What Do You Do When You've Bit Off More Than You Can Chew?

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What Do You Do When You've Bit Off More Than You Can Chew?

Mark Wieder • November 19, 2018

JeAnna and I are bringing that Will-Smith-jump-out-of-an-airplane-on-your-birthday energy to the boring old topic of mentoring. Come take the journey with us!

We talk about the importance of mentoring, finding a mentor, and how to find your why on Episode 1 of The Pop’dcast. I'm covering the importance of mentoring and how to find a mentor in this post. I'm covering how to find your why when I publish Part 2 of this post. Let's jump into it!

How Do You Find a Mentor?

Mentoring means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Your parents found mentorship opportunities for you when you were younger.

You went to the Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA, or a group childcare facility. Then you graduated to sports or band or some other extracurricular activity. You and possibly a group of people with shared interests had a place to go for some fun, some discipline, and some outside guidance.

Times have changed! Now it’s easier than ever to find a mentor in your field or town on LinkedIn. Send someone new a personal message. Think outside your career. Maybe you’re an accountant who loves rock climbing. Find a climbing buddy!

You could do this on LinkedIn, but wouldn’t it be better to find a Meetup.com group to attend? How about a climbing gym? Go to the place where your people may gather. Go there with a plan. Prep yourself. Remember your why. (More on this in Part 2 of Episode 1).

Mentoring could be informal, like a weekly phone call with a friend. Or it could be formalized like a paid relationship with a coach. I have both. Either way, you have to find the right person. You have to build trust.

“In order to receive knowledge you have to be open to it. And if you aren’t in a place of trust it’s going to be hard to be open to it.” _jeanna

My Story

I had a lot of great mentors in soccer, but Henry Klugh, my track coach, really took time to bond with my team and I. Yea, we trained hard - that’s how we won a state championship! - but we also talked about life. And, he helped make connections in the track community for me. That’s how I got into the NCAA Division 1 track program at Virginia Tech. This is mentoring!

Mentorship lost its luster when I entered college. I didn't connect well with my college coach, and I lost my father who was my favorite mentor.

It took me six years to find a solid mentor after my father passed away and another three years to see the benefits of that guidance. I got help from family and friends, but also outside insight when I made the decision to go back to graduate school.

When you find that place that you’re passionate about, and you have a caring adult there, it doesn’t matter if it’s a sport [or something else]. If they’re caring enough to plant that seed that you have the ability to be your best self, then you can find [mentoring] almost anywhere. _jeanna

The Two Way Street

Mentorship is an organic exchange of knowledge between two people or a group of people. The mentor teaches the mentee, but the mentee teaches the mentor, too. It’s a two way street. You’re building a partnership/collaboration. Both sides bring value.

I’ve started two businesses around mentoring because of how important it is to give knowledge. One businesses is Poprietor, a platform for mentoring. The other is The Pop’d Shop, where I employ and mentor entrepreneurs so that my employees can grow their businesses with my help.

What do you do when you’re feeling lost? You get guidance from someone who has been there before. _me

It can seem really uncomfortable to step out of your comfort zone in the moment. When Aaron, my coach, issued a challenge for me to do just that, the result was one of my most successful posts on LinkedIn.

I would love for you to step out of your comfort zone once this week. I know I am! (Pictures to follow.) Let us know what you did in the comments below. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Join the discussion in The Pop'dcast Facebook group.