Oct 03

Looking for a Mentor? Build a Circle of Advisers Instead

Building good relationships is invaluable, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. While dealing with employees, clients, and customers on a daily basis can be exciting, it can also result in challenges and stress. 

Lots of successful entrepreneurs got to where they are because of a good mentor. But not everyone can find the right one.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative: you can always benefit from a circle of advisers.

So, what’s the difference?

Importance of Having a Circle of Advisers 

Importance of Having a Circle of Advisers

For many, mentorships can be stressful due to the amount of pressure brought about by many “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. After all, mentors are often placed on a pedestal and can seem pretty intimidating. 

Enter advisers. 

Simply put, a cabinet of advisers means having an informal group of people you can trust to provide you with different perspectives. 

They share knowledge and experience whenever you need to work through decisions. Best of all, they are usually within reach. They can be people from your family, group of friends, or your peers. 

Guide to Finding the Right Advisers 

While it might seem easy, finding the right people to guide you can be challenging. 

Hence, experts suggest that you consider the following when deciding who to approach: 

Understand Your Priorities 


Before you reach out to people close to you, remember that you need someone who is aligned with the plans you have in mind. Ideally, they should have the same priorities as you do.

Identify Your Level of Initiative 


When you’re young, people give you unsolicited advice. However, the professional world requires you to proactively recruit supporters as good advice is hard to come by. 

This means you have to show up and reach out to others. And do it often. 

It’s the same with finding the right advisers. You have to improve your level of communication and intuition to build good relationships with everyone, especially your ideal advisers. 

Be More Intentional


Finding and choosing the right advisers can be a struggle. And not many will be willing (or available) to help you out. 

Hence, when approaching someone to become one of your advisers, you need to be more intentional.

Inform them about your plans and why you’re reaching out to them.

Developing an Adviser Scorecard 

Another way of objectively approaching the task of finding a circle of advisers is through a scorecard. 

This framework outlines the important factors you should consider when you curate your network of support. 

These include the following: 

First Category: Operating Style 


It can be challenging to bring together a group of people coming from different backgrounds – as a single unit of support. 

However, it’s possible to break them down into three: Support Type, Engagement, and Communication Style. 

The first one covers the support you need from your potential advisers. 

They can help you whenever you need emotional support. They also provide tactical support such as when you need someone to advocate for you. 

Meanwhile, engagement is the frequency, formality, and format of your communication. Will your potential adviser be open to meeting you face-to face or do they prefer to chat over emails? 

Their responsiveness to your messages is a key indicator of their commitment. 

Lastly, the communication style highlights the kind of feedback that you find most effective. If you get motivated by words of encouragement, find a mentor who is good at giving pep talks. 

Conversely, if tough love is more your speed, you’ll want someone who can provide you with the unvarnished truth. 

Second Category: Expertise 


Another thing to consider is the expertise of your advisers. This can be further categorised into three: domain expertise, skill type, and competency. 

Domain expertise simply describes someone’s knowledge in a specialised field. Hence, if you’re in the real estate industry, it’s best to have an adviser who has been investing or managing real properties longer than you. 

Meanwhile, you should also consider people who can help you develop both soft and hard skills. Soft skills include self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and communication. 

As for the hard skills, if you’re looking at improving your financial skills, you can find someone who can teach you financial modeling and the like. 

Before you can do all these, you’ll need competent people to guide you. Thus, surrounding yourself with advisers who aren’t just knowledgeable but also experienced in different fields teaches you to improve further. 

Third Category: Depth 


Choose advisers who are invested in your long-term development. 

To do this, you’ll have to consider several factors including geographical roots, socioeconomic upbringing, faith, sexual orientation, as well as cultural affiliations. 

By considering all the dimensions of your identity, you’ll be able to find the elements that are most important to you. In turn, this will help you find the right advisers who value the same thing/s. 

It will be easier for them to understand your interests, dispositions, and motivations. And as a result, help them guide you better in making important decisions. 

Fourth Category: Bonus Category


This is a free space which you can fill as you wish. Fill it with what is important to you based on your core values, interests, and more importantly, your support needs. 

So if you need to have someone who values mental health and/or work-life balance, feel free to add them to your circle. 


At the end of the day, building a circle of advisers is a personal choice. You’re the one who can do it best. Fortunately, you have more flexibility when it comes to your business. 

Remote Staff has been providing Australian SMEs and entrepreneurs like you with skilled remote workers from the Philippines since 2007. With more than 15 years of experience, we can take away the hassle from hiring and onboarding, so you can focus on equally important matters such as finding the right advisers. 

Call us today or schedule a call back and let’s get started. 


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