I consider myself fortunate to have grown up with both of my parents, at home, present, and determined to make sure I had a better life. However, I am equally as fortunate to have crossed paths with numerous people throughout my young adulthood who also passed along words of wisdom and very much helped to mold me into the person I am today. From teachers, to bosses, to less personal relationships (I spent 5 hrs/week with Oprah for a solid 15 years :)), I have had my share of guiding lights. When given the opportunity, I made sure to give back by volunteering as a tutor in elementary schools and becoming an undergraduate mentor to incoming freshman. To say I value the power of the mentor/mentee relationship, is a complete understatement. Yet, over the last 5 years, I’ve done a very poor job of being either. When I stumbled upon Paul C. Brunson’s #MentorMonday I was reminded of the key part of personal growth that I needed to re-familiarize myself with.
If you haven’t already, FIND A MENTOR.
With the world wide web being at our disposal, there’s no excuse. It’s great if you can find someone local, that you can meet with regularly, but by no means is it necessary. What is necessary is that whomever you choose have the tools and a track record worth your attention; in other words, whatever they have to share about their accomplishments, should direct you towards constructing a list of your own. For me personally, I look towards people who I feel are self-made and have built reputable brands: Oprah, Sara Blakely, Howard Schultz, Bethenny Frankel, Ralph Lauren.
Who, out there, can you look up to? As you formulate your list, make sure you are honing in on people that can help in a very, specific arena. You may be able to come up with a laundry list of people that you admire/like, but in no way is that a mentor.
And once you’ve accumulated a few accolades of your own, don’t forget to BE A MENTOR.
Learning is never one directional, and the key to life, is to never stop!