When it comes to your success in expedited trucking, ignorance is NOT bliss.

That’s why it’s essential to build a team of mentors who are accomplishing what you want to achieve.

They’re ahead of you on the journey. So, they’re especially qualified to share advice to guide you along the way.

They encourage you to persist when you feel discouraged and ready to quit prematurely.

And they can help you avoid catastrophic mistakes that put you out of business before you really get started.

But what should you look for in mentors? Where do you find them? And how can you make the most of those relationships?

What to Look For
What are the traits you want to find in a mentor? Look for the three “A’s.”

1. Accomplishments
Many people can talk a big game. But do they have the goods? Have they actually achieved – or, at least, are on track to achieve – what you want to accomplish in this industry?

2. Availability
Do they have time to spend with you? The mentoring relationship doesn’t have to take a lot of time. But you’d like to know that they’d be willing to commit some time with you as needed.

3. Advice
Are they effective teachers? After all, just because someone is successful in the business doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good at teaching others how to do it. Look for mentors who can articulate their advice in a way that you can understand and apply.

Where to Find Them
How do you go about finding mentors who are right for you? Try these resources.

1. Your fleet owner.
Your fleet owner might be able to provide mentorship programs, or they may know someone in their network who could be an excellent fit for you as a mentor.

2. Your carrier.
Ask your carrier who they recommend as potential mentors.

3. ExpeditersOnline.com.
Look up those expediters who are writing articles for the site or have been interviewed for articles. Even if you can’t get to the point of spending one-on-one time with them, you can still learn from them.

4. Expedite Expo.
This is the nation’s largest show for expedited trucking that’s held each year in mid-July. Attend educational workshops and network with successful expediters and other industry experts. (See https://www.expediteexpo.com/.)

How to Maximize the Relationship
How do you keep mentors interested in working with you? Follow these guidelines.

1. Try their advice.
If you want mentors to stay engaged with you, try following their advice. And if you don’t think it would work for you, tell them why you believe that. Discuss and brainstorm other ideas that might be better for your situation. But the last thing you want to do is ignore their advice altogether.

2. Report results.
Your mentors have a vested interest in your success. So, let them know with specific examples how their advice has helped you. This will encourage them to keep thinking on your behalf.

3. Respect their time.
They’ll be moments when you’ll need to connect with a mentor in an emergency. And most mentors will understand and be available. But avoid overdoing it.

The Bottom Line
Finding the right mentor could be the key to unlocking new opportunities for you to succeed in this business. So, if you haven’t already found one, begin your search today by using this article as your guide.