And how do you initiate if you don't yet have a close relationship with the person?
Now I have deeper criteria, depending on my specific needs, but those four questions serve as my baseline.
How do I initiate the relationship? I will be painfully simple here... I ask them if they would be interested in helping me by being my mentor and I tell them why I value them.
I picked up an interesting strategy from another entrepreneur.
Find a business person who's the kind of person you want to be. Find out who their mentor was, and contact them. You may have to be persistent, or comply with demanding conditions, but it should be worth it.
I haven't tried it, but it worked extremely well for her, and the process makes sense to me.
I recently answered a similar question on this forum here:
One of the strategies that people who are really good at using mentors have is to:
The cool thing about this, is that you can have many different mentors and are not looking for the one perfect person who can mentor you through the whole process. It also eases the burden on the mentors and means most people are happy to help because they don't have to make a permanent commitment.
It also means that one mentor doesn't hold all your IP.