For all the good consulting ideas I get from business books, conferences, my colleagues and your Daily Tips, I am still missing something that would really jump start my business. It is the guidance of a mentor or someone who could give me the unwritten tips of the trade. How do I find such a person?
Having a guiding force early in your career has always been a good idea. However it seems to be all the rage today for anyone at any stage of their career to find a mentor, coach or advisor. Finding someone (or several someones) to provide guidance makes a lot of sense for consultants, whose careers require development of skills and behaviors in a wide range of areas. But how does one go about finding someone who can guide them?
The first step is to really understand who you are and where you are headed. Is what you lack related to your business or personal life? Are you more interested in building your business than expanding your service offerings? Do you feel comfortable with your work-life balance but not with understanding where your career is headed? Answering these questions comes first before trying to decide what kind of person to seek to help guide you (that person will ask similar questions once you start working with them).Tip:
Think of the one person you would really benefit most from talking to. Aim high. Who do you admire that could give you that one nugget of information that could unlock your business or personal potential? Now, find out how to approach them, whether through colleagues or through formal channels. Don't assume that because someone is famous or presumably busy that they won't make time for you. After all, this is the most important issue you face, your future. Remember, you are not asking to develop along term relationship with them, just get that one piece of advice you really need. P.S.
Whether this works or not, pick the next person on your list of "the person I'd most like to talk to" and have a conversation with them.© 2008 Institute of Management Consultants USA