It is no secret to how I feel about having a mentor. Honestly, it is one of the most important steps to owning your health. I think that who you learn from and who you surround yourself with is one of the MOST important ways to grow as a person and to develop in your own personal, spiritual and professional life.
One of the questions I hear a lot is “how do you find your mentors?”
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in trying to find mentors is thinking that they need to be mentored by the biggest and the best. For example. I love Oprah! Clearly it would be a dream to be mentored by her. But there is no way in the world that I would be able to get her to personally mentor me (yet). And to be honest, it would be far more beneficial for me to be mentored by someone just a few steps ahead of me. Someone who is accessible and has the energy and passion to pour into me. And someone who I can bless and be blessed by.
So here are some thoughts of how I have approached mentorship that may help those of you crying out for a mentor and needs some tips:
- Approach someone who is only a few steps ahead of you.
You don’t need Tony Robbins himself, or the CEO of a company or the head pastor of your church to personally mentor you. And in the words of John Maxwell, these leaders need to spend their time sowing into people who next in line to their job. Look for someone who is only a few steps in front of you. That person is going to be far more accessible and has more time to sow into you. Perhaps it is a colleague only a few years ahead of you, or perhaps it is a friend whose life, maturity and character you respect. My medical mentor is a fellow doctor who is a few years in front of me. I respect her character and manner as a doctor, her ideals and aspirations align with mine, and I genuinely love being around her. I would love to be a doctor like her. She is not, however, the Medical Director, or the head of a department, or Mark Hyman himself. However, for where I am at right now she is probably 100 times better.
- Have mentors for different areas in your life.
As I mentioned above I have someone who mentors me in my medical career, but I also have a business mentor, as well as a personal life and marriage mentor. This works well. It is unrealistic to expect your mentor to mentor you in every area of your life. Some may be better equipped to mentor you in the area of your marriage, others in business, others may be more equipped to mentor you in your career or professional development. Don’t be afraid to seek out mentors for different areas of your life and seek their wisdom for the component of their life that you respect, rather than having unrealistic expectations on them to mentor you in all areas of your life and then becoming disappointed when they don’t.
- Be clear about your expectations.
Everyone is busy. Everyone. And chances are, if you are asking someone to mentor you, while they may be willing, their first thought may be, how much of my time is this going to take. So be clear. Ask for one cup of coffee. Come prepared with questions. Then go away and do everything they suggested. Read all the resources they mentioned. Apply all the strategies they spoke about. And don’t ask for another meeting until you have tried to apply, read or practice everything they said. When you meet again they will see how teachable and serious you are and they will be far more willing to engage again.
John Maxwell writes in his book ’15 invaluable laws of growth’, that he used to write to leaders he admired and offer them 100 dollars for a short amount of time to sit with him and answer some questions. He would write down all their answers and practice everything they said.
Most people are happy to invest their time if they can see you are teachable, eager and good soil. However, they are not going to know how amazing you are at first. So have little expectations on their time in the beginning. Come prepared with questions. Be clear about what you want to get out of it. And apply everything they say. Trust me. If you are good soil. They will be eager to continue and will be blessed by you.
- Make the best use of online and virtual mentors.
I consider myself a mentoree and student of John Maxwell, Dr Mark Hyman, Shawn Bolz, Oprah, Rachel Hollis and many others. I listen to their podcasts, read their books, and do their online workshops. I have found my life powerfully influenced by these incredible people and many others. You may not have access to a personal mentor right now, but there is no end to the lack of resources and people who can mentor you. Don’t complain about not having a mentor if you are not tapping into the resources readily available at your fingertips. We are so blessed to have these options available to us.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how you go with this as each of you try and find mentors to guide you through your passions and your dreams.
You are deeply loved and richly cherished.
Dr Christine Greenwood
Own Your Health – Changing the way you Think, Eat and Live.
Oh wow. So in our episode of ‘Up close – #withthegreenwoods’, when I asked for some suggestions to help with my husband’s snoring, someone suggested holding Greenie’s nose. OMG, it works! It also stops him breathing Full Stop.. so I guess I have to be careful he doesn’t stop breathing altogether. But, goodness it works a treat! Thank you Thank you! Keep those lifechanging suggestions coming.
P.S. Have you read ‘Part 1 – How to be Mentored’? See below!