mentorfind – the ultimate mentoring guide

" The most important investment you can make is in yourself. - Warren Buffett

Most people think of the termmentorto mentoring programs. Experienced mentors help the young talents within companies, universities and non-profit organizations. If you have a chance to use a professional mentoring program, go for it. It is an investment in your own career.

How I found my mentors

One mentoring program I'm a member of is  MentorMe . It is for women who want to successfully start their job and advance. To register, you fill out a psychological test and describe what you want to achieve through the mentoring. My mentor is quite similar in personality to me – so it must have worked well.

The network is a great added value in this mentoring program. New positions are constantly being posted in a private Facebook group and participants in the program are given priority. There are also events, networking evenings and visits to companies several times a month.

AnothermentorI just met him at an event. I asked him for advice and thanked him the following day. In the email, I summarized the points he had advised and asked if I understood them correctly. He later told me that it made a very positive impression on him. Since then we have met every few months and he has already helped me in a number of crises.

I never asked him if he was minementorwant to be. It just happened. Just like in a friendship you don't ask if you should be friends. It comes from doing things that best friends do. Likewise, one arisesmentor-Mentee relationship by behaving like this: asking for advice, implementing it, thanking for the results and asking for advice again.

A very unusual way of finding mentors

Make a podcast! Yes, interview interesting people in a podcast on iTunes and Spotify. It's a bit of work, but it's definitely worth it because you can prove to (future employers) that you have a network.

Interested? Then listen to  Fabian Tausch's young entrepreneur podcast  if you are interested in the topic of founding/business.

And listen to my Teamtalent podcast  if you are interested in leadership, new work and digitization.

I would now say that a podcast is the best way to find mentors quickly. After all, you can question her and you also have a reason for doing so.

Why mentors are important

Learn faster with mentors

"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself” – Sam Levenson , American TV Personality

Almost every mistake we make has been made by someone before us. It's a shame we don't all have mentors. The world would look very different if we all had someone to confide in in times of crisis, uncertainty and before new projects. Amentor, who has already made all the mistakes so we don't have to make them. Mentors not only make life easier, they can make it worth living.

You probably know the famous midlife crisis. It's like waking up from a dream and realizing that you've wasted a good portion of your best years without realizing it. Mentors are not only useful for your career, but also for a fulfilling life. Instead of making all the mistakes yourself, you can benefit from the knowledge and experience of others. This saves a lot of time, money and nerves. You could say there are enough books, online courses, and blog articles out there, but it's not the same thing.

3 examples of successful people with mentors

Amentorcould be anyone

"If I hadn't had mentors, I wouldn't be here today. I'm a product of great mentoring, great coaching... Coaches or mentors are very important. They could be anyone—your husband, other family members, or your boss.” Indra Nooyi , the CEO of PepsiCo

  • Mark Zuckerberg , founder of Facebook, and Larry Page, co-founder of Google both had Steve Jobs as theirmentor. Jobs himself had several mentors, including Key Bushnell and Robert Friedland.
  • Richard Branson thanks hismentorSir Freddie Laker for the success of Virgin Airlines
  • ​Bill Gates receives advice and mentoring from Warren Buffet


What is mentoring exactly? - Thementordefinition

The definition of a mentor in this article is an experienced supporter who will help you with their expertise and be accessible to questions and problems. Coaching can also become a type of mentoring.

Amentorsees your talent

"Amentoris someone who sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”  Bob Proctor


you recognize onementorat the following characters:

  • Amentorgives you specific advice in his expert section. you can yourmentorask for an opinion and ideas.
  • Amentorsees your potential , as well as your weaknesses and strengths. Through him you realize what kind of person you are.
  • Amentorcan open up career opportunities for you and introduce you to other people.

Nomentorwithout a mentee – what kind of mentee are you?

The following 3 categories are inspired by Matthew Hussey , coach, trainer and online entrepreneur. Think about which description best fits you. Be honest! Because only then can you do something about it. How, we will come to that in the course of the blog article.

Conficius says...

