Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

How to Find (and Keep) a Mentor in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps

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Most people misunderstand mentoring — I certainly did. For the longest time, I said I wanted a mentor but didn’t understand what that even meant. That is, until someone pulled me aside, invested in me, and taught me what a mentor really was.

How to Find a Mentor

Photo credit: Andrew Yee (Creative Commons)

I see a lot of young people approaching mentoring the wrong way.

They ask a leader they admire to mentor them, forcing the person into an awkward position in which she feels bad for saying “no” or obligated to say “yes.” But this is not how mentoring works.

Common misconceptions of mentoring

I have a passion to see that change. There is a lot of misunderstanding about how mentoring works, including how to begin a relationship with a mentor. Here are some of them:

  • Mentoring is about me.
  • I need to wait for a mentor to find me.
  • Being mentored is more passive than active.
  • I need to ask someone to mentor me up-front.

Face it: Everything you know about mentoring may be wrong. It’s time to start seeking out a mentor the right way. In finding a mentor, there are 10 important steps I’ve found that usually work:

1. Find someone you want to be like

Don’t just find someone who has a job you want or a platform that you covet.

Find someone that is like you, someone with a similar set of strengths and skills you want to emulate. Otherwise, you’ll just end up frustrated.

Spend some time finding the right person. In fact, have several candidates before committing to a single mentor.

2. Study the person

Follow his blog. Get to know people who know him.

If you don’t know the person well, see if he is really like his public persona projects.

Make sure you understand his strengths and weaknesses. Set your expectations realistically.

3. Make the “ask”

Don’t ask for the person to “be your mentor” right off the bat. That’s a big ask. Far too big for the first meeting.

Rather, ask for an initial meeting — something informal, over coffee maybe. Keep it less than an hour.

Come with questions that you’re prepared to ask, but let the conversation flow relationally. (Note: the formality really depends on the potential mentor’s communication style — something you should be aware of before the initial meeting.)

When in doubt about when to make the ask, just go for it. (That’s what I do, and it usually works.)

4. Evaluate the fruit

After meeting, do you want to spend more time with this person?

Did she begin the meeting by encouraging you or telling you what to do? Did she ask questions, or wait to provide answers?

Did you leave the meeting feeling better about yourself? Was a connection made? If not, feel free to let the relationship go and seek out someone else, instead. You don’t have time to waste on a self-centered tyrant.

If it went well, then immediately put together a follow-up plan.

5. Follow up after the meeting

This is not like dating. It’s okay to appear overly ambitious. You want this person to know that you’re serious.

It’s appropriate to follow up immediately, thanking your prospective mentor for her time.

A good way to do this is via email or other form of passive communication, so that you don’t appear overbearing or waste the person’s time.

This is also a good time to mention that you’d like to do it again. If she reciprocates, offer to get something on the calendar. (You may need to suggest a time.)

Make sure that it feels relaxed and not contrived. You’re still vetting each other at this point.

6. Let the relationship evolve organically

We sometimes place too high of expectations on mentoring. We want to give it a name, because it gives us a sense of status and importance. But really it’s just a relationship.

Mentoring is organic. It’s healthy to let it grow like any other relationship — over time and based on mutual respect and trust.

Don’t force it. That will kill a potential mentoring relationship faster than anything. Give it time; it needs to grow.

7. Don’t check out when you feel challenged

I was recently speaking with a friend who’s mentored a number of young men over the years. He said the saddest part about what he does is that a lot of guys check out whenever he challenges them.

It will happen. You’ll get to a point where your mentor will feel comfortable enough to call you out. And what you do next is crucial to your growth.

Remember: this is what you signed up for. Don’t wimp out when it gets tough; this is where the really good stuff happens.

8. Press into relationship

Don’t wait for the mentor to initiate. Learn how to manage up. Persevere. Ask for more of your mentor without demanding it.

This doesn’t bother him (at least, it shouldn’t). It honors him. It shouldn’t be a big deal to ask this person to coffee or lunch, outside of your normal meeting time.

If a mentor can’t be a friend, then he’s probably not a mentor. Finding ways to solidify the bond you’ve created will only strengthen the relationship.

