What to say to a biz mentor on “your first date”

Last week, I posed the question, who needs a business mentor? A recent blog on “The Lean Marketer” took this one stage further. Assuming that you have a chance to meet a mentor, what should you say to them?

The blog tackled the subject from the point of view of an entrepreneur. Seven tips are listed, including honing your pitch and turning up to a session with a goal in mind. I have tweeted the article, but my experience leads me to a different conclusion.

When I sit down with a person for the first time or maybe just listen to them over the phone, I never know what to expect. The range of stories is vast and is still growing. The most intriguing are those who ask me what I do, and how, and why can I help people. And then they launch into a history of their successes, implying that they may call me back.

My point is that anybody who starts a professional conversation with a business mentor – never mind age, commercial background, stage of development, whatever – is by definition admitting / close to admitting that they have an issue that needs to be resolved………and they cannot do it by themselves.

Now that is difficult for many people to own up to, like those who may call back again. Many of us grow up with the “belief” that when we solve problems by ourselves, we are a stronger and better person. Well, that ain’t necessarily so. 

If you are stuck, tell somebody – ie, a mentor – preferably as soon as you meet them. Explain why you feel that you have hit a wall. Let the mentor help you explore if that is true and how to on to greener pastures. It could be a recipe for a fruitful romance.

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