“No man is an island,” John Donne famously wrote centuries ago.

I have found this to be supremely true. My life has been full of family, teachers, coaches and many other helpful people who have given their time to help me in some way or another.

Many of the people that help us most in life carry an official title, teacher, coach, parent, etc.

There is another type of helper that many people need, but lack because they don’t ask. I am referring to a mentor.

Mentors can play several roles. At the most, fundamental level mentors provide advice and insight that can be attained only through hard-earned experience.

Mentors can also provide shelter during tough situations and open doors that you could never have opened yourself.

A good mentor can alter the course of your life, but most people never seem to muster the courage to ask for help. Lacking the courage or humility to ask for help is a severe weakness.

In some areas of life, a mentor can be helpful. In the world of business and investing, having a mentor is imperative.

You may wonder why someone would agree to be your mentor.

Filling this role may require time and sacrifice on the part of the mentor. There are several reasons very successful and busy people would love to be your mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask.

The first reason people like to be mentors is that successful people love to talk about how they became successful.

Teaching someone is a chance for them to feel good about imparting knowledge and do a little bragging at the same time. Being asked for advice is a huge compliment, even if they say ‘no’, they will be happy you asked.

Another reason people like to mentor is that they may have a working interest in you.

Perhaps your mentor is a boss or employer. Maybe your mentor is a friend or loved one. Successful people who get asked for advice or mentorship may see an opportunity in you which will open doors.

Employers love it when their employees ask for advice or feedback.

Talking to your boss about ways you can improve your work performance will not only increase your job security, but it will increase your value, which may lead to an increase in pay.

How you ask for a mentor may have a high bearing on whether they agree to mentor you or not.

It is a good to start from a place of flattery.

Comment on how successful they are, and then explain that you would like to ask them a few questions about how they became so successful. You don’t have to say the word mentor, just explain that you would like to meet and ask for advice.

My mentors have been intrinsically connected to so much good that has happened in my life.

Muster the courage to ask for a little help, and you will be amazed at the outcome.

Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155, MillsWealth.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser.