Author Topic: Finding a mentor  (Read 3061 times)

Gurtie

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1628
    • View Profile
Finding a mentor
« on: January 27, 2011, 09:32:24 AM »
Has anyone got any tips re finding a mentor? I don't want anyone in SEO/SEM really, and certainly not anyone at a marketing agency (since I suspect most issues I would want to talk through with someone will relate to agency life and a competitor wouldn't be appropriate).  The Chartered Institute of Marketing offer a mentoring service locally but it's going to cost me 180 to find out if anyone there who's volunteering as a mentor is someone I actually hit it off with (and feedback from colleagues who are/were members makes me think that it won't offer much else I can use and the volunteer mentors aren't likely to understand anything I'm talking about). So I can probably buy a lot of networking beers with 180 - is that a better route?

Has anyone actually set out to find one, and what did you do? Most people I know who have a good one met through business by chance, but most people I meet through business are either competitors, clients or very specialised.... sort of makes it hard to know where to start.

eurotrash

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 09:47:16 AM »
I take it you have had a look at http://www.coachingnetwork.org.uk

Rupert

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2447
  • George in a previous life.
    • View Profile
    • SuitsMen
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 09:50:02 AM »
Gurtie,
I know what you mean, I struggle to find people to bounce ideas off, and talk to about growing my business.  

A few on this board help me a lot. :)

Otherwise, friends.  I have a few who have their own business,s, but the real problem/advantage is none of them really understand the web.  Not saying I do, but they are all way off!

What exactly are you looking for from a mentor though?  Are your needs different to mine?  
... Make sure you live before you die.

Gurtie

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1628
    • View Profile
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 10:15:12 AM »
Thanks ET, I'll check it out :)

Rupert - hard to describe exactly what I'd hope to gain - I don't need an SEO because, as you say, I have you guys - if I have an seo specific problem or many business problems I can get an answer here. However in some circumstances we are all very hard edged. If its a case of dealing with a client who won't do something, or a colleague who absolutely refuses to compromise, the answer here will generally be 'sack them' or 'tell them x,y,z' which might be the *correct* answer from a purely logical viewpoint, but doesn't really solve the problem. Equally my other half and most of my offline friends work in a totally different field so their answers aren't agency, or even marketing, viewpoints.

Colleagues can sometimes help but some things can't be discussed with workmates (like other colleagues!). My bosses are amazing and supportive but sometimes its not a training course or a discussion about the business plan that I need.....

I have a mate who's on the edge of this industry who has a mentor who he meets for dinner every couple of months, tells him how things are going, listens to some sage and dispassionate advice, and comes away feeling like he's got his head sorted out. Thats sort of what I want - I don't necessarily need career advancement (although someone to weigh pro's and cons of certain moves would be helpful), I don't want someone who knows everyone I know, and they don't need to provide me with a career plan or suggest a mantra for me, just sort of help me keep on the right tracks and see the wood for the trees sometimes.

Does that make sense?


ukgimp

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2039
    • View Profile
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 10:46:41 AM »
Actioncoach have some good people.

Check out Brad Sugars

Brad

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2649
  • What, me worry?
    • View Profile
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 12:21:55 PM »
Makes perfect sense.  Like Rupert, most of my dirt-world friends have no idea how the Web works, so their eyes glaze over when I talk to them about web stuff.

For the rest I rely on friends on forums or chat.  But sometimes you just need to talk with somebody face to face - typing just does not cut it.

Good luck in your hunt.

Rupert

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2447
  • George in a previous life.
    • View Profile
    • SuitsMen
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 01:57:22 PM »
Sounds to me like you are looking for someone who can talk about anything business related, is that right?

People issues, plans, how to market,  "what went wrong and what to look at next" scenarios. What to do in 2011, how to measure it, general brain storming problems????

Intregued to know how your friend found their guru.  Sounds a great idea.  What does the guru get out of it?  Perhaps If I understood that, I could find one more easily. :)

I bet ukgimp would be a mentor for a meal if you asked him :)
... Make sure you live before you die.

Gurtie

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1628
    • View Profile
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 07:35:53 PM »
I bet gimp would run screaming out the door  8)

but yes, spot on for the rest. And he met him through a mutual friend and "just asked him". 

dougs

  • Inner Core
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 167
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 08:03:37 PM »
I did a course at Cranfield and they offered a mentoring solution afterwards. So there are about 12 of us from all different business areas who meet up every 8 weeks for a day. We then present what we are doing whilst the others take the p##s. It's a good laugh and makes you thing as you see other peoples problems. The guy who coordinates it then spend half a day per month with me talking about stuff.

Its not a cheap option but has transformed what I do...mainly because I worked out what I wanted to do.

Doug


agerhart

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 233
    • View Profile
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 09:18:57 PM »
Doug, my boss/partner does the same thing and enjoys it.  I would really like to get into something similar but I'm not sure where to start.

I am absolutely awful at networking which makes it difficult for me to find the groups, find a mentor, etc.

ukgimp

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2039
    • View Profile
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 09:31:02 PM »
Why do you have to network? You just have to pony up.

Denise, not at all. But you don't live near me.

bill

  • Devil's Avocado
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Avast!
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Finding a mentor
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 02:47:53 AM »
You guys have it easy. It's tough just to find someone who speaks English where I am. ;)

I don't have a mentor, so I have to try my best with networking. It's not the easiest thing for me to do either. I have to push myself to attend various functions. I find myself becoming the mentor for others when it comes to the online world. Hopefully that will pay off at some point.