Startup Tip ‎27: Don’t find a mentor – find a few

Instead of trying to find one mentor who can help you with everything (does such a person even exist?), find someone who is exceptional at one area you want to improve in. Ask them to teach your their strategies for handling that area. Do this with multiple people to cover all the areas you want mentoring in.

One of the strategies that people who are really good at using mentors have is to:

  • Identify which specific skill they need mentoring in
  • Find someone who is excellent in that area
  • Find out specifically what that person does to be excellent
  • Try out the mentor’s strategy in their own situation
  • Make any modifications or adaption they need to to make it their own.

The cool thing about this, is that you can have many different mentors and are not looking for the one perfect person who can mentor you through everything. It also eases the burden on the mentors and means most people are happy to help because they don’t have to make a permanent commitment.

Action: Call a mentor and make a time for coffee

Identify one area you could improve in that would have a massive impact on your business. It may be converting leads into sales, product development, marketing strategy, hiring great people. Think of someone you know who is great at that particular skill. Call them. Now. And ask if you can have a coffee and pick their brains.

Did you do it? You have just started building a network of supporters around you who are gunning for your success.

If you are still reading and haven’t picked up the phone – then DO IT! The only reason to read startup tips is if you are going to apply them to build your business!!  🙂

Further Reading:

Amy Gallo’s post Demystifying mentoring gives you tips on best practice strategies you can use to find the mentors you need. (But you don’t really NEED to read this. You just need to pick up the phone.)

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Image used under Creative Commons license courtesy of  Pitel


  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  2. Great tips Susan, totally agree! Short, targeted mentor-ships are great. On a related topic, especially regarding longer term mentoring, I’m curious as to your thoughts… I believe we don’t choose our mentors, they choose us. What we can and should do is position ourselves in their path and make our desire known to them, as you indicated. If they have it within them to ‘give’, they will. If not, there are plenty of others who will, and we continue on until we find those who will give of themselves to others. But ultimately, it’s the mentor who chooses the men-tee they want to invest in.
    Thanks again for a great article!

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