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March 04, 2018
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Your ability to find mentors and harness those relationships is a key factor in the success you’ll have in life. With a mentor, you can save years skipping the conventional career steps, and you’ll have rare doors open for you

Your ability to find mentors and harness those relationships is a key factor in the success you’ll have in life. With a mentor, you can save years skipping the conventional career steps, and you’ll have rare doors open for you—which allows opportunities that few achieve in life or business. If you fail to develop mutually beneficial relationships with people who are where you want to be, you’ll most likely stay right where you are. Start with these steps:1. Drop any mentors who aren’t propelling you forward. The fastest way to move forward is to remove the things holding you back. Before you start exercising, reduce your junk food consumption. Once you remove the obstacles, you can take one step forward without taking two steps backward. Time is a renewable resource. You can’t get it back. The wrong mentorships will not only cost you time, but can send your life and career in the wrong direction. I know from experience. Knowing I wanted to get into psychology Ph.D. programs after my undergraduate studies, I looked for as much research experience as I could get. I worked under five different professors in their research labs. And although these professors meant well, the hundreds of hours I spent working in their labs didn’t get me any closer to my goals and I was rejected from two graduate programs.
2. Be Picky. Just because someone is willing to be your mentor doesn’t mean they should be. There are lots of people willing to “impart their wisdom.” But if they aren’t where you want to be, then their advice is irrelevant to you and might be lacking the practicality Yof someone with tangible experience. That’s why it’s important to know where you want to go. If you don’t, anyone could be your mentor. Your criteria should be finding people who are where you want or who are “closer to the mountain” than you. Actually, people a few steps ahead of you incredible insights to offer.3. Speak from results, not vague ambitions. Knowing the types of people you want as mentors isn’t enough. People are busy. Why should they invest their time in you? If you can provide concrete evidence that you’re serious, your chances of getting help increase dramatically.4. Ask. You miss every shot you don’t take. You lose nothing by asking and getting rejected. However, you fail by default when you don’t ask at all. Are you willing to put yourself out there? Twenty seconds of fear is all you need. Practice confronting fear for 20 seconds every single day. Whatever it is you feel you want to do, do it. The anticipation of a scary situation is far more painful than the situation itself. So just do it.
5. Help the right people. Mentorship is a service. How can you help this person? The best way is to save them time. You need to care more about their goals than you care about your own. Actually, your number one goal is to help them with their goals, even if you’re doing it for free.6. Take on greater responsibility. Most people avoid responsibility. They’d rather someone els carry the load. They’d rather not have to deal with the consequences. Fear of failure stops them from trying in the first place. But when you take on the responsibility, life will get easier. It’s like injecting yourself with motivation steroids, urgency and desperation. Ask your mentors for more responsibility. Do anything you can to make their life easier. Do anything you can to make them look good to their mentors.7. Pay it forward. Never let a goal become more important than helping people. Helping others generously, abundantly. Help others without expectations of a return favor. Serving others will turn you into a mentor yourself. And you will always find more joy in helping others succeed than in achieving your own success.

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