Since I graduated from University, I’ve been a little lost. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do with my life (save the planet, make music, cuddle animals all day, make the world a better place for everyone and everything… you know, the usual), but I felt like I had to pick a path and focus my energy in a particular area.
I felt that if I wanted to be taken seriously and be hired into the corporate environment that I would have to conform to that mould, and after finally figuring out who I was, I wasn’t too keen to be put on the “corporate image leash”. On the other hand, I felt that if I chose the creative and humanitarian route, I would never be able to support myself financially, and I would miss the technical challenges that would have come from pursuing my environmental career.
I was in a constant state of hesitation, and I ended up “going where the wind took me, as long as it was vaguely related to what I wanted”. While this hasn’t been a terrible misstep, and I have learned a lot along the way, I have indeed missed the technical challenges as predicted, and have found that after I have “earned my bread” I have less time than I would like to pursue creative and humanitarian endeavors.
I tried to talk to those around me, but found that their “advice” was heavily laced with their own fears and insecurities about what could go wrong. I needed to talk to someone who was out there chasing their dreams off the beaten path, crushing it, and would give me their true unbiased opinion. I needed to “reach up” as Grant Cardone would say.
You can’t reach your full potential by holding on to where you are – Grant Cardone
Yesterday I reached out to someone that fit this bill, I’ll call her S. I’ve always admired her for creativity, the way she has worked tirelessly to build her brand, and the way she has carried herself and pushed forward despite criticism, nasty tactics, and trying personal times.
In a surprisingly short conversation, the things I wanted, and what I needed to do, became as clear as day. As is often the case, deep down, I had always known what I need to do, I just needed someone to ask the right questions, and get me to say it out loud. It seems ridiculous to type it out, but it’s true, and I now have a plan of action. Today I walked into work with an almost fanatical smile on my face, a renewed spring in my step, and the weight of the world off my shoulders. Now the real work begins… taking action.
Finding the right mentor for you
Interested in finding your own mentor? Here’s a few tips:
- Decide what you want from them – do you want to learn the tricks of the trade from one of the best in your industry? Or do you just want to be able to bounce ideas of someone who has similar values, and can hold you accountable?
- Research potential mentors to make sure they match up with what you’ve decided you are looking for
- Ask them! But be honest with what you are looking for, and respect their right to say no.
- Establish some expectations to avoid any frustrations and disappointments (e.g. would they prefer you email any questions through so they can respond where they can? Or would they prefer a phone call? How regularly would you like to meet with them?)
- Be flexible and respectful of their time – show up on time, let them know if you can’t make it to a scheduled meeting (with more than 5 minutes notice!), and be respectful of their advice and opinions (you don’t have to agree with their opinion to be respectful)
Have a fantastic day guys! Go out and crush it!