I believe most of us have an idealist thought process to finding a mentor. You follow an entrepreneur or leader in your field. Tell yourself you want to mimic their career, get inspired by that person, then you approach the individual that’s at the top of his or her perspective game and form the perfect student/teacher relationship.
I often get callers into my radio show or audience members in-between television tapings who tell me they’ve worked their whole life to meet me to present a business plan or invest in some idea. Most successful people have the tools to fish and want to teach you how to fish. The odds are that they don't want to give you their fish. I know that I don't. Don't tie your success to meeting a particular person; tie it to receiving the tools and knowledge to equip yourself. Imagine if you took the time to get a few tools or nuggets from a few successful people over asking one person for your " big break."
Putting yourself into the position to be able to be taught those tools is all about your approach. Fishermen respect and admire other fishermen and want to invest in ideas and principles to get better. Let them see the fisherman in you.
With that being said, I’m a huge believer in mentorship. There’s no way that I am who I am today without the guidance from near and afar. I've had the fortune of being in the presence of great men along the way that have shaped me. My greatest influence has to be my father, who created the old-school blue-collar small-town work ethic that I still live by. I've also been in the presence of some entertainment giants that expanded my mind.
Some have taken me under their wing and some I’ve watched from a distance or may have spoken to briefly. Guidance was so important to me as I set off on my career in comedy. Learning the history, the ins and outs, seeing failures and successes all helped to shape me into what I have been able to make of myself over the years. When you’re seeking mentorship, you should be seeking guidance and tools to assist you as you continue to build for yourself.