What would it be like to have Richard Branson teach you how to become wealthy beyond your wildest dreams, or Tom Hardy share his methods with you on how to best approach a scene, or Jimmy Fallon explain how he conducts a successful interview. This is what a mentor can do for you; working with a mentor can transform your life.
A mentor is the person who can guide you, take you under their wing, and nurture you on your career path. Mentoring offers a roadmap of the actions our successful counterparts have done so that we can follow them on their path. Success leaves clues, and if you look to learn from those who are ahead of you, you can pick up on those clues. You can learn from a mentor’s mistakes and avoid making them yourself. A mentor may notice potential in you that you might not see in yourself.
Casting director and coach Jen Rudolph of the Actor’s Green Room offered this insight “It’s important for actors to work with a mentor because they can help you understand how your fears or beliefs might be holding you back. They take you under their wing and coach you. A lot of times what holds us back is our own stuff. A mentor can help you work through that and give you an understanding about how the business works, or what specific things you probably need to do to help yourself.” She says that when she works with actors, she tries to give them a sense of empowerment more than anything else. She tries to help them find direction versus feeling lost not knowing what to do.
If you’re looking for a mentor of your own, here are four places to start:
- Write to someone who is at least five or 10 times ahead of you in the field in which you are trying to gain knowledge and ask them to be your mentor. They have a whole different network of contacts and connections that you don’t.
- Work with a coach or a consultant to help you understand things about the business on which you don’t have a grasp. Working with a coach as a mentor can help you reach the next level of your career faster.
- Persevere. You must persevere in your search for a mentor. You must persevere to get success in your life. If you write somebody and they don’t answer, don’t give up so easy. Keep at it. Success comes to those who are willing to persevere.
- Read a book a week. You don’t have to finish the book in a week but you should be reading a book a week on something that will help you improve your life. Books are a treasure trove of information and advice.
This post has been edited from original Backstage 2016 Douglas Taurel