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." -  Confucius



The dependent mentees

The lowest level are the people who really can't do anything on their own. So if you're reading this article, you probably don't belong. Not only do they need mentors, they actually want someone to live life for them. Dependent mentees are not characterized by lack of skills, but by the fact that they prefer to let others do the work. This mentee wouldmentorask him to do the research for him, to formulate the cover letter or to take on other small things, with the reason  I  ca n't do it  . The victim role is pretty comfortable. If you act like you're helpless, sometimes others will do it for you. Probably this type of person would not consciously unitementorsearch, because that would be far too big a task.

The ignorant mentees

For some people, mentors seem to be dangerous to the ego. They are the perfect basic material for an elbow society. In the world of the ignorant, they climb the career ladder all alone and lonely. What, find a mentor? Advices? Help? – Only idiots need that. As well as reading books or articles on helpful topics –  tzz .

Many of them simply don't want to admit that they don't know everything themselves. Some ignorant mentees believe that no one would help them without bad intentions. Again, others think they are too good for you as it ismentor or there is no one who can help them with their problem. Where does this setting come from and how can you change it? Towards the end of the article we will go into the Fixed Mindset  again  and how you are guaranteed to become a successful mentee.

The successful mentees

In the end, the most successful mentees are the ones who know they could do it on their own. It would just cost them a lot more time, money, and frustration to make all the mistakes themselves. The ego does not stand in your way. No, just the opposite. They prove to be very inquisitive, ambitious and interested mentees. You see the wisdom in many different mentors.

They actively seek ways to find multiple mentors. They admit their mistakes. Successful mentees recognize potential problems early on and therefore have a better life, because huge crises and dramas rarely occur. Why? Instead of turning a blind eye, they specifically ask mentors for advice. This opens up many career opportunities, great relationships and great success for them.


3 reasons why successful people are yourmentorshould be

The best suggestions for these articles usually come from my coaching clients, whom I affectionately call heroes. One of my heroes once described to me his attitude towards mentors: Through  my company I had the opportunity to be at a great dinner. Next to me sat the CEO of one of the largest  companies  in Germany. Man was I excited! But I didn't talk to him. I'm not a successful millionaire. What have I got to  offer him?

As a mentee, you don't have to deal with thementorcompare. It is true that people generally surround themselves with others who are like them. However, this is not the case with mentoring. Let's think about what the motivation for amentoris to support you as a mentee.

Thementorenjoys mentoring

For one thing, it's intrinsic motivationmentorto help someone It's not directly about getting something out of the relationship. When someone tends a garden, reaping the rewards is secondary to most. The primary motivation is to see the plants grow and the work pays off. Since I have palm trees in my apartment, I finally understand that. Mentors want you to be successful because they can be proud of that.

Thementoris confirmed by the mentoring

The best way to really learn something is to teach someone how to do it. In the conversations he canmentorreflect on their own behavior. Lastly, we should not forget the ego of the mentor. Many people who have really achieved something in life love to talk about it. Showing appreciation and listening carefully acts like a pat on your mentor's ego.

Thementorwant to share something

Many successful people have had mentors themselves who made their success possible. Now they want to share something. This motivation can be used very specifically to attract someone asmentorto win. That would now go beyond the scope of the blog article.

3 common misconceptions that make mentoring impossible

1. The myth of the one mentor – amentoris not enough

There's the romantic notion of onementor. The onementorwho can help you in all areas of life. The onementor, who goes with you through thick and thin. The onementor, the all-inclusive package for the perfect career and the perfect life. This puts a lot of pressure on yoursmentor. Because suddenly that one person has to be there for everything. Accordingly, this also means a high investment of time. Something you can't ask of many successful people.

So that means you need a whole bunch of mentors. I call it a Board of Mentors. Why is that important? The following analogy represents the table top as your success and the table leg as yoursmentor. Imagine you have a table with only one leg. In any case, it will be very shaky. It may even break away because the load is too heavy.

When you have a variety of mentors, it's like having multiple table legs to rely on. Then you have one of eachmentorfor a specific area. I currently have 7 mentors, all of whom I can ask for advice in different situations. For example, someone who can help me as a coach in coaching. Then a personal trainer who gives me free advice on health issues. Then another entrepreneur who reflects with me on the never-ending self-critical thoughts.

Everyonementorthus has a function in its special area, its expertise. This way you don't have to ask too much of a person's time and also get better advice. Elon Musk would be a dream come truementorif you want to start a business. But  relationship advice from Elon would probably not be helpful...


