What are your criteria for choosing a mentor?


And how do you initiate if you don't yet have a close relationship with the person?

Mentor Relationships

asked May 3 '10 at 12:19
G Rex
683 points

3 Answers


  1. Have they reached the level I want to get to?
  2. Does their communications style match mine?
  3. Is their expertise of high value to me?
  4. Can he/she benefit from my knowledge? <-- This one is very important for long-term relationship.

Now I have deeper criteria, depending on my specific needs, but those four questions serve as my baseline.

How do I initiate the relationship? I will be painfully simple here... I ask them if they would be interested in helping me by being my mentor and I tell them why I value them.

answered May 3 '10 at 14:33
Apollo Sinkevicius
3,323 points


I picked up an interesting strategy from another entrepreneur.

Find a business person who's the kind of person you want to be. Find out who their mentor was, and contact them. You may have to be persistent, or comply with demanding conditions, but it should be worth it.

I haven't tried it, but it worked extremely well for her, and the process makes sense to me.

answered May 4 '10 at 05:34
Dave Ambrose
51 points


I recently answered a similar question on this forum here: In brief:

One of the strategies that people who are really good at using mentors have is to:

  • Identify which specific skill they need mentoring in
  • Find someone who is excellent in that area
  • Find out specifically what that person does to be excellent
  • Try out the mentor's strategy in their own situation
  • Make any modifications or adaption they need to to make it their own.

The cool thing about this, is that you can have many different mentors and are not looking for the one perfect person who can mentor you through the whole process. It also eases the burden on the mentors and means most people are happy to help because they don't have to make a permanent commitment.

It also means that one mentor doesn't hold all your IP.

Good luck.

answered May 4 '10 at 20:07
Susan Jones
4,128 points

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