business or career goals 
  • Fresh ideas and a sounding board to test out your own
  • Career coaching to help you advance down your dream career path
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  • mentor and mentee working together in a coffee shopNo matter if you’re 20 years in or just starting out, everyone can benefit from the advice of someone who’s done it before. 

How to find a mentor that’s right for you

Ready to get started? Here are some top tips for seeking a mentor if you don’t already have someone in mind.

Find that special someone you admire

Finding a mentor is unsurprisingly all about choosing the right person. If you don’t already have a dream mentor in mind, there are a few exercises you can do to find that special someone. 

  • What do you want to be like in 10 years? Time for some daydreaming. Imagine your life in 10 years, what does it look like? Who do you want to be like?
  • Identify what you want in a mentor. Do you want someone you feel comfortable with or would you prefer someone who says it how it is? Are you looking for someone who has overcome the challenges you’re facing right now? 
  • Make a list of people you know or admire and check who meets all your criteria. Your dream mentor doesn’t have to be someone you know personally. It could be someone on social media or an author of your favorite business book.

Learn everything you can about them

Once you’ve made your choice, it’s time to learn everything about this person you can. Preferably in a non-creeper way. You don’t need to know how they take their coffee but you should read up on their background. Learn about their experience, how they got where they are and the reasons behind their success. 

This will put you in a great position to approach them because the information you learn here will be crucial to succeeding in the next step.

Approach your dream mentor 

How you approach your dream mentor is all about first impressions. First off, let’s take a look at what you shouldn’t do. 

The most common reasons people get rejected when they ask someone to be a mentor is because:

  • They come off as desperate or weird
  • They’re arrogant and irritating
  • They’re lazy and haven’t done their research

The chances are the person you’re asking is busy all the time. That means you need to work hard to get their attention, not waste their time and show you’ve done your research. If you ask vague or bland questions, you’re probably not going to get a response. 

The simplest and easiest way to get in touch with a potential mentor is through email. Here are three simple steps to approach your mentor and get them to say “yes!” 

Step 1: Focus on them 

You’re trying to get their attention in a sea of thousands of emails. Make sure your opening is punchy, to the point, and of course, about them. 

You can do this in a lot of ways but Ramit’s 1-2-3 Choice Technique is a simple way to introduce yourself. It goes a little like this:

“Hi [mentor’s name], I loved your [talk at X/your blog/book] and really liked the part where you said XYZ. I’m trying it out but I’m stuck on something. I have 3 options to try out next:

  • Choice 1
  • Choice 2
  • Choice 3

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think I should do next.”

This achieves several things. It shows you’ve done your research, you’re already putting their advice into practice, you value their opinion and want more of their advice. 

Best of all from the mentor’s side is they just have to do one simple thing pick one choice and explain why. A direct question like this will have a much better response rate and leaves a great first impression. 

Step 2: Make them interested in you

The next step is to spin it around to you. Why are you interesting? What skills do you have? What’s your background? 

When you email your mentor, don’t leave it generic. Be specific, be engaging. When you tell them what you do, give examples or even samples of your work. Don’t say “I’m great at writing sales emails.” Instead say, “I’ve helped [company] increase their email list by X in three months.” That second line is much harder to ignore. It’s direct, it’s specific, and it shows your value instantly.

If you can tie this into something relevant to the mentor’s business or current needs, even better. What the mentor wants to know is who are you and how do you make their life easier? What’s in it for them?

Step 3: Give them an offer they can’t refuse

You’ll want to make whatever you’re asking for easy to say yes to. So, what can you offer? 

It could be offering to do some work for free in exchange for advice. If you can help your mentor out on a side project they just don’t have time for, it becomes easy for them to say yes. 

Just as a side note, if this all seems like an overwhelming amount of information to throw at a potential mentor, don’t worry. You don’t have to pile your life story into one golden email. If, in Step 1 or 2 you can prompt the mentor to give a response, you can then follow up with Step 3 if that feels more natural.

Be the best mentee

If your potential mentor agrees to work with you, congratulations! You just tapped into one of the best keys to professional growth you can get. But the work doesn’t stop there. You still need to make sure you’re a good mentee. 

The mentor-mentee relationship is all about give and take. Make sure you listen and more importantly, put their advice to action. A good mentor will hold you accountable and push you to succeed, so don’t waste their time. This will be key to a good long-term mentoring relationship that works for both of you. 

Now that you know how to find a mentor, go on … find your Mr. Miyagi, your Dumbledore, your Yoda. Ramit did and now look at him.

Having a skilled mentor can get you closer to living your Rich Life.

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Written by

Host of Netflix's "How to Get Rich", NYT Bestselling Author & host of the hit I Will Teach You To Be Rich Podcast. For over 20 years, Ramit has been sharing proven strategies to help people like you take control of their money and live a Rich Life.