Question: How have mentors impacted your career and what advice do you have for a young professional when it comes to selecting their mentors?
Someone Who Can Help Find Your Calling
"For many years, I struggled to find what excited me or made me want to really work hard at something. Having a mentor helped me focus on what that was, and got to me where I am today. Having that objective voice really helped me hone in on what I had to offer and where it would fit."
Someone Who Aligns With Your Values
"Find a mentor who is living the way you want to live and work. An early mentor of mine was very money-driven, which was great for her, but money is not my No. 1 driver. The advice she gave on how to go about my business didn't always land. When I found a mentor that valued impact and contribution like I do, that's when the relationship became mutually beneficial."
Someone Who Guides You
"I can safely say that without the guidance and support I've received from several mentors, I wouldn't be where I am today. When looking for a mentor, look for someone who can lead you to your own solutions: someone who won't give you answers but helps you find them yourself. Don't know anyone? Use MicroMentor.org to find someone who has experience in your industry."
Someone Who Leads You
"As a solo founder, it can be hard to prioritize goals and get honest feedback from people who aren't incentivized to tell you you're right. Having external counsel that can provide critical feedback and help prioritize your initiatives can be a tremendous asset. They can serve as your 'boss' and hold you accountable to the growth you have planned for your company."
Someone Who Finds You
"I think the best mentors come into your life because of how you've positioned yourself. If you have the work ethic of someone who's first one into the office and last one out, someone is going to take notice. When I first got started in my career, the best mentors found me, not the other way around."
Someone You'd Want to Become
"I owe many of my achievements to very generous mentors who were willing to share their time and knowledge. They weren't only there to help my business. More importantly, they were there for me during my darkest times, professionally and personally, to keep me moving forward. People love giving advice, but choose someone who has done what you want to do in life."
Someone Who Pushes You
"When choosing a mentor, it's important to look for someone who pushes you to be better professionally and personally. This means someone who tells you the truth, even when it's something you don’t want to hear. I would trust this type of mentor to stay with me as I grow, fail and learn, rather than one who only weighs in on decisions when it's convenient for them."