9. Ask your mentor for feedback

Feedback can be hard, but it’s good. As your relationship with your mentor progresses, this will be the #1 way you grow. It will be a highlight for the both of you.

While asking for feedback may initially feel weird, eventually it will become almost second-nature. You will find yourself thirsting for those words you used to fear.

Similarly, a good mentor will treat these times with great care and sensitivity.

10. Commit to the process

You can’t be mentored in a summer. That’s an internship. Mentoring takes real time and real work.

In order for it to be a real mentorship, you have to commit to the relationship. Come hell or high water, you’re going to make it work.

Then, you will begin to understand what it means to be a student, a disciple, a protege.

Do you have a mentor? How did you find him or her? Share your mentoring experience in the comments.

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About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. Check out my new book, The In-Between. To get exclusive updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

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  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

    This is good Jeff.  Really good.  Footstomp on #7, 8, and 10…!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, man. You and I are privileged to be exposed to mentors who have helped us learn these lessons. I’m finding out how rare that really is.

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    Fabulous points. I don’t have any official “mentors”, but I believe strongly in finding people who can be your “unofficial” mentors. Like you mentioned, reading their blog, studying how they do things, etc. You can learn a lot from just being an intentional learner. Your post has got me thinking about getting more “official” with a mentor.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I think the trick, David, is that going from “unofficial” to “official” should feel natural. In fact, I’m not even sure that you need to make an ask to move to “official” if you’re doing this stuff right.

  • http://thisismethinking.com/ Darrell Vesterfelt

    I have a couple of mentors in the realm of church ministry — probably need to find a blog/writing mentor someday.  

    I found both of those guys while I was interning at a church in North Carolina.  I worked for one, and had frequent coffee times with the other —  

    There was never an official ask, but I was intentional with both relationships and they have developed over time into a mentor, now mento-friend relationship.  One of them even offered me a job, which I look and will be starting in September.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Awesome, Darrell. Good for you.

      • http://thisismethinking.com/ Darrell Vesterfelt

        I think I have learned that in my twenties it is better to serve someone else’s (mentor) vision and learn (mentored) then to be idealistic thinking I can be great right now.  

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          Beautifully stated. I learned that as well.

  • http://thisismethinking.com/ Darrell Vesterfelt

    I have a couple of mentors in the realm of church ministry — probably need to find a blog/writing mentor someday.  

    I found both of those guys while I was interning at a church in North Carolina.  I worked for one, and had frequent coffee times with the other —  

    There was never an official ask, but I was intentional with both relationships and they have developed over time into a mentor, now mento-friend relationship.  One of them even offered me a job, which I look and will be starting in September.

  • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

    I am reaching a point where I am ready to establish one or two mentors in my life. Bonafide mentors. I’ve spent the last two years growing and learning as much as I can and I am reaching a point where I think everything I have learned is coming to fruition as to the path I am on when it comes to ministry. It’s radically different than where I thought it would be, but I am ready to jump. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Cool, Chris. Good for you!

  • http://jasonfountain.blogspot.com Jason Fountain

    Jeff,
    I really needed this today. I think the key to this is being intentional. Like you said in the post, you want a mentor that you want to emulate – that you respect. I definitely need to be intentional about finding a mentor – thanks for the push.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Jason. There’s more nuance to that, but the basic idea is that you should seek out people that are like you or like what you would like to become. If you can’t identify any commonalities between you and the mentor-to-be, it’s probably not a good fit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jen.schwab Jen Gabler Schwab

    This is an awesome list, Jeff!  It resonates with me as a mentor to others – but it’s also a good roadmap for me to go out and find my next mentor.   Good framework for both sides.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks, jen. anything you’d like to add about how you see young people handling the mentoring process? my thought is that they could take a lot more ownership.

  • http://twitter.com/eccle0412 Jackie Anderson

    I have prayed a long time for a “mentor”.  Good directives. 
    ? Through my years many “radio/media” types have one sided mentored me. 
    ? I have lived a life of faith and sometimes find it hard to find people who challenge me.  More often I get a “pat on the back” and “have a break” mentality. 
    Any directives for an older 45 yr old mom/professional?
    I have a lot of younger ones who listen to me.
    Maybe another post on how to be an “official mentor”.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Hi Jackie, thanks for sharing. I don’t have any further thoughts/directives. I have more experience on the “being mentored” side. I’d love to hear from the mentors. Maybe you could write that post? I love the idea.

