Being a Mentor is not for Everyone

asbcbookI have often been asked how I make my living and exactly what is it I do here at American Small Business Centers. My reply is often edited to the person or audience asking me the question. I even wrote a book about this called “Ladies, You Can Do This!” which gives basic down to earth business advice and also chronicles ordinary every day women who run extraordinary businesses.

The truth is I am a mentor. Some say I am a mentor’s mentor. The reason being a mentor is not for everyone is that I have to take it on faith most of the time that the discussion, advice, knowledge, or facts I give to someone will make a difference somewhere down the road in their journey through life. The majority of the people I know want to see an instant change in the people they work with as verification of the good work being performed. That has not been my experience.

Being an effective mentor means you have to do these three things:

1. Give good and timely counsel to the person you are with.

2. Do not expect any reward or compensation for your time and service.

3. Encourage and lift up those around you by your example, heart, and beliefs.

Your reward for a job well done is a life that is changed for the better in some small or large way. This does not mean that you give away your professional advice and experience for free. You are a professional and should be honestly compensated for your time, advice, and experience. However, your true reward is the life that you influence for the better. That is gold being stored into a person and not locked up in a vault somewhere.

Being a mentor’s mentor is a narrowly defined career. If all you ever do is counsel others without a succession plan in mind of passing your gifts on to another person then whatever you have achieved dies with you. I look for people who know how to lift as they climb, who want to leave their mark on this world, and who honestly want to improve themselves and those around them. These people are rare, but they are out there. And if you look for them you will find them.

I firmly believe that the universe works, and we get nothing because we ask for nothing. It has also been my experience that what you put out into the universe comes back to you 10 fold. As difficult as it is being an effective mentor, it is one of the most rewarding careers you will ever have. Be the change, be the miracle, be the person that is remembered for starting another person off into their career. You have the power to change the world one person at a time. Change it for the good of all.

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