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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Sometimes it takes falling to rock bottom in order to be built back up again. I learned this many years ago when the life I'd carefully built for myself and my family suddenly changed. But in those times, you learn to lean on those who love you – a friend, family member or someone who can relate to what you've been through. I was lucky enough to have two incredible women help me through one of my lowest moments. They taught me to love myself and inspired me to pass on their lessons each da
If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today.
In 2010, I was a wife, a mother of three, and had filtered in and out of jobs depending on what my family needed from me. At different points in my career, I've worked in the corporate world, been a stay-at-home mom, and even started my own daycare center. Fitness has always been a part of my life, but at that point being a mom was my main priority. Then, life threw a curveball. My husband and I separated, leading to a very difficult divorce.
These were difficult times. I lost myself in the uncertainty of my future and the stress that comes with a divorce and found myself battling anorexia. Over a matter of months, I lost 40 lbs. and felt surrounded by darkness. I was no longer participating in my health and all efforts to stay active came to a halt. I didn't want to leave my home, I didn't' want to talk to people, and I really did not want to see men. Seeing my struggles, first my sister and then a friend, approached me and invited me to visit the gym.
After months of avoiding it, my sister started taking me to the gym right before closing when it wasn't too busy. We started slow, on the elliptical or the treadmill. This routine got me out of the house and slowly we worked to regain my strength and my self-esteem. When my sister moved away, my good friend and personal trainer started working out with me one-on-one early in the morning, taking time out of her busy schedule to keep me on track toward living a healthy life once again. Even when I didn't want to leave the house, she would encourage me to push myself and I knew I didn't want to let her down. She helped me every step of the way. My sister and my friend brought fitness back into my everyday routine. They saved my life.
I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again. My friend has since moved away, but, these two women made me feel loved, confident and strong with their empowerment and commitment to me. They made such an incredible impact on me; I knew I needed to pay it forward. I wanted to have the same impact on women in my community. I started by doing little things, like running with a woman who just had a baby to keep her inspired and let her know she's not alone. I made sure not to skip my regular runs, just in case there was a woman watching who needed the inspiration to keep going. These small steps of paying it forward helped me find purpose and belonging. This gave me a new mentality that put me on a path to the opportunity of a lifetime – opening a women's only kickboxing gym, 30 Minute Hit.
About four years ago, I was officially an empty nester. It was time to get myself out of the house too and find what I was truly passionate about, which is easier said than done. Sitting behind a desk, in a cubicle, simply didn't cut it. It was hard to go from an active and chaotic schedule to a very slow paced, uneventful work week. I felt sluggish. Even when I moved to another company where I got to plan events and travel, it was enjoyable, but not fulfilling. I wanted to be a source of comfort to those struggling, as my sister and dear friend had been to me. I wanted to impact others in a way that couldn't be done from behind a desk.
I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again.
When I heard about 30 Minute Hit, I was nervous to take the leap. But the more I learned about the concept, the more I knew it was the perfect fit for me. Opening my own gym where women can come to let go of their struggles, rely on one another and meet new people is the best way for me to pass on the lessons I learned during my darkest times.
Kickboxing is empowering in itself. Add to it a high energy, female-only environment, and you have yourself a powerhouse! The 30 Minute Hit concept is franchised all over North America, acting as a source of release for women who are just trying to get through their day. I see women of all ages come into my gym, kick the heck out of a punching bag and leave with a smile on their face, often times alongside a new friend. 30 Minute Hit offers a convenient schedule for all women, from busy moms to working women, to students and senior citizens. A schedule-free model allows members to come in whenever they have a free half hour to dedicate to themselves. Offering certified training in kickboxing and a safe environment to let go, 30 Minute Hit is the place for women empowerment and personal growth.
Through my journey, I have learned that everyone is going through something – everyone is on their own path. My motivating factor is knowing that I can touch people's lives everyday just by creating the space for encouragement and community. It's so easy to show people you care. That's the type of environment my team, clients and myself have worked hard to create at our 30 Minute Hit location.
Fitness saved my life. If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today. The perfect example of women empowering women – the foundation to invincibility.
This article was originally published September 12, 2019.