It was recently National Mentoring Day and it got me reflecting on the important roles mentors play. For those who watch Dragons Den or The Apprentice – the key driver for people putting themselves out there isn’t just the financial support but the mentoring.
I have been fortunate enough to have Career Coaches who continue to be pivotal in helping me to understand where I am now, where I want to go and ask challenging questions to help me discover how to get there.
But I haven’t had a Career Mentor.
Whilst attending a coaching workshop delivered by 3D coaching, the facilitator distinguished between the role of a Mentor and Coach. ‘A Coach draws it out of you, but a Mentor pours into you’
That stuck with me, I began to think about the benefits a mentor would have on my career:
A mentor is where you want to be– Whilst many of us entrepreneurs believe we have created a new product or service, the reality is there is always someone who has done exactly what we are doing or similar and has done it successfully so why not learn from that person?
A mentor welcomes you into their circle of influence– over their career they have built up a name for themselves, they are part of the right networks and know the right people and can introduce you to those very same people who then form part of your circle of influence which can further your business goals.
A mentor opens doors– They invite you into their world, ‘would you like to shadow me when I run this workshop?..’ soon becomes ‘Would you like to co-deliver this workshop with me?’ soon becomes ‘I am unable to run X workshop, but I mentioned to the organiser I know someone brilliant who would be great at leading it, would you be interested? ……
They share their expertise -‘I read your business plan, its great but I’m struggling to see how it’s a sustainable business model.. have you thought about???’ This book was pivotal in helping me to get a better understanding of cash flow’ ‘Your workshop was brilliant, the main feedback I have is….’
So why don’t I have a mentor? Why don’t you have a mentor? A new year is just ahead, I would love to challenge myself and you to identify a mentor within the next 3 months so we can start the new year strong. I am going to start off with identifying potential Mentors through word of mouth and LinkedIn and will keep you posted on my journey. Would love to hear if you decide to embark on this challenge with me too!
Written by Abigail Brown