Many people approach mentoring conversations unprepared and “wing it”. When that approach is taken the conversation can end up going nowhere and two people just share stories. If you want to have more SUCCESSFUL mentoring experiences there is a BEFORE, DURING and AFTER plan that you can use.

I recently spoke about this with George Vukotich, Founder of Fintank, a fin-tech incubator for startups. Here’s what we discussed…


You need to be prepared for each mentoring meeting. Take two steps back and really analyze that specific problem that you’re trying to solve. Just saying “I need to grow my business faster” isn’t enough. WHY do you need to grow your business faster and WHY isn’t it growing as fast as you would like? What specific hurdles are you facing?

Once you know what problem you’re asking for help with: Research the person that you’re going to meet with. How did they get successful and how does their life and business experience relate to your business? Find a common ground to kick off the conversation with.

Successful people are busy and don’t have a lot of time to offer. The more prepared you are the more successful your meetings will be.


Here’s an outline for your meeting agenda:

Mentees should share:

  1. Here’s the specific problem I’m facing
  2. Here’s what I’ve tried to far to solve it. Here’s what IS and ISN’T working so far
  3. Here’s what I THINK might help solve it

MENTORS should also be prepared. They need to help the mentee clearly articulate the problem they are facing by asking questions like:

  • “What are you hoping to get out of this meeting?”
  • “What are you trying to accomplish?”
  • “How do you plan to reach a solution and how can I best help you get there?”


AFTER your meeting THANK the person that helped you and take action with the advice that they shared. After you take action follow up and let them know what happened when you followed their advice. Then, when they’re open to it, ask for a follow up meeting or call to discuss your next action steps.

With that strategy you’re ready to start creating productive mentoring experiences!