“A mentor helps you find your best self faster than time alone would allow.”
When it comes to finding a mentor, most newcomers and young entrepreneurs often do not know where to start. A mentor is someone who has the priceless experience that you do not have yet, who has made all the crucial mistakes on the road to success, learned from them, and is willing to pass on those lessons to you.
Why do you need a mentor?
A mentor usually has the specific knowledge and experience in your industry as well as an intuition that has been honed over the years.
A good mentor can help you avoid common mistakes while helping you realize your full potential. Almost everyone needs a mentor or a coach.
Warren Buffett credits Benjamin Graham with helping to shape him into a savvy investor. Richard Branson’s uncle helped him to harness his eccentricity into entrepreneurial endeavors. Oprah Winfrey was mentored by Maya Angelou.
Apurva Talsania. a commercial banker and business coach noted that “a mentor motivates you to keep going, gives you direction, and supports you in finding the right opportunities.”
Windmill, an organization that offers mentorship and micro-lending to newcomers emphasized that a mentor helps the mentee develop a strategy towards future career goals, and gain practical workplace insights.
You can find a mentor quickly in Canada if you know where to look.
5 ways to find a mentor
1. Start with your existing network
First, consider the people in your network with whom you have relationships. These might include past bosses, former colleagues, senior people in other departments, and experts you know in your field that you follow and respect. This method of finding a mentor is often overlooked, but it is the best place to start.
2. Meet entrepreneurs and prospective mentors at Meetups
Networking is more accessible in person for a lot of people. And the internet has done a great job of coordinating passionate people with shared interests into offline “meetups”. You can find these events on sites like Meetup or Eventbrite, and sign up for the ones that are relevant to you
3. Connect with potential mentors on LinkedIn
LinkedIn should be an obvious avenue for connecting with potential mentors. But did you know that 89% of senior leaders on LinkedIn are interested in giving advice?
Not only do LinkedIn profiles let you search for specific skills or experience that you would want, but you can also reach out to them directly with a connection request even if you don’t have their email.
4. Industry Associations
Connect with the professional body or Association related to your profession or desired field. Technology, HR, Marketing, Finance, Journalism and other professions all have Associations you can join or attend, with a long-term goal of getting a mentor.
5. Business seminars and conferences
Do a google search for relevant and high-profile events. Most of them are free or low-priced. This is a great way to connect and find a mentor. Walk up to one of the speakers after the event and start the conversation. Of course, do not jump straight to asking them to be your mentor. But you can start the relationship. Most successful entrepreneurs are willing to share their knowledge and offer mentorship.
Where you can find a mentor today.
Check out these 5 mentorship organizations we have carefully put together to help you find a mentor quickly in Canada.
- WINDMILL Mentoring [ Also offers affordable loans of up to $15,000]
- FUTUREPRENEUR Canada
- TRIEC -Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council Mentoring Partnership
- LEAN IN Canada Mentorship for professional women
- CANADA INFONET Mentorship
- Visionary Advisory Community (VAC)
The final stage- asking the mentor to take on the role- might seem daunting. But it may surprise you to discover how many are looking to pass on their experience and knowledge to another.
Accelerate your growth by finding a friend in a mentor and gaining access to their immeasurable experience. Regardless of your industry or even years of experience, mentorship is one of the most effective strategies to help you level up.