One of the biggest mistakes I see artists and business owners make is that so many of us try and do things all on our own.
There is a fear and scarcity mentality that stops us for reaching out for help, makes us nervous to share our great ideas, and creates a resistance to feedback and outside perspectives on our work and genius.
Yet, it’s been proven time and time again that one of the best ways to get further faster in your business, your life, your health, anything really, is to find someone who has what you want and model aspects of what you are doing after them. Asking them to share their stories, their mistakes, their triumphs- so that you can learn from them and act accordingly.
This tactic has helped me catapult forward time and time again, from places of being stuck and paralyzed with doubt and fear to being totally in the flow and worry-free.
Sometimes I’ve paid for mentoring, and sometimes it has been given to me– and every single time, it has been worthwhile.
So how do you find a mentor?
There are lots of ways, and here are a few important ones to keep in mind-
1. Know who you are and what you stand for, and find a mentor who does the same.
This is key.
If you aren’t sure yet, seek out someone who’s business or art you admire and start there.
If you know your values and your point of view, seek out someone in alignment with those values and with a similar way of life and business that you desire. They don’t have to do the exact same thing as you, but it is super important that their worldview meshes with yours in an ooey-gooey delightful sort of way.
Not sure where to start looking?
What blogs do you read?
What artists and creators do you gravitate toward?
Who’s products have you bought?
Who in your own life has inspired you in some way?
2. Ask with gratitude and no strings attached
When you reach out to somebody, it’s super important to be respectful of their time as well as wherever they are at in their life.
People love to know they’ve made a difference- tell them WHY they inspire you so much.
As well, give them an easy out-
“It would be really great to be able to chat with you for a few minutes about X aspect of your biz/life/experience, and I’d love to set up a time! I also totally get that you have a lot going on, so no worries if that’s not possible right now.”
And always thank them about six more times!
Regardless of the outcome, the answer will always be no if you don’t ask.
3. Be willing to make an investment
Chances are, the person you seek mentorship with has a whole lot on their plate, and they have done a lot of work to get to where they are.
In asking them to share their experiences, you are gaining major insight and taking huge shortcuts.
What is that worth to you?
To a certain extent, a lot of people will be willing to give some sort of help/advice/point in the right direction free of charge.
It’s important to be clear on how much you are asking for, and the amazing value you will receive from the answers.
Whether it is straight up trading them the cash money for their time, buying one of their products or doing some coaching with them, or maybe you have a specific skill you can offer to trade- if you really want to know their personal experiences and have access to their expertise, be ready to give something in return!
Know that reaching out is not a sign of weakness.
To me, it is actually both on one of the strongest and healthiest things you can do for yourself.
Deep down, we all crave connection, and one the best ways to do that is to create your own support system that will help guide you through and allow you to play a whole lot bigger a whole lot faster.
“I’ve been blessed to find people who are smarter than I am, and they help me to execute the vision I have.” ~ Russell Simmons
Day 9 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge asks, “Whose online business do you admire most, and why?”
There are a lot of online businesses I admire, and a lot that frankly, I don’t.
The first person who popped into my head is Rebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life.
You can read all about her over on her site (and you totally should!), and what I absolutely adore about her is she decided to make her business a reality and went ahead and did it- put herself out there, set up shop, knew who she was, and opened for business- imperfectly, maybe a bit haphazardly, but definitely wholeheartedly.
She didn’t wait for everything to be in place perfectly before providing a way for people to pay her.
She decided to work her ass off so she could play and have FUN on her own terms, then did it.
She has never once claimed to have all the answers, and is incredibly transparent in the way she runs her business.
When she’s having a shitty day, she tells her Facebook followers.
When she doesn’t know what to write about, she asks her audience what they want to hear.
When she decides to create a product, she goes from idea to completion sometimes in less than 72 hours.
AND she is a freaking BLAST to work with. (Disclaimer: She was my coach for awhile and I loved every minute of our work together.)
Becca doesn’t follow any one specific formula- she just works and creates and interacts and plays and sometimes has bad days. If it isn’t fun and easy and good feeling, she says to hell with it.
She is continually shifting and re-aligning to hone in on who she works with best, and how she can stay energized and excited about what she is doing, while still remaining incredibly true to her brand and her integrity.
That’s a business and a person I can get behind.
Who do you admire? I encourage you to reach out to them. Even if it’s just to say thank you.