When thinking about mentors, I think about the many people who provided me with their expertise to help me advance my career, enhance my education, and to build my network.
Many think that a mentor is one person. Quite the contrary, my first "official" mentoring experience did not include one person, but rather a group of people. I would attend a business seminar that usually lasted a weekend, and would meet several successful people in my field. I vividly recall those weekends, furiously writing notes and to-dos. I would get home, all revved up and excited to plan my new strategy– only to feel overwhelmed with the 50 things I felt that I had to do right away. It was over stimulating, so much so, that I felt paralyzed. Over time, I learned to pick one 'nugget' to take back to my business and implement that one thing well. The next time, I was able to bring two things back to my business and implement them well. The next time, three…I learned how to listen to everything and then slowly fashion the new information into something that worked for me.
Later, I moved on from seminar mentoring to group mentoring. It worked in much the same way, but on a smaller scale. I now work with a mentor on a one-on-one basis. We meet virtually once a week to discuss specific goals and strategies related to my business. I appreciate the immediate, relevant, and specific feedback my mentor gives me and that I use to grow my business.
Keep in mind, a mentor is not going to solve all your problems, but to give you pieces of information, based on their experience, that you can use to help your business prosper.