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Mentorship Options to Fit Your Busy Lifestyle

All entrepreneurs and businesspeople will agree – mentorship is an important part of expanding your career. But if you have a busy work schedule, a side hustle, a family life, and some hobbies, when do you have time to find a mentor and nurture that relationship? “If you’re learning from someone who has already succeeded in that area of their life, then you not only learn from what they’ve done right, you learn from their mistakes as well, without having made them yourself,” said Simon Arias, owner and founder of Arias Agencies, a representative of American Income Life Insurance Agencies. If you think about mentorship in this way, it is not only valuable, but also time-saving because you can learn from others’ experiences without having to go through them yourself. But, how can you fit mentorship into your busy schedule?

Contact Small Business Association

If you don’t belong to your local small business association, what are you waiting for? For a small membership fee, you get access to meetings, special events, resources, and networking opportunities. As far as mentorship, many small business association chapters host “speed dating”-type events to help people find mentors. If that’s not your style, try attending some events or meetings at the association, networking with people you look up to, and developing a relationship with them. Your local SBA gives you unlimited networking opportunities and you’ll meet so many people with different areas of expertise. Visiting your local small business association allows you to directly access other professionals in your area without too much guesswork.

Utilize Groups on LinkedIn

It’s easy to find and join groups that pertain to your interests on the professional networking site. You can (and should!) join groups associated with your college, industry, job role, volunteer/nonprofit interests, hobbies, and more. Within your industry, it’s likely that there are groups dedicated to mentorship, professional advice, and personal experience. When you join groups, be active in the discussions by contributing relevant facts and opinions and interacting with other members. If you find someone who you’d like to talk more with, send them a short, professional message introducing yourself and explaining why you’d like to pick their brain. Interacting with groups and finding a mentor on LinkedIn are great ways for people to access professional development from their smart phone and during all hours of the day.

Use a Mentor Matching Site

Online mentor matching skips all the formalities and goes straight to the point: you’re looking for a mentor and you want to find someone that has knowledge in your industry so you can collaborate and learn. There are many different mentor matching sites to suit your needs, some general and some niche. There are student-centered mentorship sites such as iCouldBe and iMentor, women-focused sites such as Mogul, and more general sites such as Find a Mentor and Mentor Match. If you have a busy schedule and prefer to chat online, a mentor matching site may be right for you.

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