Want to set yourself up for success? Don’t just find one mentor. Find many.

When I was early in career, I was told to find a single mentor that would guide me to nirvana – someone who would guide my professional career and help mould me into a sales jedi. After a few years of very good mentorship, I still found that I was missing something – and I slowly realised that I was sold a lie.

Here’s the truth: having a single mentor is better than none, but having many mentors means you have a collection of skills, experiences and strengths to pull from.

Imagine your career as a sprawling Lego masterpiece – not a pre-defined set, but something you continuously build and rebuild. A single piece, no matter how great, isn’t going to complete the set. You’ll need an entire box of them! That’s the power of a ‘mentor board.’ By seeking guidance from diverse mentors, you can start to gather a collection of unique Lego pieces to keep constructing your most magnificent creation yet: YOU.

One of my favourite quotes by a mentor is ‘having one mentor is like going to the dentist for a pain in your foot.’ Hilarious, right? But it makes a crucial point. Many successful professionals get stuck in their own lane, offering expertise in a specific area. They might be industry titans, but their experiences may not map to your unique journey. Sure, they’ll toss you a few Lego pieces here and there, but to build your dream creation, you’ll need more pieces from other mentors.

A mentor board functions more like your own personal board of directors. This powerhouse group offers a box filled of Lego pieces in the palm of your hands. Different experiences and different perspectives will help you foresee the finished product. Since day one, I’ve been a relentless networker, soaking up knowledge from everyone I meet. It’s a habit I fiercely hold onto, and will probably never let go of. After all, the people you encounter, especially those with different backgrounds and experiences, become your ultimate mentors. They equip you with an arsenal of skills you never know existed, empowering you to tackle challenges from unforeseen angles.

When searching for your own board of directors, it’s important to have people on your roster that possess different types of skills. Look for:

  • The Challenger: One of my personal favourites is the challenger. This is a mentor that constantly challenges you and pushes you to your limits. They do not like to comfort zone!
  • The Healer: The healer is a mentor that is always willing to lend a helping hand to help you with certain situations.
  • The Skilled: This is a mentor that possesses and excels in specific skills you want to develop.
  • The Do-er: Much like the challenger, the do-er has no time for bullshi*. The do-er gets shi* done, no matter what it takes
  • The Listener: This one is a trick, because ultimately, most great mentors are great listeners.

Finding a mentor can seem like a challenging task, but if you simplify the process, it starts to become a second nature. Here’s a secret: your bucket of potential mentors likely reside within your existing network. They could be colleagues or ex-colleagues, childhood friends, schoolmates or even your professors that sparked your passions. These individuals can be your first line of support. Networking events are great, and I thoroughly enjoy them, but don’t underestimate the power of your own connections. They could be the hidden pieces waiting to help you with your Lego set.

What now? It’s time to assemble your dream team and board of directors! Remember, mentorship is a two-way street. You’d be surprised how much your mentors can learn from your unique skills and experiences. Help them as much as they’ve helped you – maybe you’re holding a few Lego pieces to their finished product!