  • http://goodwordediting.com goodwordediting

    I’ve had people over the years who functioned as mentors for me, but I often didn’t realize it at the time. In hindsight, I can see what was being given to me. At the time, it just felt natural because I was seeking help and counsel from someone who I admired on specific problems I was facing in my work and life.

    Great post.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I’ve had similar experiences. Don Miller talks about this in his book Father Fiction. As does John Eldredge in The Way of the Wild Heart.

  • http://jeremysconfessions.com Jeremy Statton

    Jeff, this is great. I have been working on this unsuccessfully. Your steps are helpful. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Jeremy. Glad they were helpful. Would love to hear what you’re learning about being mentored and being a mentor.

  • http://twitter.com/melissa_rae Melissa Brotherton

    I had a lot of misconceptions about mentoring while I was in college. Then I took a class on mentoring & coaching, and realized I had gone about it all wrong. These steps are super helpful! 

    I would add that you can be mentored by people who don’t even know they’re mentoring you. Books, blogs, podcasts…it doesn’t have to be a personal intentional thing on their part. 

    Also, I would suggest that if you want to be mentored, mentor someone else. We so often assume that the people who speak into our lives have to be more successful than us, or at least older. I have been taught as much by those I’m mentoring as they have been taught by me. 

    Be open to learning from all sources, and also recognize that as much as you’re looking to others to mentor you there are people hoping you will mentor them.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I agree, Melissa. You don’t have to call it something, and the mentor may, in fact, be influencing you without realizing the impact they’re having. (Side note: It’s a gift to let the person know how they’ve “mentored” you.)

      • Cross Driven

        I agree with Melissa here too.  I feel like as I have “mentored” my children, I have learned a ton.  For instance, I don’t know how to sew, but my kids wanted to learn so I learned so they could learn.  I think the same could be said of just about anything.  i love what Melissa says here.  She has some great points.

  • http://undergodsmightyhand.blogspot.com Caroline @UnderGod’sMightyHand

    I’ve been praying for a mentor and how to establish a mentoring relationship, and then this post came up! Thank you for these concrete tips.

    I do have a question, especially referring to your third point: if we don’t live near the person we hope to have as a mentor (since the internet opens up so many mentoring possibilities), what do you recommend doing for “meeting” with that person or initiating the mentoring relationship in that way?

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Caroline – in person is best but not always possible. Try to overcome the distance by clearly communicating. Technology can help. I have a mentoring relationship with someone in another state, and we email daily and talk on the phone weekly. We also make sure of Skype and other pieces of technology to help make it feel more personal. But we’re both writers, so email actually works quite well.

  • Maggie

    My mentoring relationship evolved, and continues to do so. There was never anything as structured as a meeting or an “ask.” She is a published mystery writer and I am a poet, two completely different genres. But when I once asked her in casual conversation, “Why do you write?” and she responded, ” …because I love to write,” I knew I had found someone, although I hadn’t been looking. “I hate the business part,” she added. We live on opposite sides of the country, have met only once in person, and the rest of our relationship and friendship is conducted on the phone and via email. She offered to read part of a manuscript of mine, and was serious in her devotion to it. “You have good writerly instincts,” she said. “Do you want me to be a cheerleader, or would you like me to give you my comments?” Of course I wanted the latter, but I wondered whether my ego was too fragile. I needn’t have worried. I continue to improve because of her. She now even calls me with questions about what direction she should take in her current book. It’s a mentoring relationship that “just happened,” and it flowers like the roses of summer.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    Great stuff Jeff. 

    I think the first two are huge. 
    You have to establish that relationship. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Yeah. I can’t explain it, but there is a certain amount of intuition required in landing a relationship like this. I think it ultimately comes down to treating it like what it is — a relationship. Not a transaction.

  • clateboulder

    Great post. I find personally, that having more than one mentor has helped. Diversify.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Agreed. That’s a whole other blog post, but you’re right.

  • http://twitter.com/ethanwaldman Ethan Waldman

    Thanks for that Jeff. Finding a mentor is something that I’ve always wanted to do but never really understood how. I knew that asking someone straight up “will you be my mentor” wouldn’t work, so have just avoided it all together.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      yeah, that’s the other reaction. we have a whole generation of leaderless leaders. scary thing, that is.

