BEING A MENTOR

Have you ever been stuck in a situation not knowing which way to turn? Or maybe you tried various ways already, but still not moving forward much? My guess is the answer is probably yes. Most of us, if not all, have experienced the proverbial brick wall at some point in time.

A recent read from Jeffrey Hayzlett, Top 3 Traits of a Good Mentor, sparked writing this post. He makes a great point, or three, about what it is and should be like to have someone guide you along your way to move forward.

SEEK

It took me around 20 years of grinding behind a desk for someone/some company to realise that the 9 to 5 culture isn’t satisfying anymore. It made me realise though that I was extremely lucky to gain an enormous amount of experience along the way. Moving from one position to another over the years I was able to take with me any new found learnings and enhance the next position.

Therefore when I finally left the building for the last time at the end of May on a sunny day in London, I knew that it will be a huge mistake to just sit on the information I have within me. Something had to be done about it hence Mentoring became a focus point. To quote Jeffrey: “Good mentors are always willing to share what they know - with anyone who asks". Moving forward a couple of years and I am blessed to be in a situation where I am being given great opportunities to lend a hand and help others

SHARE 

My bible of experience covers a fair amount of different topics related to being in a business environment. Therefore it is not that difficult to assist mentees with various issues they’re experiencing.  As a person who constantly broaden his horizons regarding new aspects of what makes the world go round, all questions can be tackled and answers can be delivered. 

For instance. of late Social Media Management is a hot topic. For the generation that did not grow up with it, it is overwhelming. There are quite a lot of people that have little understanding of how it works. They also are amazed by the fact that online platforms can be used as a great marketing tool. This may sound strange to many, but as I always do, looking at it from my clients’ perspective, it makes total sense. 

On the other side of the scale, the younger generation of mentees struggle with a marketing strategy or even their online reputation even though they fully know how to handle social media platforms on a personal level. Again, a topic that can easily be explained and a strategy can be put in place. Being on social media as yourself differs from being there as your business brand. 

SUPPORT 

All aspects of Mentoring is exciting, but one part that stands out is the initial research or investigation surrounding a new mentee prior to the first meeting. Looking around the web for their social visibility gives one a great insight into how they think. That is, if they have an online persona. Contrary to popular belief there are people around who shy away from being electronically social

The starting point usually is around what is (or not) already out there for all to see. Starting with each existing section from visual presence (avatars, videos, photos, etc.) right through to the writing of posts or captions. As an outsider it is easy to pick out spelling mistakes or layout issues - not to mention the phycological effect colours can have on readers.  

Feedback is easy to give - however, it is completely useless without any valuable input. Again, Jeffrey is 100% correct: “A good mentor is further willing to provide concrete and constructive feedback”.

As always, looking at the evidence should be from the mentee’s point of view. After all, the website or social feed is not yours so it should not be about you and how you want it, but what will work best for the mentee’s brand. Mentoring is about helping and giving advice. If there is the need for introducing new learning curves, the Coach in me will take over - but let’s leave that aside for another post.

Continued support is most of the time wanted by my mentees. A request that fill one with excitement and warmth. And appreciation. 

CONCLUSION

To be able to distribute what one has learned can only be described as one of the best satisfying aspects of life. 

On a personal level it:

  • broaden insights 
  • cultivate relationships
  • awoke mutual feelings of respect
  • create being seen as an expert 
  • makes one an influencer
  • allows one be a contributor 

Giving branding and/or marketing advice it most certainly doesn’t matter that much which niche/field in the market the mentee is in. What matters is to master their needs to better themselves and their brand. At the end of the day, one is not expected to know their market inside out - one is required to guide and lend a helping hand. 

Mentoring has opened so many doors for me and the believe is that it honestly will open many more in the future. This part of being an Entrepreneur is what drives one forward. The only downside, if one can call it that, is always saying yes when a potential mentee knocks on your door and asks for help. Then again, one always has time. There is no such thing as being too busy - prioritize your workload is all it takes to have a full, productive business and life.

Feel free to share, comment or send me a message if you can relate to this post. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach me here, on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

And Thank You for reading.