For some, it may be hard to believe that a person who failed English courses all throughout school is now a Senior Contributor for Forbes as well as a celebrity ghostwriter…unless that someone is Pauleanna Reid.
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Pauleanna Reid, a college dropout turned six-figure entrepreneur, understands firsthand what it's like to have naysayers and people who don't believe in you, your talents, or your dreams. Conversely, she also knows how important and powerful it is to have a mentor - someone who believes in you and will help guide you along your professional journey. Throughout her career, she's been blessed to have up to six mentors, but she also dedicates her time to mentoring women through her mentor program, New Girl On The Block.
Needless to say, she knows more than a thing or two about mentors. So, during a special edition of the xoNecole "Mentor Mondays", Pauleanna shared some magnificent tips about mentorship with an exclusive group of more than 100 xoTribe members.
1.“Reduce stress, add value.”
Find ways to do this when it comes to finding a mentor, as well as building relationships and partnerships. "People like to know what the benefit or transformation will be as a result of working with you," Pauleanna explained. It's about understanding the difference between your self-worth and your market value (thanks to Amanda Seales); knowing the difference between what you think you deserve versus what you actually bring to the table. If possible, find a way to assist them or volunteer for them.
2.Put in the self-work before you ask someone else to do the work.
I like how Pauleanna defined a mentor as someone who can "help take you to the next level AFTER you've utilized your resources and have taken the first steps." Nonetheless, mentorship requires a lot of time, resources, and sacrifice. So, before you ask someone to give their time and resources, make sure you're making the best use of your own. Before you ask someone to mentor you, ask yourself: "Am I doing everything that I should be doing?"
Like Pauleanna said, "If you want someone's time, then show them a receipt."
In other words, find a way to get in a room with them or sign up for one of their programs, workshops, or conferences. Furthermore, instead of asking "can I pick your brain", consider requesting an informational interview for no more than 15-20 minutes.
3.“Don’t ask for directions from someone who hasn’t been where you want to go.”
Like Pauleanna said, "I don't take advice from people who I wouldn't trade bank accounts with." You have to ask yourself: do they (the potential mentors) and their lives align with the type of woman you want to become?
4.Let the relationship develop and grow organically.
For some of her mentors, Pauleanna was introduced to them and they developed from pure, genuine relationships. For others, she asked them directly. Similar to any type of relationship, regardless of how it may start, the best thing to do is to let it flow and grow naturally. Don't try to force it.
5.Mentors shouldn’t be monolithic.
Your mentors don't have to necessarily be in the same industry, age bracket, or even be the same race. Like Pauleanna said, "They can be dead or alive, and they can even be a mentor in your head." Regardless, if you're going to have multiple mentors, strive to have a variety in different areas so they can provide different perspectives.
6.“The best way to thank a mentor is to show them that the advice given has been applied.”
Mentors are designed to help take you to the next level, but AFTER you've utilized any available resources including YouTube, Google, etc. Make sure you do the self-work. Actually show them how you've applied what you've learned to your own life or business.
7.“Be a vibe!”
Simply put, if you want to be around interesting people, then be interesting. As Pauleanna put it, "Once you're a resource, people will always want to mess with you. So, build a network before you need it." Whether the mentor is peer-to-peer (horizontal) or vertical, include people who are near where you are in life, as well as those who are five levels ahead of you because it opens your mind to greater possibilities. If you don't have a peer-to-peer group that you can go to for business advice, solutions, or discussions, then you may want to re-evaluate your relationships. Otherwise, you could decide to step up and be the one who starts to normalize those types of conversations.
To watch the playback of this Mentor Monday's session and other exclusive workshops, join our xoTribe membership community today!
Featured image via Pauleanna Reid