  • http://twitter.com/RonEdmondson Ron Edmondson

    I’ve had a mentor (different ones) for over 20 years now and I’ve always had to ask them. It has to be intentional. Good stuff Jeff.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Ron. I completely defer to your wisdom on this topic. You know both sides intimately! Would love to know what a successful “ask” looks like & sounds like. You could speak to the one making and receiving the ask.

  • Anonymous

    Jeff great distillation of unobvious yet profound truths. I’ve been blessed to have journalism and business mentors throughout my life – those relationships continue today. I think it’s equally important for “mentees” to be on the look out for opportunities to pour into others – in much the same way that your writing does :-) Thanks!

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony Alicea

    Wow, I really needed this Jeff. It seems like common sense but I’ve never seen these points covered all in one place. Thank you for this.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome, Tony.

  • Alyssa

    nailed it

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Alyssa!

  • http://www.michaelhsmith.com Michael H Smith

    great post…one I will keep

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Michael!

  • http://twitter.com/JenGreyson Jen Greyson | Author

    Wow. Incredibly insightful and perfectly timed for me!! Thankful to Hope C Clark who pointed me over here!!  

  • Cross Driven

    I could use a mentor for so many things!  There is a mentoring program for women in our church which I’m going to try to start next January.  It is called Titus 2, I think.  Anyway, its where an older woman who is done raising her children and has been married a long time takes a group of women who need help knowing how to cook, clean, be a mom, homeschool, etc and helps them navigate those areas.  The thing for me was my Mom was a single parent and she would never cook and she was not a stay at home mom.  So for me, being a stay at home mom who wants to serve my family, I find it really difficult because I have no foundation.  I love that my church is doing this and I can’t wait to be apart of it.  I think the idea of having a mentor is wonderful.  I had someone take me under their wing once but I don’t know–it ended up badly because I had a certain expectation of her and she got tired, I think, of helping me.  Good points Jeff.

  • http://twitter.com/scott_hunter_ Scott Hunter

    Thanks, Jeff.  We were just discussing this day before yesterday.  This post totally made me stop and smile.  I appreciate the way you plant honesty and practicality (hoping they will grow, I’m sure) without trying to knock anyone over with an agenda.  I do believe that defines what I would call a blessing.  

    It shows that you’ve been impacted yourself by a mentor or two.  :)

    Another comment I might mention is that while some mentoring relationships may last a long time, or even the majority of someone’s lifetime (and those are the types of relationships a lot of us yearn for, right?), there are also many times when a short term mentoring happens that can really make an impact.  Even a one-time “mentoring moment” can be a real turn-around in someone’s life.

    We should all strive not only to be molded by a mentor we respect and want to emulate, but also to mentor others anytime we get the chance.  

    Thanks again, Jeff – for the blessing you poured on my head. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Agreed. I’ve had plenty of those moments. And you’re welcome.

  • http://suburbiauncovered.com/ Matt Powell

    Great thoughts.  I feel like i see guys waiting on a mentor to fall in their lap… they say they want it but they just wait.  I think #3 is HUGE! 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Agreed

  • turner_bethany

    My mentor relationship developed out of a Sunday School teacher/student relationship. My mentor first lead the Sunday school class I attended. When girls started graduating and no news took their place, it became just me and her. It is such a great relationship! I absolutely love it! 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thank you for sharing, Bethany.

  • http://twitter.com/ASISTASJOURNEY Natasha L. Robinson

    I have had several mentors and have mentored several young women over the years. I think it is also important to know when your mentoring relationship transitions. God often places a mentor in your life for a particular season. What you need at 25 is certainly not what you need at 45, not if you are maturing that is…

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Agreed. Great points. I’ve had some seasonal mentors, as well.

    • Blossom

       I need a mentor

  • Anonymous

    I remember praying for a mentor and a few months later this woman showed up in my life. She stuck by me through “hell and high water”. 

    Very grateful for her and the friendship we have. 

    May have to blog about that experience. Thanks for the inspiration. 