2. Your similar mentor myth – Mentors are not you in 20 years

I spoke to a biotechnologist at an event about mentoring. I had given a workshop and she explained to me that she would like to use all these techniques, but there are simply no mentors in her field. So I asked her what she was looking for anyway. What followed was a long list of very specific details.

My  ideal mentor should be female, between 35 and 45 years old. She should live in Berlin and have at least 10 successful publications in her specific niche. It was also  important to her that  she had a management position in a large company and a happy family  .

To put it briefly: thementorshould it be in 20 years. I asked her -  How  likely is it that you  find such a person? She thought about it, frowned and said –  it  's almost impossible, that's why I'm coming to  you.

Amentoryou can't choose like jam. One of my best and favorite in mentoring, is pretty much the opposite of me. He is 54, originally born in Africa but raised in the UK. As a freelance copywriter, he is quite introverted and has no children. If I had stuck to this idea, I would never have considered itmentortaken into consideration.

Janet Mock even says that amentordoes not necessarily have to be the person you would like to have a cocktail or coffee with. The main thing is that they are there for you if you have a problem or a question. Do you feel that you have your perfectmentorjust can't find it? Then it could be because your ideas are a little too narrow.

Open yourself to new possibilities. instead of yoursmentorBased on an exact career, a specific age, and other irrelevant details, be open to all possibilities. In the end, all that matters is that this person really has expertise in an area that you want to get better at.

3. Your myth of the famous mentor - yoursmentordoesn't have to be a high flyer

Of course, writing to Bill Gates as a student and trying to sell him as amentorto get. Tim Ferris , author of the New York Times bestseller  4 Hour Work Week , advises not to ask the mentors who are in the spotlight and have all the attention right now. Instead of writing to this year's gold medal winner, you could write to the bronze winner from three years ago. However, most of the time we underestimate who we can talk to.

Coach  Matthew Hussey even advises consciously choosing mentors who are just 2-3 steps further. If we are afraid of becoming self-employed, then a multiple entrepreneur is no help. Thementorcan hardly identify with the problem anymore because it was too long ago. If you have onementorIf you have someone who was in a similar situation a few years ago, then they can remember the details and their own course of action even more and have a better understanding of your situation.

3 questions to get the right onementorto find

Where could you get one?mentorhelp?

Now that we have clarified that you need several mentors and that they will help you in specific areas of your life, let's get down to business.

Imagine being able to design your life as if you had reality Photoshop. Retouch the lack of time, darken the ugly conversations or increase the salary. How would you like to change your life?

Imagine your life changing for the better overnight. What problems would be solved? What areas of your life would be better?

What expertise does he needmentor?

If you answer these questions honestly and hopefully have a number of areas with potential: What must amentorcan or know to help you in it? This often does not have to be tied to an industry or a specific profession, although this can be helpful.

Where do you find this kind ofmentor?

What conferences do people with this expertise hang out at? How could you research them on LinkedIn? Who do you know who could introduce you to someone? Have a look at my network articles.

Like you a potentialmentorcan chase away

In the book  Lean In , Sheryl Sandberg  describes  how women, in particular, often ask her if she hasmentorcould become. She compares it to the question  would you like to be my mother?  It's just as nifty as asking a stranger on the first meeting -  can I have a job? But what makes this approach so wrong?

  • For one thing, it makes us look like supplicants .
  • Also, it doesn't really show much social skills , because this question is based on take before we give. Of course, this does not apply if we have known a person for a long time.
  • It's also an uncomfortable situation for himmentor. says hementorNo, you get a direct rejection and thementormay feel bad. says hementorYes, it could be because he just feels obligated and it doesn't come from intrinsic motivation.


Building a mentoring relationship – the role of a good mentee

Think back to the best friends you've had or are currently having in your life. How many of them have you asked directly – would you like to be my best friend?  I guess in most cases you didn't do this. At some point you both realized that you were best friends. Where does it come from? through the behavior. At first you acted like best friends, spending a lot of time together and confiding in each other. Through the behavior came the best friend role.

Likewise is amentornot a person to begin with. People are not born mentors, nor do they come into your life as mentors. It's a role we grow into. This also means that we first have to make sure that our desired mentor feels like amentorbehaves. And to achieve that, we have to behave like a mentee.

