How to Ask Mentors For Help

April 19, 2020 • written by

I have received help from several mentors.

Many times, the people who mentored me are my employers and supervisors.

There are also times when I sought out mentors from people I met at church, the gym, from social gatherings and online.

Mentors are usually able to provide me with insight and additional intelligence because they are more experienced.

These people usually earn more than me and their decision making ability is incredibly valuable.

Successful Mentors Also Have Obligations

The mentors that helped me usually have a lot of things on their schedule.

If you want to be financially successful, that requires doing several tasks well.

My older mentors usually have a family and other obligations.

So I do my best to be respectful of their time.

Whenever I meet them, I offer to pay for the food and coffee.

Advice From a Mentor Who Has Experience Helped Me Avoid Losing Resources

Because the advice I learn from them are often worth more than my salary.

My car expert friend helped me save 200k from the time I bought a car.

My bible study mentor helped me avoid losing 200k/year by taking the wrong job.

My CrossFit coach helped me save 20k/month.

My online mentor gave me advice that helped me get a promotion.

Many of my big jumps in life were guided by a mentor.

How To Be Respectful of Your Mentor’s Time

Whenever possible I do my best to become respectful of the mentor’s time and select the option that has the least amount of time commitment for them.

The other reason is I don’t want to be a pest and I’m worried that they’ll charge me every time I ask for advice.

My previous employer charged clients Php 10,000/hour.

He probably charges more now.

I have also mentored people.

The truth is, mentoring is almost like a part-time job.

Because on top of your personal challenges, you have to think about another person’s personal challenges.

How To Respect Your Mentor’s Time

Instead of meeting in person for lunch, I offer to buy them coffee.

Instead of meeting in person, I ask if we can have a shorty chat or call.

Whenever I meet or talk to my mentors, I prepare all my questions in advance on my notebook and take notes on all their answers.

Thank Your Mentor Because Their Advice Helped You Succeed

I also let them know how the advice had helped me and thank them for their help.

I know from personal experience that helping someone succeed makes a mentor happy and that’s the reason why we received the advice for free and didn’t get charged a lot of money.

Try researching how much a lawyer’s professional fees are.

If Your Mentor Has a Blog, Read it…

One of my mentors is someone who owns several companies abroad.

He also spends some of his time writing for his personal blog.

I do my best to read everything on his blog.

I have learned a lot and become a better person just reading his blog.

I take notes on everything I’ve learned.

I want to avoid asking questions he already wrote on his blog.

For the situations where I need to ask questions, I often only ask them clarifying questions.

Then I email them.

Email Your Mentor

One of my mentors is a senior vice president of a giant company in the Philippines.

He gave me his personal email address.

I asked for and received his advice dozens of times but only ended up emailing him once.

I also only met him a few times.

Whenever I’m stuck with a problem and need help, I take the time to write a good description of my problem.

I do my best to include all the important details so they have context of my situation.

I write down my questions on the email.

I write down the different outcomes that I want to happen.

When my email gets to a full page, I pare down the email and remove the repetitive words.

Then I leave the email in my drafts.

The next day, I try to imagine what they’ll tell me.

Then I go back and update the email further.

I take as many steps as I can in writing the email want to make sure that the message is clear.

I also try to judge my message based on what I know about my mentor’s usual answers and personal philosophy.

I repeat this process three or more times.

Eventually, the answer becomes clear for me and I realize I no longer neeed to bother for them with my question.

I usually end up thanking them for inspiring me.

Sometimes I include the shortest version of the dilemma, what I think their advice is, what I did and how it turned out.

Then I thank them for the help and their support.

Thank you for reading this far and thank you for your attention.

If you made it this far, you should introduce yourself.

I am praying for your success. God bless!

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