The Importance of a Mentor

As last night was such a beautiful full moon I took the time to stop and ponder, as I sometimes do.

This time it was on the importance of having a mentor. I find myself these days often saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” We all go through life learning every day, whether it’s a trivial fact we pick up from Facebook, a new skill or hobby, or how to deal with an emotional situation. I embrace learning and I’m never afraid to admit when I don’t know something – good job really!

In November last year Ami and I attended the Author Millionaire Bootcamp. We were really excited to be spending a weekend in London and knew there would be great speakers presenting. What we didn’t realise was that the weekend would change our lives…

Over 3 days we listened to experts who had, in their own right, earned over £1 million in different professions and in different ways, but each one had written a book (it would have been weird speaking at an Author bootcamp otherwise, huh!). At the end of the weekend we could hardly speak to each other – we had so many notes and so much inspiration that we sat looking at each other on the way home not really able to communicate how we felt.

Looking back now though I can see the pathway that began there. Ami has a fast growing social media business that she loves and works with some amazing businesses to help them to amplify their brand and get their message to a much bigger audience. I have never seen her so passionate!

For me, the weekend really galvanised my ideas and showed me how far I’ve come already. It also gave me a ginormous kick up the bottom in the way of inspiration – to get out there and just do it! Since that weekend we have engaged 3 new licensees, or ‘Bounce Creators’ as we lovingly call these inspirational people. We have completely re-branded and brought a whole new image to our business.

I have been able (with help) to see where I would love to steer the business too – we have a game plan! On top of this I have changed my approach to work and life. It’s a work in progress, but I have a plan and due to the mentors around me I have a support system too. “Woohoo!” is something you often hear me exclaim these days!

So why choose a mentor?

Why not read books, work hard, keep on keeping on and grind your way to the top? Simply put, a mentor is someone who has already done what you are trying to do. They have made their mistakes and learned from them. They have in turn worked with a mentor and so know the value of having someone to inspire and support them along the way. They have broken through the financial, organisational and emotional barriers to achieve their success and can spot when you are going through similar.

They can hold your hand, give you information and occasionally kick your butt when you procrastinate or wobble. Most importantly when you break through a barrier they are there with the high fives and woohoos to celebrate each success.

Can a family member do this? Probably not. Even if they have the business knowledge, they love you in a way that means they want to keep you safe. They won’t want to see you struggling, they will worry about the late nights or 3am inspirations and they may not understand what drives you…unless they have achieved exactly what you are attempting!

Most people I know who have their own business have started it due to a passion. They want to change the world, provide a service or fill a need and are willing to work hard to do it. They usually start off by learning the business skills – accounting, marketing, sales, admin, production, IT…either they have experience already or courses are at hand to get this.

What people don’t always talk about is the energetic side. What to do when enthusiasm and working long hours aren’t enough. When you get to a block or junction in your business – how do you notice in the first place and make the necessary changes?

I work with three mentors. Sounds a bit greedy doesn’t it? I have a mentor that is my personal trainer, a mentor that helps with internet marketing and technology and a business mentor that helps my business growth. I love the learning I have done and the changes I have made.

I realised that in my past working life I have often got to the road block and not known it. My health suffered, my business suffered and my confidence suffered. I had buckets of passion, a willingness to work hard and the support of my loved ones, but I still got to that block. I found it really hard to admit that too – when you have set out to do something and people are rooting for you it can be that you keep smiling and saying, “I’m fine!” long after those genuine feelings have left you.

So I learned my lessons, and where I am now in my business I really see the difference I am making. I love seeing the people I work with make amazing changes. I love hearing their successes, seeing their smiles and watching them go on to make a huge difference in the world. Their progress inspires me to be my best self.

I am also a mentor and my specialty is support and guidance. I can see those energetic blocks as they arise. I can find where energy is being drained – through health, relationships or circumstances. I can help someone create their own vision for business and life and hand hold through that process.

Occasionally my Management Accountant hat comes out too and we work through a cash flow statement or business plan! Mainly though we reduce the stress, create the physical energy and keep up the creativity.

My advice to you – stop and assess where you are in your life. Do you have a gap in your knowledge or thinking? Is there somewhere you want to get to? Look around at the people who have done it already – the wheel you are looking for has already been invented, no need to do it again!

Talk to several people and get a feel for the right person for you. Someone who has common interests or a similar journey. Perhaps follow them on Facebook or Twitter and get to know them, have a phone conversation and listen for the light bulb moments. You will know in your gut if they are speaking your language!

If nothing else, I urge you to do a bit of moon gazing – you will be amazed at what may change!

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About The Author

Nicky Marshall

Nicky is an international, award winning author and speaker and owner of three companies. Nicky has a background as a Management Accountant but has been running businesses since 2006. Nicky is a wellbeing advocate, passionate to show that people are amazing and capable of great success - when they have the right techniques and enough energy! After suffering a stroke at 40 and fully recovering, Nicky is on a mission to change the wellbeing of the world - one person at a time.