One of the smartest moves you will make is finding mentors. I have five mentors in my life right now, and only two are in the detailing industry. The others are big-business mentors, small-business mentos, life mentors, and guys I look up to as husbands and fathers. Mentors are key, not just in detailing, but in life!
- What I look for in a mentor: I stumbled across my first mentors when I was young, but today, even in my forties, I am still on the hunt for good mentors. I look for those who are realistic, willing to stand up to me, discuss the options I have, and show good judgment within their own life and business. I don’t want a control freak for a mentor, I want someone who can help me grow while also growing themselves.
- Age makes a difference: I am sure you, those that are reading this, are of varied ages. For you young guys and gals, look for mentors who are older and willing to help point you in the right direction. To this day, my mentors who are older and a little wiser share something with me almost daily that changes my outlook, view or direction within a situation.
- Success-based: Find mentors who are truly successful and truly want to see you succeed.
- Life versus business: I want to be very clear about this. I have mentors within business and mentors within life, but few mentors can mentor me in both. I know who I respect business-wise and I know who I respect as husbands, fathers, and people. It’s my job to separate the two and to work what they both can teach me in my life. I like to relate mentoring to shoes. I have work out shoes for the gym and I have dress shoes for the meeting. One is not better than the other, they both simply specialized for the tasks at hand.
Where can you find a mentor? Here are a few ideas…
- Start with your personal network. Family connections and your own professional associations are a good start.
- Explore nonprofit organizations and volunteer groups in your industry or community.
- Network with local business people through groups such as SCORE, BMI, Toastmasters and more.
Mentors are an amazing resource. Not only can you get invaluable insight and direction, but you also get a fresh and unbiased look from an outsider’s perspective.