    This is actually from @sundijjo, not devooliveoil. Forgot I was signed into my work account. :)

  • Bill Cutrer

    Love the post!! I’m a big believer in mentoring. Could you expand a little on what you mean by “manage up” in #8? Many thanks!

    • Kyle McPherson

      I was curious as well.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        Managing up means to help your leader lead you better. So in the case of a mentor, it means telling him how you want to grow, proactively setting up appointments, etc. Don’t wait for him or her to initiate. Start.

  • http://tikesbestfriend.com/ Tim Dahl

    This was great, thank you. I’ve not found any “official” mentors. However, there have been a people in my life over the years which have changed me. Sure, I’ve tried to have official mentors, but they never worked out.

    I’ve found that what you said is true. It really is organic. Those relationships are there, right in front of us most of the time. Yes, we can seek them out (perhaps we are obligated too). But, I’ve seen many men and women right in front of me, whom God has put there for “growing me up” a bit.  Organic is a good word to describe these relationships.

    Tim Dahl

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  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    It excites me to hear of a lot of people willing to learn and be stretched, honoring a respected person with their trust, seeking out a mentor to learn from. As I read over this post and a lot of the comments and discussions I think there is another side to look at as well. Along with being mentored it’s healthy to be looking for a relationship  that we can likewise be investing in to offer mentoring for someone else as well. Like a stream of life, wisdom should flow to us, through us and on to another.

  • http://twitter.com/cryswashington Crystal Washington

    I love this article!  It’s awesome to see so many younger people looking for mentors, but I have to agree that many go about it the wrong way.  Furthermore, quite a few of them are not clear in their definition, confusing mentorship with apprenticeship.  For aspire young business owners, I actually think that a mastermind group may be of better value- http://crystalwashington.com/mastermind-groups-vs-mentors-can-you-guess-which-model-is-outdated/ 

  • http://www.ryanhaack.com Ryan Haack

    I read this a few weeks ago and thought, “Interesting stuff.”

    Then today my wife and I were talking and I was like, “I want a mentor.  Let me go re-read something.”

    Thanks, dude.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome

  • CarolZeng

    Thank you so much! You’ve just solved my love problem. I thought I was in love with a person, he could be my type but that just doesn’t feel right. You are very inspiring! Look forward to read all your posts!! :D

  • NickZ

    I have a mentor for my non-fiction writing. But I never felt her to be really inspiring. Her mentoring has always consisted in finding my faults in detail and in overall, not encouraging, but criticizing. She has not made me understand the nature and the sense of writing non-fiction, for she herself has never been a great writer. If I have really listened to her, I would have long ago give up writing. But my inner voice does not allow that to me :). Thanks for the post. I like the idea, the reality is little more harsh. Good luck to everyone in the search for the mentor!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      doesn’t sound like a mentor. sounds like a critic!

      • NickZ

        Well, nice to know that you agree with me. I should have written that I have a so called mentor – that is how she sees mentoring. Not everyone knows what the word really means, and when you are a beginner, it is not very encouraging :/. However, it is a test for your self-confidence and perseverance.   

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          a mentor is only a mentor when you BOTH agree that the work being done is actually mentoring. this sounds more like advice-giving, at best.

          • NickZ

            At best. I consider the criticism as mentoring only in case when the aim is to improve somebody’s work, when the advice gives insight and brings you one step forward to the very best of yourself.

            • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

              right. time to find a new mentor. :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/lialondon.g Lia London

    I think #6 has been key in my mentoring relationships, closely followed by #7.  When the mentor is right, the desire to rise up to higher expectations is eagerly met with effort.  You are absolutely right that it has to be someone like you.  If they are brilliant, but are coming at the craft/skill from a completely different thought paradigm or value system, it just doesn’t work.  You can still learn things that are useful, but it isn’t the same as being mentored.  

    I have been very blessed to find a couple of mentors at different times in my life.  They were invariably people who were about 10-20 years further along in the given setting than I was, and they had overcome the same types of weaknesses and struggles I was in.  That was key for me.  It’s one thing for me to think, “This guy/gal is really awesome.”  But it’s even better when I can think, “This guy/gal was like me once, and has moved on to something better.  I can, too.”

