Before we hopped into business we did a lottttt of research. From business systems to market research, we definitely have a long history of google searches to prove it 😉 And throughout our journey the searches haven't really ended -- I mean what did we do B.G. (before Google)?! So many of our favorite business resources, books, and systems were all found from a little research. While M had some super badass biz experience prior to starting Bold & Pop, I didn't. So I think from the get-go I wanted to get up to speed by gobbling up as much information as I possibly could.
Throughout the process not only did I learn about the technical and logistical side of business processes but I also found a lot of people who I ended up really looking up to for sharing their businesses experiences. Namely, Melyssa Griffin and Lauren Hooker being two that really stood out to me. Not only had both of these ladies found a lot of success through their businesses, but they shared so much of their journey with their followers -- which for a budding entrepreneur I could not have been more thankful for. When I read their blogs and newsletters I didn't just feel like I was reading another resource, I really felt like I was having a casual conversation with a good friend. Even though I actually haven't met them in person, I really took their advice to heart because they were once in my place and made some magic happen in their lives. Serious boss lady role model status (in a non-creepy I swear I'm not an Internet stalker kind of way 😜)! Not only did their blogs serve as powerful resources that has helped me along the way but over time they really became biz role models of mine!
Now taking role models to the next level, let's talk mentors! I always thought having a mentor was somewhat of a formal process.. which sounds a little silly now that I type it, but since I'm being honest I'm giving it to you reallll. Finding some awesome biz ladies to look up to was somewhat of a organic process, but the idea of mentorship always kind of freaked me out. When people talked about their mentors to me I literally flashed back to my confirmation class in high school where I had to pick a sponsor and it had to be someone who we didn't know, which honestly was such a scary thing to me at the time. Asking someone to give up their time to help little old me?! How do you find those kind of people?! Everyone in business talks about mentors and their importance but the process just seemed so daunting to me.
What I didn't realize until even semi-recently is that there's a lot of different forms of mentorship! And ohhh hiii, most mentorships don't start by you asking someone to be your mentor. Mentors are people you look up to and whose opinions you trust, people who have been where you want to be and people who can help guide you on your path. This idea really solidified when I listened to a great interview at the end of the audio book for "The Obstacle is the Way" (which btw, I think audiobooks are my new fav thing -- hellooo multi-tasking). The interview was between Ryan Holiday and Tim Ferriss and part of the conversation touched upon the topics of mentorship. Ryan explained that most of his mentors in his career had evolved from casual conversations or just a few interactions. He even added in one sure way to not get a mentor is by asking them directly to be your mentor. He even added a chuckle in there. He said instead, cut to the chase. Ask questions that are insightful but easy for them to answer. The key to getting someone to share info with you is showing some of your value or how you've thought about something a little differently. And it was those bits of advice that had had a profound effect on some of the paths he's taken in his career.
It was then that I realized mentors are really just a step further than role models a lot of times. They're often people who you look up to or who are in your industry and have been where you've been before and are there to give you a nudge or two -- sometimes not even realizing they're doing so. It was once I threw that formal scenario out the window I realized.. hey I actually have quite a few mentors and even more exciting.. I've actually mentored a lot of people myself! At the end of the day mentorship is about sharing your experiences -- career advice or insight. There is no better way to learn about something than from someone who has done it themselves and that's exactly what mentorship is about.
While it may have taken me a minute or two to wrap my head around the actual idea, what I learned was I already knew the value of most of these concepts. I understood that if I did enough research online or at the library I could learn about business practices... I knew that through this research I'd have favorite resources which could even end up becoming role models of mine... anddd I knew that I had a handful of people I could console with if I ever needed a biz of life advice when it came to going after bigger and better goals. The foundation was all there, it was just the way I looked at it. And while I may have felt silly about the whole concept I realized I'm not the only one out there who has felt this way. Which, is why I'm sharing this with you all!
It was this revelation that also made me realize I wanted to become a resource for others. I didn't come from a business background or a family or even friends group of entrepreneurs, but I've made it happen along with M. More important than your background and the lessons you are taught though is actually implementing the work and learning as you go -- which is exactly what I've done. While I'm still at the beginning of my entrepreneurial path I realized, hey I bet someone else would find some of this experience I've gain useful. I've always left the door open to others who have reached out, but wanted to take that a step further so I applied to become a mentor through Career Contessa's Hire a Mentor program.
Career Contessa has been one of my favorite career websites for the last several years and once I learned about the program I just knew I wanted to be apart of it. After a few calls with their founder and CEO, Lauren McGoodwin -- another seriouslyyy awesome boss lady and fellow University of Oregon alum -- she invited me to join the mentor crew! So what is the program all about? It's all about helping YOU! Finding mentors with the experience you're itching to gain insight about and personalized advice on pushing you towards your goals.
You may have heard "it's not what you know, but who you know.." Well, what if you were like me and didn't know anyone with an entrepreneurial background to give you the ins and outs of very specific pieces of the puzzle? Well, that's where Career Contessa comes into the mix and makes mentorship a little bit easier and it's all catered around your needs. Looking for some insight on how you should go about getting a raise in your career? How about just looking to pick someone's brain about the industry they have experience in? We've got you covered in the Hire a Mentor program. The great part too is it's completely up to you how you want to use it. Set up one session with a few different mentors or if you hit it off with someone set up another session down the road to check-in about your progress! This is your mentorship and you're in the driver's seat, which is something I really loved the idea of! Sound up your alley? Check out my profile or the other amazing mentors through Career Contessa -- and let me tell you there are some amazing ones!
No matter where you find or seek out your biz resources, role models and mentors it is 100% worth the time you put in! We might all have different goals and dreams but no matter what yours are there are definitely people out there to help you along the way! We're most powerful when we team up with others 😀.