Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a young professional, you probably know that mentorship is a key to success.
Advice from those who have been there and done that can help you avoid common mistakes and figure out how to make your dreams a reality.
So how do you go about creating a network of mentors — especially when you’re just relatively new in your career?
According to Ido Leffler, cofounder and CEO of Yoobi and the cofounder of several other businesses, it’s all about the “power of five.”
Leffler spoke last month at a panel with other investors from the new Oxygen docuseries “Quit Your Day Job.” During the event, he fielded a question about how to find a professional network that will catapult you to success.
“Each of you has five people to help you get where you want to go,” Leffler told the audience.
“You might not know them; you might have to stalk them,” he joked. “Find out who those people are and visualise how you’re going to get to [each] person.”
In other words, don’t set all your hopes on getting one person to help you — instead cast a wider net and you’ll have a better shot of attracting someone’s attention. And be creative, whether by finding mutual acquaintances or interests with the people you’re hoping to connect with.
Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media and another investor on “Quit Your Day Job,” added that having one really influential mentor isn’t as realistic as it might seem.
“So many people have asked me, ‘Who’s your mentor?'” she said. She doesn’t necessarily have an answer.
“I wasted time looking for a pie-in-the-sky mentor to solve my problems.”
But experience has taught her that when you finally connect with that person, “they have five minutes for you.”
You’ll be more successful, Zuckerberg said, if you spend time forging peer relationships. That includes Facebook groups and email groups of people in similar industries or with similar career issues — even if you never meet them face-to-face.
She advised audience members to look around them at other panel attendees: “Your mentors are probably sitting in front of you.”