5 Min ReadCareer 14 May 2020
In my time of seeking mentors, I have been intrigued by the idea of one day being a mentor to another. Over the years, I have learned the value of open communication in the mentee/mentor relationship, mutual respect for one another, and the importance of making time for each other. Like any other relationship, nourishing it will help opportunities flourish — for both of you.
Although I have gladly adopted the role of a mentee, I couldn't help myself from asking, "How will I know when I am ready to go from a mentee to mentor? There was no better way of educating myself other than learning from my mentors and role models from over the years.
Julie Kantor, Twomentor LLC
Julie Kantor, Founder of Twomentor, consults companies on the importance of implementing mentorship in a work environment. Kantor shares, "we learn by observing our mentor and their qualities — which qualities we can adopt, and also others that we feel constitutes a good mentor." She describes mentoring as a "pay it forward" chain. People who have been mentored understand the position of being a mentee which makes them more likely to mentor others. "Mentoring is a muscle you flex," Kantor says. "Just get started and get some training and interview other mentors on what's a good experience or process."
Julia Pimsleur, Million Dollar Women
Julia Pimsleur, Chief Empowerista for helping women entrepreneurs scale their business to a million dollars in revenue, prides herself on her business prioritizing mentorship as a key factor in helping founders accomplish their goals. Pimsleur found herself in a similar position many female founders find themselves in — how to transition to help someone else. She explains that during her time writing her book, Million Dollar Women, she began writing on the importance of adopting the mindset to "Go Big" as she did with her first company, Little Pim. As a mentee herself, she called her business coach, receiving the advice she needed and delving into linguistic programming to help further her goals. Similar to Kantor, Pimsleur started a process that would help her execute her best effort at being a credible mentor, especially to female entrepreneurs.
Pimsleur says that she already knew the demographic she wanted to help — women looking to scale their business to a million dollars in revenue. As we spoke about the importance of developing a niche group, it is important to note, that even my mentors can still be mentees.
Pimsleur emphasizes that even now having many clients under her wing, there is still a subtle pressure point of wondering, "can I really help this person?" Pimsleur associates this with some of her clients with higher revenues. But what she has come to realize is that, yes she can. She stresses that people can be accomplished in many areas of their life, but stuck in others. "As a mentor, you have to park your ego at the door and realize they are coming to you because they need help with something. I can help them." In return, you can learn from them as well, which is a valuable connection within the mentee/mentor relationship.
"When you are going from mentee to mentor, I don't think you ever feel entirely ready. If you have respect for that profession, you never feel entirely ready. However, I know no one is going to work harder to help this person get results than I am."
Sometimes it is about having faith and focusing on what you bring to the table.
Alicia Waldner, ADventure Marketing
Alicia Waldner is one of my more unique mentors mostly because we are the same age. Waldner has been a great role model, inspiration, and friend over the last few years. One of the qualities that I admire most about her is her resilient attitude toward accomplishing her goals. But what really stands out about her is how she treats anyone in her network with the same level of respect no matter who they are.
I was fortunate enough to know Waldner before she went full-time with her successful company, ADventure Marketing. I saw first-hand how she went from a mentee to a mentor to thousands of Instagram followers and her client base (myself included). Waldner has always known she wanted to help others but wasn't quite aware at first that she was inspiring others. Her authentic attitude and approach to her business are what led her to become a mentor and speaker as well as developing a personal brand that gave her leverage in growing her company. Waldner says, "when you've had to figure things out the hard way, it is fulfilling to help another save time to get them where you are." She also points out, just like the previous mentors of mine — believing in what you have accomplished. Being humble and genuinely happy about others' success helps everyone grow. The power of a mentee/mentor relationship is priceless.
All these mentors exude confidence and humility; it's clear that they thrive in helping others. Being a mentor not only makes them a more successful business owner but a leader in elevating future leaders. The mentee/mentor relationship is a bond that, if nourished well, will lead to opportunities for both the mentee and mentor. With keeping the mindset that everyone is always learning, who knows what amazing things we can accomplish — with each other.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist