We all could benefit from a mentor. But many of us don't take advantage of this key professional relationship because we perceive "mentoring" to be some formal process where an old industry veteran takes a young upstart under his wing and teaches him the intricacies of life. This is more the Hollywood version of mentor, and doesn't describe the real potential.
In the real world a mentor is just someone who you learn from repeatedly. It could be almost anyone because you can learn something from almost anyone. A mentor could be younger, in a different industry, and even less experienced than a protege. Especially in today's connected world of social media, I could find a 10 year old mentor living in Burundi who sells bananas on the side of the road. I bet there are hundreds of lessons I could learn from that kid.
And who said we have to keep a mentor for life? Why can't we switch mentors every week or month? Maybe 50 years ago we simply didn't have enough connections to constantly switch mentors, but now we have so many connections we would be wasting resources if we didn't!
Social media gives us access to a huge pool of human and informational resources, but many of us just haven't realized how easy it is to access this professional wealth. So, here is how you can find a business mentor in 30 seconds through social media.
Look at your network of connections -> identify someone who you think is successful (in any way) -> reach out to them and ask their opinion on something.
Now you have a mentor. And when that relationship stops (or never starts) being valuable, just repeat the process. Sometimes (especially with social media) the potential is already there, you just sometimes need to better understand how to shape an opportunity from it.
You can check out the original post, and the rest of my blog here: http://opinionatlarge.com