    When I trust someone as a mentor, I will always be willing to push myself beyond my normal comfort zones–as long as it is not something that extends outside of or conflicts with my core faith values.  True mentors won’t try to push me to do something morally or ethically wrong, anyway.

    I would add that some people become mentors unofficially.  They don’t sign up or get asked or have a formal meeting.  They just are what they are–a guide, a friend, a teacher, a cheerleader, an advocate, a task master.

    You, sir, have a little of that goin’ on.  :)

  • Maggie Kallis

    What is the mentor one is seeking is much older ? And what if the sexual orientation matters to the older person ?

    • Maggie Kallis

      Sorry, minor correction ‘ What if the ….’ 

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        Maggie, I’m not sure what you’re asking. Usually mentors are older, so that shouldn’t be a problem. If the mentor you’re seeking doesn’t agree with your lifestyle, they probably wouldn’t be a good mentor.

  • Wes Roberts

    Jeff…I’ve been out of the country for the past couple of weeks…thus, intentionally “out of it” with regard to being online in any form.  ‘Tis been good…very good.  BUT…you’ve certainly caught my attention with this post…as well as have my attention from getting acquainted in October.

    Your 10 thoughts are well worth the read!  I would welcome some “talk/Skype time” with you to hear more of your heart on this matter…and to share some of mine.  What sayest thou? 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       That would be great, Wes. I have a lot to learn from you!

  • David Whittacre

    Jeff – I consider myself a writer, however new I am to the process.  I’ve never had a mentor, but I have to admit that I’m not sure what a mentor is.  Could you please explain this to me or point me in the direction I need to go to find out?

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       David, a mentor is someone who has been where you want to go. They’ve walked the walk and can tell you what you need to know to succeed professionally and/or personally.

  • sweetpotatoes

     

    I would love to find a mentor to bounce ideas off of.
    Someone who could ask the right questions since I am full of answers and info
    and facts but not sure where to begin. I have started multiple times and just
    talk myself out of it. I have spent like 1.5 years now trying to find a someone
    in this area that I trust, respect and gets it and haven’t found them. I have
    found some that get this but they don’t make good mentors. The irony is I kind
    of think I am the actual mentor on this topic. I know that sounds boastful but
    there is a lot of truth to this. That is why I had followers. I am also not
    willing to compromise to be popular either. I am passionate about this stuff
    and trying to find that same passion and dedication in others who understand this
    approach is hard to find at all.  There
    are mostly men in the field who are popular with their approach but certainly
    not many older women like myself. It is much cooler to hang with the younger
    guys on this.

    I have been scouring the net almost daily to find someone I
    can relate to and where they can relate to me, who also has the skills, time
    and passion as I do. Sometimes you are the lone wolf out there and maybe that
    is why in such a short time I had a following with my blog.

    About a year ago I started a blog and wrote a
    lot within a 4 month period. I had no idea how to do a blog, I just knew
    someone, a woman, needed to start the dialog about this. I am a horrible writer
    too and have medical issues that cause my brain to be kind of foggy but I pushed
    through it, including all the errors I couldn’t catch. What was shocking is
    others were stealing my posts word for word and this was double shocking to me since
    I do not consider myself a writer at all. But I hit a cord with folks and by
    the end of 4 months I was getting 1K hits a week with this amateur blog. It
    takes me way more time to write a post than regular folks and I would spend my
    days devoted to this. I would start in the morning and before I knew it my
    husband was home from work.

    I closed down the
    blog since I had no way to stop the content thieves and felt I was working for
    them for free since they used my traffic to redirect to their bad products. I
    struck a nerve out there and that nerve still lives out there. Some followers
    told me to write a book instead. I have resisted and hoped others would do it.
    I waited and none have. First I was disappointed and now I am mad researchers
    are not talking about this. I know many would benefit from what I have learned.

    I believe now that blogs are better venues for selling a
    book or services since it is the wild wild west online since content thieving
    is rampant. I also don’t have money to pay someone to listen or mentor me. My
    payment will be from what they learn from me. It changed my life and I know it
    will change others. My best hope would be to do an ebook from what I can tell.

