“Will you be my mentor?” – is a question most successful folk get. Sadly, it is the wrong question. And, unfortunately, it is more an excuse than a question.
First, it is the wrong question because mentorship doesn’t work like that. The two largest elements that contribute to successful mentorship are chemistry and proximity. And, if proximity isn’t hard enough, chemistry is an unknown and one that isn’t all that hard to divine. Put it differently, if someone wants to be your mentor, you will know. But, of course, you will need to find an excuse to interact or work with that person frequently first. This is not to say finding an uber successful super star mentor is impossible. But, the odds are low.
Next, it is an excuse if we identify mentorship as sequential to attaining mastery. It isn’t. The reliable approach is by using a tremendous amount of grit. A mentor is just a bonus on our path to mastery.
It is also a rather poor excuse because you can spend time with any hero/heroine you’d like to emulate. Warren Buffett? You can spend days reading his notes to investors. Or, Jessica Alba? There’s plenty written about “The Honest Company.” Elon Musk? Enough written about him and by him to keep you busy for a month.
There’s enough out there to help us get smarter, better and inspired. Waiting for mentorship is a poor excuse indeed.
PS: Your greatest first mentor is you. But, if you insist on finding others, just know that when you buckle down and do good stuff, consistently, you’ll find yourself attracting other potential mentors and heroes as well.