How to Find The Right Mentors
Good Mentors are Out There
Finding a good mentor is difficult. People say it all the time, you should find someone to mentor you.
But I came to realize that maintaining a good-sustainable mentorship usually comes from mentors who didn’t even know I exist. Friendship is very different from mentorship. While people often criticize our generation for lesser face to face interactions, the digital community can make up for that. Good mentors share a world of knowledge that is accessible and free-for-all on the internet.
True mentors don’t shy away from over-sharing free content rather than receiving praise or payments. Some industry leaders are out there, and as I mentioned, I’ve never met them before in real life or contacted them directly, but they shaped my way of thinking and how I operated in my career.
Good mentors are the starting points for us new folks in industries. They are real indicators that this certain craft has been mastered before. Sharing in-depth knowledge and wisdom that is passed on to help those who want to brush up on skills and mobilize in their fields.
Good mentors carry weight and hold truth to their stories, they pave the way for incoming talent and share with their audience how they failed at times and how they flourished.
Good mentors keep facts straight and don’t gloss over success. They don’t wait for thanks or acknowledgements. They show it as it is and make sure that the audience understands where they’re coming from.
Good mentors across multi-discipline areas have helped me move ahead every step of the way in my career and life. Some share personal development routines and how they manage their days. Others who come from Computer Science fields share code, user interface design, or how they used tools to build features, and again, all of this content is for free. Good mentors are the adding blocks to society by encouraging growth and adding fresh ideas to younger generations.
How Can I Find a Mentor?
The great thing about finding someone online who you can relate to on a personal or professional level, is knowing that you can follow their growth as you witness your own personal transformation.
A good online mentor can be someone who stands out to you from others amidst the clutter and overflow of information online.
Good mentorship develops from watching the same person online over and over again. By maintaining consistency, every time you have a question or want to watch a video to demo a tool or a feature related to your field, you watch this person. You follow them religiously, you never miss their daily posts, stories of struggles, conversations with others, and overall quality of shared content.
Think about the top three people you hang out with online, you consume their content and follow their live streams on Instagram and Facebook, follow up with questions and buy their latest books.
If you have more than five people, try to reduce this number to allow yourself some mental clarity and to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Allocate time to read their material once a week or carve out some time throughout your day. Try to avoid falling into the pit of over-consuming content without actually producing.
If you live in a big city where walking and public transportation are the norm, then maybe you can find local meetups and gatherings to attend and cast your net. Setting meetings in-person can be very stressful to a lot of people, including myself. Meeting someone face-to-face is less likely to take place, so be absolutely sure of your plan ahead of time.
Think about what questions you want to ask this person and send them to him or her prior to the meeting. Are you joining their team or interested in a similar company? Are you trying to retrieve information for a specific role they had previously? Think of your why before reaching out to these folks who are surely busy and use their time wisely.
The most important thing, is to send meeting requests to more than one person if you can. Tailor each message to their interest and based on how they match your needs. Try to keep your intro as professional as you can, remember you’re not making a new friend, both you and this mentor probably have enough friends to hang out with over the course of a full year.
So find your why, figure out what you’re going to get out of this meeting, try to limit the meeting between 30 to 35 minutes, ask if you can meet this person at their office or a company campus, since it’s less awkward to figure out who pays for coffee/tea/food. You might not hear back from your requests and that is totally normal, don’t feel discouraged, keep on personalizing your messages and send out some more if you’re really adamant about meeting someone in your field in person.
