Whatever it is you want to do with your career, it’s going to be hard to do it alone. It pays to get advice from someone who has walked your path before and knows the ins and outs of it. So master mentee Geoff Wood from The Mentee Podcast is here with us today to dish out the skills at developing fruitful mentor-mentee relationships and connecting with influential people.
- 3:50: The 5 people with whom you spend the most time-what do they say about you?
- 6:40: What are the two categories of people when it comes to seeking a mentor?
- 9:00: If you’re starting from square one, figure these two things out FIRST before you seek your mentor.
- 9:30: Ever heard of the six degrees of separation? We challenge you to leverage it! Here’s Geoff’s formula:
- 17:45: Mr. Fortune Cookie’s (Geoff Woods) own words of advice on important people.
- 28:00 You know who your ideal mentor would, but how do you approach and seek his counsel?
- 36:10: What do you say when you make your first impression on your mentor-to-be? Geoff’s gameplan:
- 41:20: Now you’re “in” with them…how do you stay “in?”
- 53:15 So you read a book a week! You listen to 20 podcasts, great! But have you done THIS?
One immediate way to grow your skill with mentor-mentee relationships is in your immediate circle of friends. Geoff recommends surrounding yourself with people who will get you to where you want to be, and start spending time with them.
People are influential, and the ones you spend the most time around are immensely so. Start to pay attention to whom you spend a lot of time with and ask yourself if they are helping get to where you need to go in your career. This doesn’t mean that you throw away your good friends, but if you want to learn how to walk the path you want to walk, it’s important to associate with those who have walked it. To your mentor, your troubles are old hat. Rather than studying at the school of hard knocks and making mistakes, you can substitute your mentor’s experience.
You know the idea of The Six Degrees of Separation? How you may know EVERY PERSON ON THIS BEAUTIFUL EARTH through meeting person A, who knows this guy B, who’s good friends with this lady C...all the way to a famous CEO or inventor? It strikes me as crazy. It strikes Geoff as useful.
Instead of posing as an interesting thought experiment, the Six Degrees of Separation can be a reservoir of untapped connections. You can start by simply letting people know what you’re looking for--you figured this out all the way back starting from square one! According to Geoff, four possible things can happen when you let your friend know what you’re looking for:
- They do nothing and nothing happens. Oh well.
- You’re looking for X, and your friend is an expert in X! Talk about a find.
- You’re looking for X, and your friend may know someone who’s an expert in X. Six Degrees of Separation at work.
- None of the above, but you’ve planted a seed in your friend’s mind that you’re looking for X. When they meet someone who is an expert in X, they’ll remember your interest.
Your network and your Six Degrees are untapped sources of networking--try it out.
Except you are that important-and this is the reason why: An accomplished person loves to mentor, loves to help someone out. Some may even see it as a duty, as their turn to help someone else along their path. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it wasn’t built by one person either. One thing I’ve taken away from my time with Geoff Woods is that the people around you are influential, and accomplished people are certainly not immune to influence either.
For all the personal dedication and insight your mentor put into his accomplishments, there was a time he stood at the beginning of his path and stared down the road in anxiety and anticipation. We’ve all been there before. Along the journey, there was someone else to mentor him and pick him up in his trials and trouble. And just as his mentor before, he hopes to be the same influence to you, in a continual chain of accomplishment and awesome. This is why you’re so important. So cut out any limiting belief that stops you from thinking that you’re not good enough for a mentor’s time. Go ahead and ask-invest your time and energy first, and pay attention to your mentor’s wisdom.
And relationships you make (especially with your mentor) are investments as well-although you understand how other people can help you out (and people you don’t know, thanks to the Six Degrees), look for ways to help other people out. Listen to their interests as if they told you they were holding a puzzle piece; perhaps you hold another piece to complete their puzzle or you may know a resource they could use. By helping and investing in them like a bank account, you’re in a position to make withdrawals and build win-win relationships.
You are an investor in people. You make things happen-you make relationships form, you invest in your own growth, and those are a few reasons why you’re such a likable person! Why else have you been following this podcast and working on yourself!