Finding the right coach or mentor can take your creative or business career to the next level. In work and in life, no matter what stage you may find yourself in, you can always gain tremendous value by seeking guidance, wisdom, and aid from masters, teachers, or anyone with a unique perspective on your field.
It’s important to always be seeking the help of mentors and coaches. The biggest question is how do you find them? Lots of people are willing and able to help the right mentee – you just have to locate and approach them in ways that will show them the benefit of mentoring you, and the difference you’re going to make once you are committed to learning from them.
When looking for new coaches and mentors, or strengthening connections with those who have enriched your mind and soul in the past, it pays to keep these key principles in mind.
Before you seek out a mentor or coach, be able to show them what you can accomplish on your own. As much as people may believe in your potential, once you give them solid proof that you’re on your way and you’re willing to work toward your goals, you make it easier for them to support you.
Build your portfolio and resume. Do projects you love (even if they don’t come with high pay or a high profile). When you encounter a possible mentor, your body of work is your best introduction. Have something you’re proud to show.
Build Your Community
To receive support from others, constantly looking for new ways to support yourself and those around you. Building strong networks and communities is its own reward. The more you put yourself out there as a helpful, collaborative spirit, the more others will want to be part of your cause, including those who can provide valuable coaching and mentorship.
To gain mentorship, be a mentor to others. “Your legacy is not what you do,” says writer and investor James Altucher. “It’s what the people you teach do.” When you give more than you expect to get, the rewards can be far greater than you ever dared to anticipate.
Seek Out a Variety of Mentors
Intelligence and strength come in a rainbow of flavors. Julia Fawal lists five distinct types of mentors with whom you should cultivate close relationships. It includes not just masters and higher-ups, it also includes friends and coworkers you see every day.
Everyone has a different piece of the puzzle. Your most valuable mentorship may not come from a glamorous boss or a wizened shaman on a mountaintop, it may simply come from someone who sits next to you on mass transit.
“The best mentorships I’ve had have taken a lot of time to cement,” says Altucher. While some of your best coaching may come from a three-hour class, you must also have the patience, and put in the time, to build relationships with mentors that stay strong for years and decades.
This requires staying in touch, providing continuous value, and developing the relationship over time. Be adaptable to change when you want to keep relationships going through challenging times and circumstances and be willing to walk away from those that have run their course.
“A mind is like a parachute,” said the musician Frank Zappa. “It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.” Socrates, one of the wisest philosophers who ever lived said, “All I know is that I know nothing.”
The most important rule in receiving help from the world is always to make yourself available for it. This requires questioning your judgments and assumptions. Know that wisdom is infinite, and the more you experience, the more you will realize you still have to learn.
Challenge yourself. Live on the outer edges of your comfort zone. Take a Socratic approach to work, life, and your own self-concept. When you make yourself open to new information, you make it easy for those with more wisdom and expertise to guide you into new ways of knowing.
At Artisan Creative, we pride ourselves on the guidance, connections, and stewardship we provide to creative professionals at all stages of their careers and their lives. Contact us today to learn more.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 494th issue of our a.blog.