Here is The List of My Top (Online) Mentors:
(4 out the 5 don’t even know my name :-))
1 – Seth Godin
Seth Godin is many things. He’s an A-class marketer, he runs his blog that I follow religiously, he has many courses on business and marketing and is a super strategic marketer. Find him on Twitter @ThisIsSethsBlog
I think his intro is genius, so I copied from his website:
Hi. I’m Seth Godin. I’m a teacher, and I do projects. For more than thirty years, I’ve been trying to turn on lights, inspire people and teach them how to level up. This blog has been appearing daily for more than a decade. One day, if we meet, I hope you’ll share with me your favorite posts. Even better, I’d like to hear about how a book or course helped you interact with the world differently and make a difference. I’ve spent most of my professional life as a writer. I’ve published 19 bestselling books. These books are a great way to go deep into a concept, and I think many of them stand the test of time. Along the way, I’ve found countless detours, interesting projects designed to inspire and entertain you as you continue to do your work. My latest book is called THIS IS MARKETING. It’s a bestseller. The one before that was called Your Turn. It’s illustrated and shareable and provocative. I hope you’ll invest a few minutes to see what you’ve been missing. In 2015, I created the altMBA. It’s a life-changing 30 day workshop and it’s entirely possible it will change your life. More than 60,000 people have taken my online courses, including The Marketing Seminar and several on Udemy. I’m in the Guerrilla Marketing Hall of Fame, the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and, just recently, the plain old no-modifier Marketing Hall of Fame. Which is pretty cool. You can read my free ebooks on the placebo effect and education. And there are five TED talks.
2 – Jared Spool
Jared M. Spool is the co-founder of Center Centre. He is one of the most knowledgeable communicators on the subject of user experience (UX) today. I get his emails in my inbox almost weekly that explain the current state of digital design and conducting customer interviews.
Jared entered the field of usability and design in 1978, before the term "usability" was associated with computers. He’s the CEO and founding principal of User Interface Engineering (UIE), the largest UX consulting and research organization of its kind in the world. Jared is a top-rated speaker at more than 20 conferences every year. He’s delivered keynote presentations for events like SXSWi, the Usability Professionals Association, the Information Architecture Summit, UX Australia, UX London, and An Event Apart. He’s also the conference chair and keynote speaker for the annual User Interface Conference. Jared wrote the seminal book Web Site Usability: A Designer’s Guide and co-authored Web Anatomy: Interaction Design Frameworks That Work.
Find him on Twitter @jmspool
3 – Sarah Doody
Sarah Doody is on a mission to help clients, designers, and product teams create products that people want and need. Doody is an influential online entrepreneur helping design students create optimal portfolios to accelerate hiring processes for design candidates. Sarah has 15 years experience doing user experience design. Her services range from consulting companies to launch and optimize products, to helping UX professionals learn new skills, create design portfolios, and to navigate through career, job search and interview process. She has helped so many people get their dream jobs in creative fields in software design and user research.
Find her on Twitter @sarahdoody
4 – Roman Mars
Roman Mars is my go-to Design Journalist that most nerds like myself aspire to become. Roman Mars is the host and creator of 99% Invisible, a short radio show about design and architecture. Every episode is truly a gem. With over 300 million downloads, the 99% Invisible podcast is one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Fast Company named him one of the 100 Most Creative People in 2013. He was a TED main stage speaker in 2015. It is currently the most popular TED Talk about design with over 5 million views. His crowd funding campaigns have raised over $4 million and he's the highest-funded journalist in Kickstarter history. He is also a co-founder of Radiotopia, a collective of ground-breaking independent podcasts.
Find him on Twitter @romanmars
5 – Rachel Hollis
Rachel Hollis is my go-to-gal on personal growth. She’s an American author, a motivational speaker, she has the #1 podcast on business, and is a lifestyle blogger. She knows what’s up about life and how to own your life and love your work every single day. She is a two-time New York Times best selling author and hosts a daily show on social media every morning at 8 am CST with her husband Dave. Her self-help book Girl, Wash Your Face—since its release in February 2018—has maintained a spot in the top 10 best-selling books in the country for seven months, and held the top spot for 12 of those weeks and has sold more than 880,000 total copies in the United States. It was the second-most popular book of 2018 on Amazon.com. Be sure to check out both her top selling books Girl, Stop Apologizing that was released in March, 2019, and Girl, Wash Your Face.
You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter @msrachelhollis
I hope you can find those inspiring people to you out there that make life a little better by unapologetically sharing and showing their vulnerability and help you grow in ways you’ve never seen before.