I learn the most from people I’ve never met.
I’m constantly reading books, listening to podcasts, and attending conferences weeding through a tidal wave of information and applying specific lessons to what I’m working on.
In theory, I would refer to these individuals I’ve learned from as mentors, but the relationship doesn’t seem to fit the typical mold.
Mentorship implies some sort of contractual relationship. One individual is designated the mentor, tasked with providing innumerable bits of knowledge, while the other is the mentee—the fortunate recipient of this insight.
But these days that’s not how it goes.
“Asking someone to be a formal mentor is the absolute best way to never have a good mentor.”
– Tim Ferriss
So, if you’re not supposed to come out and ask, how does anyone ever get mentored? More importantly, how exactly do you ask for help? I dug through advice from experienced mentors and drew from a recent interaction I had with a mentor of mine to come up with some do’s and don’ts when looking for and building a relationship with a modern mentor.