    What do you do when you can’t find a mentor? Is there a
    recipe for how to write a good non fiction book? Are there rules on how you
    begin? How to not go off in 300 different directions with the topic? How to
    stay focused? How to scale back on the details on what is important and what is
    me just rattling on too much? What if your ideas are good but you make many simple
    writing mistakes, and is it reasonable to ask someone to see past the errors
    and understand what you are offering is worthy? Am I kidding myself to think
    that I am worthy of a writing mentor?

    If I was 20 or 30 yrs younger I could go
    back to school and learn how to write perhaps but I am older and really I want
    to get this out before my memory and writing gets any worse. I had returned to
    college for a brief stint at the age of 40 and my English teacher surprised me
    and said I should submit a paper I wrote for class to the University paper. I
    was shocked once again but did it. But when I read it in the paper the students
    had edited it a way that the argument was weak and sterile and just lame. But
    hey I was taking on the University administration and perhaps they were trying
    to get my point out in a kinder gentler way. Finding someone who can edit you
    and still allow your voice to come through I think is another issue to watch
    out for.

  • sweetpotatoes

     

    I would love to find a mentor to bounce ideas off of.
    Someone who could ask the right questions since I am full of answers and info
    and facts but not sure where to begin. I have started multiple times and just
    talk myself out of it. I have spent like 1.5 years now trying to find a someone
    in this area that I trust, respect and gets it and haven’t found them. I have
    found some that get this but they don’t make good mentors. The irony is I kind
    of think I am the actual mentor on this topic. I know that sounds boastful but
    there is a lot of truth to this. That is why I had followers. I am also not
    willing to compromise to be popular either. I am passionate about this stuff
    and trying to find that same passion and dedication in others who understand this
    approach is hard to find at all.  There
    are mostly men in the field who are popular with their approach but certainly
    not many older women like myself. It is much cooler to hang with the younger
    guys on this.

    I have been scouring the net almost daily to find someone I
    can relate to and where they can relate to me, who also has the skills, time
    and passion as I do. Sometimes you are the lone wolf out there and maybe that
    is why in such a short time I had a following with my blog.

    About a year ago I started a blog and wrote a
    lot within a 4 month period. I had no idea how to do a blog, I just knew
    someone, a woman, needed to start the dialog about this. I am a horrible writer
    too and have medical issues that cause my brain to be kind of foggy but I pushed
    through it, including all the errors I couldn’t catch. What was shocking is
    others were stealing my posts word for word and this was double shocking to me since
    I do not consider myself a writer at all. But I hit a cord with folks and by
    the end of 4 months I was getting 1K hits a week with this amateur blog. It
    takes me way more time to write a post than regular folks and I would spend my
    days devoted to this. I would start in the morning and before I knew it my
    husband was home from work.

     I closed down the
    blog since I had no way to stop the content thieves and felt I was working for
    them for free since they used my traffic to redirect to their bad products. I
    struck a nerve out there and that nerve still lives out there. Some followers
    told me to write a book instead. I have resisted and hoped others would do it.
    I waited and none have. First I was disappointed and now I am mad researchers
    are not talking about this. I know many would benefit from what I have learned.

    I believe now that blogs are better venues for selling a
    book or services since it is the wild wild west online since content thieving
    is rampant. I also don’t have money to pay someone to listen or mentor me. My
    payment will be from what they learn from me. It changed my life and I know it
    will change others. My best hope would be to do an ebook from what I can tell.

    What do you do when you can’t find a mentor? Is there a
    recipe for how to write a good non fiction book? Are there rules on how you
    begin? How to not go off in 300 different directions with the topic? How to
    stay focused? How to scale back on the details on what is important and what is
    me just rattling on too much? What if your ideas are good but you make many simple
    writing mistakes, and is it reasonable to ask someone to see past the errors
    and understand what you are offering is worthy? Am I kidding myself to think
    that I am worthy of a writing mentor?

    If I was 20 or 30 yrs younger I could go
    back to school and learn how to write perhaps but I am older and really I want
    to get this out before my memory and writing gets any worse. I had returned to
    college for a brief stint at the age of 40 and my English teacher surprised me
    and said I should submit a paper I wrote for class to the University paper. I
    was shocked once again but did it. But when I read it in the paper the students
    had edited it a way that the argument was weak and sterile and just lame. But
    hey I was taking on the University administration and perhaps they were trying
    to get my point out in a kinder gentler way. Finding someone who can edit you
    and still allow your voice to come through I think is another issue to watch
    out for.

