Why Working with a Mentor will Sky Rocket Your Business
Soooo, what the heck is a mentor?
A mentor is someone who offers his or her knowledge, wisdom, or advice to someone with less experience. They help with personal and professional development.
Throughout my photography journey, I’ve had a lot of different types of mentors - some were photographers, some were business owners, some were creative friends & my business mentor is actually my dad. The relationship I’ve built with these people have changed not only my mindset, but they’ve helped me reach goals I never thought I could achieve. Because of their guidance & encouragement, I’ve been able to grow personally and professionally WAY faster than I would have myself. SO, I wanted share with you guys 4 specific things that my mentors have helped me with over the years.
1.) Mentors keep it REAL.
They tell you the real stuff. As my mentor, my dad loves to encourage me but also has no problem telling me what i’m doing wrong. In the beginning of my business, I was the worst push over and let people step ALL over me. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was devaluing myself as a business owner & needed a mentor to show me that. I used to get so caught up in my head and want to do everything I can to please my clients, yet I was doing it the wrong way. So one of my mentors straight up told me “you are devaluing your work by doing xyz”… “SO here are a few ways to change.” A mentor is g o i n g to tell you what’s up!! They have been there, done that.
2.) Mentors encourage you to push your boundaries creatively & mentally.
In the photography world, everyone gets down on their style and ability to create beautiful images. I have been super freaking blessed with photography mentors & friends who encourage me & push me creatively. When I first started out, I was SUPER afraid to charge more or make more money off of the work I was consistently producing. My business mentor was actually the one to shake up my world & say “Hey, YOU can make your end goal a bigger number & see what happens.” SO… I did and at the end of the year, I overachieved that. It’s really important to have someone who can support you while helping you push past your boundaries & past what your mind thinks you can do. Sometimes, I don’t know what I am capable of achieving so having someone I trust say “hey you can do this” gives me so much more confidence in what I’m doing.
3.) Mentors help you get out of a FUNK.
Like right now… I am 100% in a funk but having creative friends around me to agree with me and help me think outside the box really brings a positive spin on a negative feeling! My mentor(s) always give me personal tips or even remind me of the achievements I’ve done before, to get me out of the funk. BUT, I have to be honest with them and tell them where I’m at so they can get me in a more positive mindset and achieve my goals. This is when social media mentors come into play. I love listening to a podcast of a success story of an entrepreneur to get me out of a funk. My favorite podcast to help with that is: Entrepreneurs on Fire.
4.) Mentors identify my strengths & weaknesses
I will always appreciate getting validation that I am doing something right. Someone saying I’m doing a good job in my work, especially from someone with more wisdom & knowledge, can give me a lot of confidence. On the other end, my business mentor is great at defining my weaknesses & helping me better them. My biggest weakness in the beginning was communication… I really sucked at it. I didn’t even know how to answer the phone (sadly, I’m not kidding on that one). When it came to communication I didn’t do well with confrontation either. So my mentor helped understand how to communicate in these types of situations, which ultimately gave me confidence to handle much more than I ever thought I could. And eventually, I was able to build confidence in my business as well.
These are just 4 things that my mentors have brought out in me the last few years. And I love looking back on my progress every year to appreciate the growth & the milestones they’ve walked me through. If you’re in need of a mentor, I would LOVE to help! I have personal photography mentorships that I offer to beginner photographers. But even if I’m not the right mentor for you, I’d love to guide you to the right one! Connect with me anytime - firstname.lastname@example.org!