Be proactive as a mentee

Some expect the bone to go to the dog. In some cases, getting a date with a successful person can be a real job. I had to ask some of my mentors up to five times before a meeting worked out. In the end it turned out that it wasn't because of our relationship. The mentors just had too much to do. If I hadn't kept asking, the relationship would never have happened.

As a mentee, you must take full responsibility for building and maintaining the relationship. It's nice if yourmentorreports of their own accord, but we shouldn't expect this at the beginning of the mentoring. So keep your promises, give a variety of possible times and places, and make it as easy as possible for your (future)mentor.


Being inquisitive as a mentee

Good mentees ask their mentors interesting questions - a topic I cover in The Ultimate Smalltalk Guide . You don't have to shine with answers or great ideas, you can impress with good questions. It is important to prepare yourself for the interview. Think of a specific situation or issue in your life that fits the mentor's expertise. Equally important is listening carefully afterwards. Don't be afraid to take notes. As Dale Carnegie said in his classic, people love it when someone finally listens to them. Attention is one of the most valuable goods in this world.

Interesting or interested?

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." Dale Carnegie , Author of How to Win Friends and Influence People


Be appreciative as a mentee

Being appreciative relates first to the information you receive, second to your mentor's time, and third to their mentormentoryourself. If you have an aha moment, share it with yoursmentor. As a coach, I know all too well how motivating it is to see when people make a breakthrough.

In addition, it is an absolute priority that you value your mentor's time. This means not only being on time, but also showing respect for your mentor's investment in your emails and phone calls. Keep it short and make it as easy as possible for yoursmentorto understand your request. Finally, you also want to show appreciation for your mentor's good nature and intelligence. We all like compliments, even if we don't always admit it.

Long or short?

"I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." - Mark Twain


The most common mistake when meeting a mentor

A true example. I was once at an event where the director of Wirtschaftswoche was giving an interview. I can still remember that evening well: After I sit down, I quickly strike up a conversation with the other women at the table. Next to me is a slightly older lady with a very nice smile. She explains to me that she has had a company that is active in the media industry for eight years. But then the lecture begins, unfortunately, and I can't talk to her much anymore.

During the performance, I notice a wedding ring on her finger and a pair of very nice Prada glasses. Hm,  I think to myself,  she'll probably have a family and be really successful, that's exactly one waymentorwhat i'm looking for right now.  My ADHD brain thinks about all possible scenarios during the lecture. What if she can give me advice on finding a publisher for a book.

Towards the end of the lecture, I see that she pulls out her business cards.  Maybe she wants   to give me one . But after the clapping, she quickly gets up, says goodbye in a friendly manner and hurries to the speaker in front. I shake her hand and wish her a nice evening.

Suddenly I'm standing there like a drowned poodle and cursing inwardly. In any other case, I would have asked the person for their card, or I would have gone with them. But as soon as I spoke to such an impressive person, I wanted to do everything I could not to seem too interested. It's just like the irony of dating. As soon as you find someone attractive, you behave completely differently.

The self-test – can you take one at all?mentor?

In order to learn anything at all through mentoring, bothmentor, as well as mentee, have a healthy attitude towards learning and mistakesGeoff Colvin,  in his book  Talent is Overrated , lists a variety of studies. Regular, clear feedback is a basic building block for building really good skills.

On the other hand, New York Times bestselling author  Michael Port describes in his podcast  Steal the Show how many people who want feedback don't look for constructive criticism. Instead, they just want to get praise for what's already good. Very few are aware, however, that they don't want to be criticized at all. Amentorseeking also means expecting and soliciting honest criticism. To do this, we have to be prepared to put up with a lot.

To test yourself, answer the following statements on a scale of 1 to 6. 1 (strongly against) - 6 (strongly in favor)

  • You are born with a certain amount of intelligence and there is not much you can do about it.
  • Your intelligence is something about you that you cannot change.

Fixed Mindset – Thementorruns into a wall

If you scored 4-6 on one or both of the sentences, then you have a Fixed Mindset, according to Carol Dweck , a professor of psychology at Stanford University .

You may have been called "smart girl" or "smart boy" as a kid and praised for your instant performance. People with the Fixed Mindset are more concerned with proving they can do something. Their primary focus is getting recognition for what comes easily to them. They set goals specifically designed to prove their intelligence and avoid goals that are too challenging.