  • sweetpotatoes

     

    I would love to find a mentor to bounce ideas off of.
    Someone who could ask the right questions since I am full of answers and info
    and facts but not sure where to begin. I have started multiple times and just
    talk myself out of it. I have spent like 1.5 years now trying to find a someone
    in this area that I trust, respect and gets it and haven’t found them. I have
    found some that get this but they don’t make good mentors. The irony is I kind
    of think I am the actual mentor on this topic. I know that sounds boastful but
    there is a lot of truth to this. That is why I had followers.

    I am also not
    willing to compromise to be popular either. I am passionate about this stuff
    and trying to find that same passion and dedication in others who understand this
    approach is hard to find at all.  There
    are mostly men in the field who are popular with their approach but certainly
    not many older women like myself. It is much cooler to hang with the younger
    guys on this.

    I have been scouring the net almost daily to find someone I
    can relate to on this subject and where they can relate to me, who also has the skills, time
    and passion as I do. Sometimes you are the lone wolf out there and maybe that
    is why in such a short time I had a following with my blog.

    About a year ago I started a blog and wrote a
    lot within a 4 month period. I had no idea how to do a blog, I just knew
    someone, a woman, needed to start the dialog about this. I am a horrible writer
    too and have medical issues that cause my brain to be kind of foggy but I pushed
    through it, including all the errors I couldn’t catch. What was shocking is
    others were stealing my posts word for word and this was double shocking to me since
    I do not consider myself a writer at all. But I hit a cord with folks and by
    the end of 4 months I was getting 1K hits a week with this amateur blog. It
    takes me way more time to write a post than regular folks and I would spend my
    days devoted to this. I would start in the morning and before I knew it my
    husband was home from work.

    I closed down the
    blog since I had no way to stop the content thieves and felt I was working for
    them for free since they used my traffic to redirect to their bad products. I
    struck a nerve out there and that nerve still lives out there. Some followers
    told me to write a book instead. I have resisted and hoped others would do it.
    I waited and none have. First I was disappointed and now I am mad researchers
    are not talking about this. I know many would benefit from what I have learned.

    I believe now that blogs are better venues for selling a
    book or services since it is the wild wild west online since content thieving
    is rampant. I also don’t have money to pay someone to listen or mentor me. My
    payment will be from what they learn from me. It changed my life and I know it
    will change others. My best hope would be to do an ebook from what I can tell.

    What do you do when you can’t find a mentor? Is there a
    recipe for how to write a good non fiction book? Are there rules on how you
    begin? How to not go off in 300 different directions with the topic? How to
    stay focused? How to scale back on the details on what is important and what is
    me just rattling on too much? What if your ideas are good but you make many simple
    writing mistakes, and is it reasonable to ask someone to see past the errors
    and understand what you are offering is worthy? Am I kidding myself to think
    that I am worthy of a writing mentor?

    If I was 20 or 30 yrs younger I could go
    back to school and learn how to write perhaps but I am older and really I want
    to get this out before my memory and writing gets any worse. I had returned to
    college for a brief stint at the age of 40 and my English teacher surprised me
    and said I should submit a paper I wrote for class to the University paper. I
    was shocked once again but did it. But when I read it in the paper the students
    had edited it a way that the argument was weak and sterile and just lame. But
    hey I was taking on the University administration and perhaps they were trying
    to get my point out in a kinder gentler way. Finding someone who can edit you
    and still allow your voice to come through I think is another issue to watch
    out for.

  • http://twitter.com/RachelleGauvin Rachelle Gauvin

    Thanks for sharing this awesome article Jeff. I have just recently approached a few connections for coffee to get some of their perspective and I`d suggest it to anyone.  It`s good to go in with an open mind but also be prepared to ask some specifics (they are most likely very busy people).

    Thanks again,

    Rachelle

  • Disillusioned with Uni Tutor

    The people I would love to have as mentors are all dead. I’m still struggling to find a living person with the attributes, mental acuity and down right insanity that I seek. Wherefore art thou?

  • Geeta

    Thank you for sharing all these good points , I have an unofficial meeting tomorrow at lunch time and this article has covered what I was looking for!

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