“We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how.”
Why do we have mentors? Why do we need mentors? What is a mentor?
This type of person is not necessarily in the lime-light or has social status, it can be the person next to you or even an equal. A mentor leads by example and is not always aware of the people following their example. By setting an example you are seen as a mentor. This is not always deliberately, but because of certain personal morals and values, you set an example to others. Being a mentor means exhibiting integrity and responsibility – inspiring and motivating others to reach their goals, being it in a business, or social environment.
Starting off in the business world, I was nervous and unsure about what to expect. I knew I wanted to lead my business by empowering and encouraging my employees. By leading in a positive and well-structured manner, you achieve optimal productivity and efficiency. A positive working environment will motivate not only yourself, but your employees as well. This will help them in gaining and building their knowledge. I want them to feel comfortable and respected in their profession. But trying to achieve this is not easy.
Luckily, I have a person in my life that taught me how to achieve these goals.
I do not even think my mentor knows he has influenced my life in such a way, but he surely made an impact.
Abe Beukes, the winemaker at Yonder Hill, needs to be mentioned, even if this is only for myself.
Photo by Daniel Naude
What Leading by example means
Having Patience and Endurance
Abe has taught me, if I want to reach my goals, I will need patience and endurance. Seeing the way he treats his employees and work closely with them, showed me how to lead my business in a way to create a positive environment. I strive to have an open, but professional, relationship with my employees. To do so I need to be approachable and listen to them. He has not only taught me how to lead my business, but even though I achieved one of my goals, nothing stopped me in reaching other goals. I strive to not only be a good leader but also to improve my own knowledge. In this manner I can help my business gain greater success. Having him as my mentor has definitely prepared me in building my own independent business.
Developing one’s self
A mentor prepares and helps you to not to make the same mistakes, but rather improving yourself in your business. Being part of the Virtual Assistant (VA) world, showed me that having a mentor is an important aspect in developing one’s self. Without this knowledge, it would not have been easy to start my VA career. In my life I have had many mentors. Each of them had an impact on my life. Amongst all of these people, only a few revealed to be true mentors. Working with all of these different people, I gained enough knowledge and experience to distinguish who I would like to be associated with. Abe is always open to answering questions. He shows patience and open mindedness and tries to put himself in someone else’s shoes when questions are being asked.
Although being a renowned winemaker, and probably knowing everything that needs to be known to be a good winemaker, he still attends conferences, workshops and lectures to widen and improve his knowledge. He believes in constantly upskilling yourself.
Influencing the people around you
Having said all of this, each person chooses their own mentor. You as a person needs to decide what you want to achieve and how you want to be seen, in a business or social environment. When I started, I decided that I want to have a positive and encouraging effect on people’s lives. I realised that my previous mentors could not teach me in a way to successfully achieve this goal. That is why I decided to follow Abe’s lead. Having a mentor like him and achieving my goals, I can also strive in being a mentor to someone else. At the end of the day you will never know if you are someone’s mentor, but by exhibiting integrity, responsibility and positivity you can make a positive change in someone’s life.
In bringing this together I decided to take these words from this Franchise Growth Partners blog, it perfectly summarizes the person I want to be in business and personally. It starts with a choice to be the person you want to be:
Be willing to share skills, knowledge, and expertise. Always demonstrate a positive attitude. Always try to take a personal interest in the mentoring relationship and exhibit enthusiasm in your profession. Try to provide guidance and constructive feedback so that you can be respected by colleagues and employees in all levels of the organization. Lastly value the opinions and initiatives of others and motivate by setting a good example.