How to Find (and Keep) a Mentor

How to Find (and Keep) a Mentor

When I was seventeen I met a guy named David who started volunteering at our school. He was odd. But as I watched the way he made decisions and lived his life I was intrigued. I started hanging out with him and his wife as much as possible. That relationship changed my life. And twenty-five years later I still talk to him on a regular basis. Anytime I’ve got a decision to make I check in with him. I don’t always take his advice, but I always listen, and I can’t tell you how many times his input has saved me.

King Solomon said, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Pr. 13:20)

Life is complex. We all need a mentor – someone with wisdom who can help us navigate the complexities of life. Finances. Parenting. Marriage.

When I talk to people about the importance of having a mentor the question I always get is, “How do I find a person to be my mentor?”

My answer: Look for someone who is living the life you want. Find someone who is doing it right in the area you want to be mentored. Ideally, find someone who is far enough down the road that you can see the results of their decisions. There are lots of people out there with great ideas. But check the end product, if possible. Find a parent who has adult kids you admire. Find someone who is wealthy and generous. Find a couple who has been married a long time and still has vibrant relationship.

The next question I usually get is, “But those people are busy. Why would they give me their time?” Great question. The crazy thing is, the more successful people are, typically, the more willing they are to give you time – if they think you are a good investment of their time.

So how do you make sure you are a good investment?

Simple. Be humble and teachable. Ask questions. When they give an answer don’t say things like, “Oh, but my situation is different.” That answer rings of being unteachable. Just listen and figure out how to apply the advice to your situation.

If you want to go further faster and really win big at life make sure that you surround yourself with the right people. Find a mentor for every area of your life: family, finances, career, ministry, personal goals. Then start watching and learning. You’ll go further than you could ever imagine.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. –Pr. 15:22