When I meet people at meetings and conferences I take note of who is sharp and possibly how they could be of help to me in the future. I also make a note regarding their specific strengths on the back of their business card.
I’ll make sure to enter their contact information into my computer and write the word ‘mentor’ and also jot down a few key areas where they are strong, like, ‘mentor marketing,’ ‘YPO,’ ‘employee engagement,’ etc.. The idea behind building this database is to not only accumulate names, but to build relationships with them over time so I can turn to them for mentoring when I need it. I have a friend who calls his list of contacts his ‘MBA’: Mentor Board of Advisors.
I’ve never been smart enough to know how to figure stuff out. I have, however, been wise enough to connect with the really smart people and do what they tell me. In addition to the lists I’ve built in my contacts on my laptop, I’ve also built lists of connections on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and reach out to those people often. You don’t need a formal board of advisors for yourself, just a long list of people you’ve met over the years who you can start calling on. Start your list now.
“I don’t have all the answers – just all the questions.” – quote from a Fortune 500 CEO, but I forget who!