It's never too early or too late to find a mentor in your life. Whether it's a teacher, coach, boss, family member or friend, finding a mentor doesn't need to be difficult.
Executive coaches and couple Jason and Jodi Womack recommend you ask yourself these two simple questions: "What do I want to be known for?" and "Who do I know that has something to teach me about that?"
In their co-authored book, "Get Momentum," the Womacks define a mentor as someone who currently has the experience that you are looking to gain and who is willing to teach you what they know, either in person or through the work they have produced.
This should ideally be "a person with more experience in business or in life who can help you hone your abilities and skills while helping you prepare for new opportunities."
Clarifying what mentoring means, they explain, helps you gain momentum on your projects, your career and your life.
"You'll benefit from regularly meeting with people who are willing to help you through their experience in both professional and personal ways," they write.
Here are three ways having a mentor benefits you in your personal and career growth.
The Womacks note that it's often worth taking a step back and getting out of your own head.
"Sometimes we think we have it especially tough, and we forget to recognize that other people have had challenges as well," they write.
Having a mentor can give you insight on how you should react in certain times of hardship. Knowing that your mentor also went through challenging times can help you recommit to the work you need to do, the Womacks note.
"By reading about other people you'll see that they also had to deal with difficulty and challenge," they write. "Knowing how hard someone else worked to achieve their goals or dreams gives you an extra boost of confidence and resolve to stick with it a little bit longer."
There are times when you will need a different perspective to improve productivity and performance, the Womacks write.
"If you can meet with someone who can give you ideas on how to be more organized and more productive," the Womacks write, "you'll be able to get around working on that project that's stuck!"
Mentors can introduce you to smart people who you might not have had access to otherwise, the Womacks add. "When seeking a new mentor, we find it's often just as (or more) important to have shared values than a shared industry background."
Once you find those people, get on their schedule and invite them to coffee or lunch. "Think about the people you know whom you could meet who model what you need to do," the Womacks write. "Find (and spend time) with the people who can show you how you need to be and what you need to do in order to achieve your goals."
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