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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Get a Mentor, Be a Mentor...

If you want to be successful in budgeting, money management, cleaning up your debts or being successful in your job you really have to find a mentor.

I stumbled into Marketing by accident, as I was, of course, pre-destined to be a giant Rock Star...That didn't happen (obviously) so at some point I needed to get a job. I started at the very low-end answering phones, but eventually got to start working on our catalog and being one of the first people added to the marketing team when we brought someone into the company to lead our efforts, which were home grown only up until then.

I was lucky in a couple ways; one the person hired had an amazing resume and had worked at some great companies when they were start-ups and when they got big, so he had amazing experience. Second, the man was ego-less. A lot of time outside industry hires come in and are going to "teach" you how it is "really done." This guy was not that at all. His first comment was to me, "I know some things that might help with what you are doing here, but you know your industry and I don't, so you can help me with that!" Lastly, I was bought in and smart enough to realize this was a great opportunity for me.

He stayed for a few years then moved on , but after a few years I left and worked my way up in a different company to a similar position. I tried to remember how exactly he taught me and treated me. I don't have the saintly patience that he had, but he instilled enough compassion to care that my employees were getting mentored to the best of my ability.

When I began to really dig into person finance and budgeting, I realized I needed a mentor there as well. The same goes for my marriage and my current position at my new/old company. The same goes for Blogging. It holds true for nearly all aspects of your life.

There is a maxim that I try to remind myself of: The More you Know, the More you Know you Don't Know!

Your mentor doesn't have to be right there with you. You can be mentored by reading about someones life, or by hearing of someones life. But if you take from this well of knowledge you have a responsibility to help others as well...even if it is some kid in marketing that really doesn't know what they are doing :)


Catherine Lawson said...

Great point RacerX. And so true. I have noticed many people looking for mentors in forums.

But as you point out - you don't need a mentor in the real sense of the word. You can find mentors in books, blogs, on tv and anywhere else you care to look.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you RacerX... in fact, I just wrote a post on mentoring last week called "Find a Mentor Today."
I think it could be the smartest thing a person does for themselves in 2008!
I personally have had multiple mentors over the course of my life. All fulfilled a need or goal I had at the time and I am actually still friends with them all.
It is amazing how generous people can be with their knowledge and wisdom.
Finding a mentor is an idea worth embracing...

RacerX said...

@Cath L - Great other places to look for inspiration and mentoring! Thanks for commenting!

@Dawn - I just read you piece and i sugIest everyone head over there to read it, really great read!

Thanks for commenting and the pointer to the awesome post!

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