Jon Acuff has some good advice up on his blog today about communication with your mentor.
1. “Do you have any advice?”
Wait, I thought we were looking for a mentor? Isn’t advice what we’re seeking? It is, but not via an email, especially in one of your first emails. When you ask a broad, lazily defined question like, “Do you have any advice about business?” you dramatically reduce the odds of the mentor ever emailing you back. How in the world is he or she supposed to answer that question? Do they have any advice on business? There are 92.3 million results if you Google the phrase “business advice.” Which one of those should the mentor cover in the reply? Instead of asking for advice, ask one very specific question. “Do you have a copyright lawyer you could recommend to me in Alpharetta, GA?” You’re much more likely to get an answer to that, and hopefully the door will be open for you to ask other questions down the road.
In addition to Acuff’s advice to be specific and be respectful of your mentor’s time, what are some other key things to keep in mind when developing a mentoring relationship?
h/t Art Carden