We all need a cheerleader; someone who “gets” what we do and understands our goals. You can find your own personal cheerleader through friends, family, and colleagues. And, though having strong ties to loved ones is essential to your overall health and wellbeing, they are not always the best people to help you realize your dreams.
No one succeeds alone and having access to a strong professional network of like-minded souls who have been where you are now is key to helping to you navigate the ups and downs that come from being a professional. Regardless of where you are in your career, you can be a mentee and/or a mentor. Yes, you can be both! In fact, the most successful people always have someone in their corner cheering them on and holding them accountable.
Who is a Mentor?
A mentor is an educated and trusted counselor or teacher. Some mentors provide casual coaching, listening, and advice, while other mentors agree to an ongoing, planned partnership that focuses on helping the mentee reach specific goals over a designated period.
Who Needs a Mentor?
As we said above, there isn't anyone who would not benefit personally or professionally from a little guidance. The trick is finding someone who is willing and able to pass his or her experience on in a way that motivates and inspires you. An amazing mentor will empower you and help you navigate new territories in your career and in your life.
Who Can Mentor?
Anyone can be a mentor. They are typically people who are at a stage in their life and career where they want to give back. There are professional organizations who offer mentorships. You want to look for someone you can look up to and someone who will inspire you to be your best and support you to go beyond what you think is possible.
How Can You Find a Mentor?
Look at leaders in your industry who have reached a level in their personal and professional life you admire. You can also reach outside the industry and join originations like Lonely Entrepreneur or VPeer. Then there’s the most obvious platform: social media. Choose a mentor who is doing what you want to do. Let's say your goal is to open your own salon, spa or shop. Sure, you could create a business plan, secure the financing, and open your place tomorrow, but how much more prepared would you be if you spent some time under a successful owner who knows the business? What could you stand to gain if you learned first-hand the kinds of problems that may lie ahead? How much risk could you avoid if you had the knowledge to prepare for it? Through working under someone or talking to someone who has been there, you find out it's not really what you want. Finding someone to guide us can be as easy as sending a direct message. Don't be afraid to ask. You'd be surprised by what you may learn.
Preparing For Mentorship
Before you begin actively seeking a mentor it’s important to create a personal "vision" and development plan to make it happen. Take at least an hour or two to work on your plan. Listed below are some suggestions on how to get started. These will help you clarify your goals and identify the kind of support you want.
- Write down your current role and responsibilities
- Identify what you need to take you to the next level
- Make certain you are ready to receive coaching
- Identify potential mentors
- Prepare to approach your potential mentors
- Approach your potential mentors
One person may not be able to provide all the guidance you need in business and life so look for several individuals who can play separate roles. It is okay to have more than one mentor. A mentor is one of the most valuable and under-utilized resources available to anyone in the beauty industry. Take the next step in your personal and professional growth and find a mentor to help you realize your dreams.