Every time you try to break a bad habit but don't, you reinforce that attitude. A friend of mine once told me:  I'm 36 now, I'd like to change, but I can't anymore. I am who I am and will probably remain so - unfortunately. Understandably, any criticism is then an ego attack, because we are mentally unable to change it. Of course you don't have to have such an extreme form of fixed mindset, it can be a tendency. According to Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, women in particular often have this attitude and are therefore reluctant to take on new projects without already having the necessary skills, which often holds them back.

Growth Mindset – The mentoring is successful

If you have 1-3 points in both sentences then you have a growth mindset. If you are reading this article, chances are you belong to this group.

You believe that given enough time and practice, a variety of skills can be learned. Depending on how strongly you believe that you can change your behavior, you will be better able to take criticism.

You can reinforce this very helpful mindset by practicing changing your behaviors. In this way you show yourself that you can change and are not a victim of your habits. This way you will also respond better to the feedbackmentorrespond and get more benefit from mentoring.

Find negative feedback

"Always seek negative feedback, even though it can be mentally painful. Don't tell me what you like, tell me what you don't like." - Elon Musk



Getting rid of negative habits and beliefs also depends on having the right techniques to do it. I use change management principles applied to the individual to make it easy to change behavior. If you want to start exercising regularly, live a healthier life or want to stop annoying habits, then write me for a non-binding introductory meeting. I'm happy to support you.


Masterminds: How to get multiple mentors at once 

I call a kind of peer-to-peer mentoring masterminds. You bring together 3-7 acquaintances who probably get along well. Everyone gets 10 minutes of mentoring from the group. As a participant, you would prepare a question to ask the group within your 10 minutes. For example you could...

  • Present an idea and get opinions:  I want to build a company that does XY. How do you like that?
  • Ask the others in the group for their experiences and tips on a particular topic: I've been procrastinating on some things for months, what are you doing to overcome procrastination?
  • Asking for contacts or knowledge:  I am looking for a location for an event. Anyone know where I could do this?

Depending on where the focus is, it can be business or personal. The best part is that it's incredibly productive time. Since everyone shares and gives something of themselves, everyone benefits and gets to know each other at the same time.

Usually there is always one or more people who have a ready solution to a question or problem. Because just imagine how much experience and how much knowledge come together when seven clever people sit at a table.

I held my very first Mastermind about three years ago, with just three people at the time. In my best year I hosted over 66 Masterminds. Sometimes it was even three a week. You really don't need to do it that extensively to enjoy all the benefits. I would be happy to help you to organize your own masterminds. Just write me.


The greatest advantages of a mastermind

  • You get helpful answers to a challenge or question you have. Also, these conversations are often very interesting. As everyone suddenly talks about their challenges, exciting and impressive moments arise.
  • You strengthen your relationship with up to seven people at once. It's one of the best ways to network and keep in touch with people. It also allows you to meet new people in a very simple and authentic way.
  • You build social capital. By hosting these meetings, you automatically bring value to the people who know you. It's not a lot of work if you do it right.


At the beginning of this chapter we discussed the possible motivations of a mentor. Thementorlearns an incredible amount by reflecting on the problems of others. I like to compare it to a jam jar. When you're in the jar, you can't see what's on the outside. But with others, it's so easy to solve problems.

And I can tell you one thing right now: Even if you don't have the feeling that you're someone asmentorIf you can't give much, you have something to give. You have already had experiences that are unique, these experiences have given wisdom in certain situations that someone who is a lot younger might not yet have. Again, you don't have to ask your mentee if he wants you as amentorwould like to have. Just be there for the person, ask about problems, offer advice and support, and you grow into the role of mentor.

Top 3 ideas for mentoring

  • A mentor is not a person, but a role that the person takes on. someone becomes yoursmentor, by acting like one, you don't have to ask anyone to be himmentorwants to be. Likewise, you wouldn't ask someone to be your best friend if you barely knew each other.
  • Clarify what expertise your mentor needs to have and look for someone who can help you in this one area. Don't expect all solutions and tips from one person.
  • You are not a supplicant. Show appreciation, respect, and interest, but don't compare yourself to yoursmentor. You don't have to be super successful to get the help of a mentor. What matters is that you maintain the relationship with yourmentorbuild up consciously and correctly.