Saturday, October 29, 2016

10 Tips for Finding Mentors (the college edition)

Finding mentors in life and profession is incumbent upon one that seeks to better himself.

Like-minded people share a common bond. If you can find out what that is, then you have a match. It sounds easier than it actually is.

For starters, there is the disparity in time value between mentor and mentee, where the sought after mentor has a scarcity of time the would be mentee does not. Due to time constraints, your favorite mentor may be unavailable while the mentee is mostly available.

I think someone who seriously has considered building up a relationship with a mentor should:
  1. Be well acquainted with his target, beyond background and qualifications. If you don't know your mentor well enough to speak eloquently on the subject, to quote from his/her works, then drop it. The worst offense to people including myself is wasting my time. Don't make me blacklist you. You only have one chance to make the first impression.
  2. Impress your mentor. At a face to face meeting, offer to buy him lunch or coffee/tea, even if you'll end up not paying for it. I know a lot of people are saying the opposite, however, I look for assertiveness as a major treat and if you don't have it, you lose. A famous person would likely have a lot of groupies. I don't think idolatry makes a serious mentorship relationship, so mentors should stay away from idolatresses. Idolatry also can incapacitate the mentee in making real progress
  3. Preparation is the key. You should never seek out someone just because he(she) is wealthy and famous. Wealth and fame are a byproduct of a life of choice and experiences that include defeat, disappointments and retreats. If you don't wanna go through that, don't even start.
  4. Your mentorship search should have already started and be well underway. That means you should already have a collection of thoughts, writings, personal guidelines and lifestyle practices that are congruent to what you are seeking from me. You should have a list of favorite subscriptions, books, trainings, videos that form the base of who you are and want to become. Many people have a whole set of virtual mentors or are followers of Warren Buffet for example. If you have read and made sense of Buffet's investment letters which are publicly available from 1977 to 2015, that shows me you have interest and possess an analytical mind. Does that mean they will form the subject of our meeting ? Absolutely not. If you've come prepared at a meeting I can infer the time I spend with you won't go to waste. If you already have "virtual" mentors, whether alive or in the past, that is something I can build on
  5. As a mentor, I'm looking for someone who has a a good [mental] structure, who has a "backbone". A "backbone" is something you can build on, something that shows promise. I like people who have character.  
  6. You need to be coachable. If I give you an idea (could be an investment thesis but not necessary, it could be anything) you'll need to be able to spin it, include the pros and the cons. No idea is ever 100% perfect. If you can find the flaw in that which appears flawless, you already see something about life, # one, that it is not perfect and #two, things are in a flux (always changing).
  7.  If I give you any homework, be happy because that means the lines of communications are open and there's a follow up You don't wanna be hung up after the meeting, you want to see more coming through.
  8. Ask questions, and then ask some more. Do not be afraid to sound stupid, an inquisitive mind is a mind on a mission. These days the people I meet more and more are the entrepreneurs, They come in all shapes and ages Do you need to be in the Founders Society to talk to me ? Absolutely not. You don't need to be younger than 40, or have $100,000 and more in revenues.
  9. It is a simple fact we are what we do [all day] and not just under extraordinary circumstances. If you are an interesting person, chances are you will be able to get the attention of a mentor and you may even surprise yourself at the caliber of a person that will respond to you and pay attention to you.
  10. Be genuine. In any meeting and in general, be sincere, warm and approachable. Don't be like this guy: (  Quote: "It’s freezing and snowing in New York – we need global warming!"You are either looking for a mentor or you are running for Presidency.  You can't do both.
If you wish to use subliminal messaging, you can go ahead and play this track ? dress like their favorite character ? Let me know how that works.


  1. Great read, Max! My question is, what do I do when competition is so fierce and there are literally hundreds of applicants (700 and counting at the job I applied ? From that, the short list is of about 50. Thank you

  2. Read my Shogun/Samurai mind immersion Imagine there are only 3 folks you are up against, yourself included: you, your best self and your wimpy self. All you need to do is focus on your next step: being the best self.

  3. This blog is very informative,I have received lot of valuable points for finding mentors to grow up my career.Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog post with everyone.


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