Hello there,

Recently in a meeting with one of my mentors, I asked him ‘which one of your mentors has inspired you the most?’ He responded, ‘for me, my most important mentors are not even those I meet face to face, I get a lot of inspiration from the books I read’ I smiled at his response because I agreed a hundred percent. After my article ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ was published on myjoyonline.com I had a number of people writing to me asking, ‘will you be my mentor?’ That is humbling for me and it will be my pleasure to mentor as many people as possible, but I want to use this opportunity to give you three of my personal strategies through which I get mentored.

Before I get into it though, I would just like you to know why I am passionate about mentorship. I strongly believe that the quickest way to be above average in whatever you do is to find someone or people who are already above average and learn from them.

I couldn't agree more with Zig Ziglar when he said 'don't re-invent the wheel, go to school on other people's experiences' Think about it, most of the things you want to accomplish have been accomplished already.

Or at least, there are people in the field in which you want to get so why not learn from them? For instance, if you desire to be an outstanding lecturer, there are many. If it is being an IT Engineer that tickles your fancy, you don’t need to look that far to find an outstanding one. The people ahead of you have already made mistakes that you don't need to repeat, and frankly, there is not enough time to make old mistakes. Make new mistakes and use the experience to mentor others too. By the way, who is your mentor? A mentor is anyone who uses their experience to train or advise you. And since there are many aspects of life, you can have many different mentors for various purposes.

Here are three of my most tried and true strategies to get mentored:

1. Find someone in the field you are interested in, communicate with and learn from them

Personally, I am privileged to be in contact with many people whom I consider as above average. They mentor me in various aspects of my life; faith, marriage, raising children, running my business, etc. One time, I was so desperate to be mentored by a certain Pediatrician/Reverend Minister that I actually asked her ‘please, can you mentor me?’ Actually, that question was not necessary because this fabulous woman was already in my life, all I had to do was to seek her advice whenever I needed it.

For such mentors, just find opportunities to ask them questions that really bother you – simple. One of my mentors is also my colleague who has raised four very responsible children, her first born got first class in his bachelor’s degree while building a brand as a photographer! She inspires me so much and whenever I get the opportunity, I ask her many questions about raising children. I firmly believe that curiosity never killed any cat else I'd be dead by now haha.

I have another mentor who is a successful entrepreneur and author; these are two of my aspirations hence I meet with him at least twice a year to discuss various ideas.It was yet another mentor who advised me; ‘reduce what you teach into a book!’ After this particular meeting, I got a new found energy to revisit the publication of my first book – Yarns of Inspiration I.

I tell you, sometimes I leave my mentors’ offices feeling as if I just got another MBA! I have mentors whom I talk to once a month, once a year, etc and I always make a conscious effort to stay in touch, sometimes it's as simple as wishing them a happy birthday, mothers’ or fathers’ day, etc.

My strategy is to identify an above-average person I know who can mentor me in a certain aspect of my life and stay close to them; if you don’t do this already, you may try it. Remember, your mind determines everything you do so make sure you are surrounded by correct people who feed your mind with positive energy – that is priceless. Caution: Please don't ask for money. If it's money you need ask them to show you how to make your own money. I recently heard this quote: if you need money ask for advice, if you need advice, ask for money.

2. What happens if you do not have access to the person in the field you are interested in? Follow them. Thanks to social media, it's very easy to follow people and learn from them. I consider Chimamanda N. Adichie, Priscilla Shirer, Pastor MensahOtabil, Dr. Joyce Aryee, and many more to be my mentors yet many of them don't even know I exist! Haha. I follow them. I listen to them. I learn from them. It's even better when I get an opportunity to listen to them speak live at events especially conferences because then I can get their contact details if possible. A word of caution, once you have their contact details, please do not bother them too much. Whenever you have a question, prepare well and go straight to the point. When it's their birthday, anniversary, etc you should definitely send them a wish. Again, please don't ask for money!

3. One of my favorite ways to be mentored is to find someone who has written books about what interests me. When I was tired of being broke all the time, it was Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad which helped me see what I was doing wrong. I later read Joseph KyeiAnkrah’s Why You Are Not Rich As You Should Be which was even more relevant to the Ghanaian context. I have learnt so much from Rev. Albert and Mrs. Comfort Ocran, Rev. John C. Maxwell, Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, etc through their books.

I am told Africans do not like reading, really?Recently, while reading Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. Why? I had heard of this book on so many occasions and never bought it, if I had read it earlier, I would have saved myself some unnecessary headaches! *shaking my head*Look, the solutions to most of the problems you have are hidden in books. Find it and set yourself free. You don't have time? Well, you eat, right? Treat reading with the same level of importance as eating. I cannot stress enough how reading regularly can change your life totally. My own story of how I started reading again is chronicled in my book: Yarns Of Inspiration I (https://goo.gl/rFBFqB).

So there: these are the 3 ways by which I believe you can get mentored:

• Find someone in the field you are interested in, communicate with and learn from them

• Find someone in the field you are interested in and follow them

• Find someone who has written books about what interests you and read their literature

Before I leave you, I'd like to ask you what you will ACT on based on my article (this is something I learnt from John C. Maxwell). What in your life will you ADJUST, CHANGE or TEACH? I would love to read an email from you, until then: you know you are fabulous right?

Ama XX

 

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.