The Five Minute Guide to Choosing an Internet Business Mentor

How do you spot the one person who has the perfect set of skills, values and experiences that uniquely qualifies them to be your mentor?

For me it was easy. I thought about where I wanted to be in business and I looked for someone who was already doing it. Then tagged along around them to learn all that I could about what they were doing and what they had done to get where they were.

It would be a mistake to make your choice too quickly or to treat the decision too lightly – so take your time and play amateur investigator for a while before deciding to hitch your wagon to their pony.

Google Them.

That’s pretty simple isn’t it? Drop their name into Google and see what turns up. This won’t work with everyone, especially if they have a common name. You can also try searching for their business name or search for a keyword phrase that you would imagine that they would want to rank high for.

Search at Technorati.

Technorati.com tracks thousands upon thousands of blogs so if your potential mentor is the topic of discussion you’re likely to find them here. What are people saying about her? Strong people generally draw strong opinions about them so the presence of some negative comments shouldn’t be an immediate deal breaker – dig deeper to decide if you agree or discount the remarks being made about them.

Stalk Her (In a Good Way)

Read her blog, subscribe to her mailing list, follow her threads on public web forums, seek out her articles on web sites. What can you learn about her business philosophy and personal values? Does she seem to be consistent across the board?

Who Are Her Friends?

Who’s linking to her website? Who’s publishing her writing? Who is on her blogroll? What products are being recommended on her site? Bird of a feather flock together and crows are really annoying in crowds.

Does She Care?

There are most likely hundreds of successful entrepreneurs who could have a positive impact on you and your budding business but the majority could care or less about taking the time to mentor someone else.

The few who do care about lending a helping hand and advice to newcomers are often in high demand, so grabbing their attention and convincing them to invest their time and talents in you can be challenging.

Once you identify the perfect candidate, you could make a mentoring relationship with you more attractive by suggesting a short or long term working internship. You will offer them your indentured servitude for a period of time in exchange for their training and input. You’d better be serious about the offer because a mentor worth learning from will likely work the shine off your shoes.

Before you get worried, let me assure you that all mentoring relationship aren’t typified by forced labor. You may find that your chosen mentor is perfectly happy to sit with you for coffee once a week or so to catch up on what you’re doing and give you tips and feedback, no strings attached.

Depending on where you are in business, you may not need or even be ready for a mentoring relationship with someone at the top of your field. A newcomer really only needs to work with someone a few miles down the road from where they are – and you can always look for someone new when you find yourself outgrowing your early helpmates.

Everyone should be learning from someone – one thing you’ll notice if you do spend much time investigating successful entrepreneurs is that the people who you view as being the top dog usually have their eyes on someone else thinking the same thing.