“My mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!’” — Jim Rohn
CEOs and CMOs have mentors. The elite classes of their field have mentors. But what about freelancers?
In business and life, we can save a ton of time by learning from the ones who have gone before. But freelancers do not often think about getting a mentor like those in other professions.
Why not? The right mentor can save you a ton of time and learning by laying out the steps you need to take to get clients, grow your craft, and keep your focus. Courses, videos, and books are wonderful learning tools. But there is not much more motivating than having someone who comes alongside showing you the way. Saying, Let’s do it, like that Jim Rohn quote.
Freelancers who are further along than you can teach you how to manage everything in your business from finances to juggling multiple projects to marketing. They can also often pass on work to you that may not be the right fit for them. And can also help you build your network.
What makes a good freelance mentor?
Would you listen to a financial planner that is drowning in debt? Probably not.
Likewise, you do not want to listen to someone about your freelance business who is turning in late projects, struggling to find work, and has no idea how to pitch. You need someone successful in the craft.
But success in their craft is not the only criteria. You need someone who can teach you, has the time to invest, and one who will be honest about what it really takes to run a successful freelance business.
“A good mentor must have the disposition and desire to develop other people. It requires a willingness to reflect on and share one’s own experiences, including one’s failures. Great mentors must be able to both ‘talk the talk’ and ‘walk the walk, says Mary Abbajay for Forbes.
Keep these qualities in mind when looking for your mentor. Now on to where to look.
Where do you find a mentor?
There are so many options available today to find a mentor. The internet has made it possible to connect with almost anyone anywhere in the world.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Freelance communities, meetups, and workshops
- Looking through top freelance portfolios in the ClearVoiceTalent Network
- Finding freelancers via social media who inspire you
- Creative and marketing conferences
- Ask your connections and networks
Remember that you can have more than one mentor. Maybe you find a freelancer who is great at pitching and another who really rocks their social media marketing.
“The best mentoring relationships don’t come from one place, like your office, but rather come from a variety of sources so that you can have not one mentor but rather a network of advisors. With that, you gain access to the best and brightest minds that have the most experience specifically relevant to you and your dreams,” advises Maynard Webb on Fast Company
Learn from everyone you can. And when you receive don’t forget to give back. Thank those who have helped you and help others. We’re all in this together.