Very often I get asked this question: How do I find a good Mentor? The truth is Good Mentors are hard to find but not impossible. Good mentors are rare so you want to make the best use of this mentoring relationship.

So in this article, I have highlighted a few practical ways in which you can find a good mentor, here are 7 of them:

1. Mentored by your role-model

A very important lesson in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is called ‘Mimic Successful Models’, which means if you want to be like someone you mimic what they see, think and do. And no better way than to be mentored by someone you admire or look up to. Being Mentored by your role model will allow you to See, Think and Do things they do. So reach out to someone who you look up to and ask them to be your mentor. Your role-model has walked the path and he or she can pass on that wisdom as they mentor you.

2. Date before you Marry

Not everyone you admire can be your mentor, hence it is important before you get into a mentoring relationship to understand each other’s goals. Mentoring a huge commitment and should not be taken lightly by either one of you. So carve out some time and have some informal discussions over coffee. This will allow you to discuss your goals with your mentor and also look for opportunities to serve your mentor in a way that might be mutually benefiting. So start with smaller commitments. It is OK to not be in a mentoring relationship if it is not mutually benefiting or you find is a mismatch.

3. Manage your Mentor’s Project

Every one of us has this one project that they want someone to help you with. Do you have the Skills and the expertise to help with that project? Offer your Skills and services to your mentor in a way that your mentor now feels less burdened about this project. This will not only take a big load off your mentor’s shoulder but will give him or her the time to spend with you in mentoring you. It will also create an opportunity for you to work with this mentor on a Live project. There is no better opportunity to learn from a mentor while working on a Live project.

4. Find them in your network

Asking a complete stranger to be your Mentor is not a good place to start. It is a hard mountain to climb, rather look for networks or associations which will allow you to meet seasoned experts who can be your mentor. Join these networks and look for opportunities to build your relationship with them. Your network or business association will now serve as a platform to bridge the gap. This will allow you to have something in common to start with

5. Give before you Ask

As mentioned in the 3rd point, you want to Give before you ask. Asking before you give could be seen as being very selfish and greedy. Hence you want to offer your mentor your time and skills before you ask for theirs. Remember you want to Give before you gain. My Co-founder at MentorCloud, Rajesh Setty says “You can help meaningfully help people with what matters most to them without adding more cost to them”. This is something that has worked well for me.

6. Share your story

You are asking your potential for one of their most important resource - their wisdom, and that is not easy to find. Share your story with this potential mentor, let them know what your vision or goal is and how specifically you are hoping to be mentored. Make this a compelling story, no one wants to see their wisdom being used for something small. Talk about how you wish to make a substantial impact through this mentoring relationship

7. Don't look for a perfect mentor

No one is perfect, not even your mentor. Looking for a perfect mentor is looking for the impossible. However, what you are looking for is someone who has gone ahead of you in life, business or career. Someone who has seen the highs and lows and has learnt from them so that you don't have to make those same mistakes. So when you find flaws in your mentor don't be too quick to judge them but learn from their wisdom and grow yourself.