Cultivating Your Mentor Relationship

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Once you’ve found your mentor, it is imperative that you cultivate that relationship.

My dad was a mentor not only to me but also to many others, including Terri Sjodin, a highly successful entrepreneur and speaker. In 1996, my father and Terri wrote the proverbial “book on mentoring” entitled “Mentoring: The Most Obvious Yet Overlooked Key to Achieving More in Life Than You Ever Dreamed Possible”, which, unfortunately, is out of print. It was an incredibly helpful and fascinating book because it is written from both a mentor and a protégé’s points of view, laying out a step-by-step process for finding and managing a mentor relationship.

My dad and Terri offered many insights, two of which I would like to share with you now. First, over the course of the mentoring relationship, it is critical that you show your mentor you’re applying what you’re learning from them. A great mentor who passes along their knowledge wants to know it is being put to work.

My dad is a hall-of-fame motivational speaker in the National Speakers Association. His mentor was Zig Ziglar, the greatest motivational speaker of all time. Zig was very much in demand, and my dad didn’t understand why Zig would always make time to take his calls. One day he asked Zig straight out why he took his calls. Zig responded, “Floyd, it’s because I hear of you and from you. You always follow up and let me know how things went.” This was Zig’s way of saying that my dad was applying the advice Zig was giving him.

The second important insight is to constantly express gratitude for your mentor’s time. Show you appreciate your mentor’s valuable commitment. Say thank you, often.

Next Steps

Take a few minutes right now and thank someone who has been a mentor in your life. It could be a parent, sibling, friend, or entrepreneur.

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