How can you get highly influential people to mentor you without bothering them?
Finding a Mentor can feel daunting!
On September 21st, I spoke on the topic of data at the MEMO Conference. I was watching all of the speakers go before me, and was amazed at their calm demeanours. Because when it was my turn to speak, I was anything but calm. I was myself, my bubbly, eager, enthusiastic, passionate, loud and preachy self. I was “preaching” on the topic of “Digital transformation in 5 minutes a day” and my perception of how Digital is here to stay and prophesizing PACE.global’s definition of Digital Transformation which is “Making sooner, safer and better decisions with your data.”; After the session, I felt amazing but I was back to self-doubt wishing I was a “calmer” speaker.
Then on Thursday 22nd I had the good fortune of attending Venture North hosted by Northern Ontario Angels and the keynote speaker at the event was none other than Dragon, beer baroness, mother, rock star and now my newest mentor Manjit Minhas; I briefly met her in the lobby and when I finally heard her deliver her talk, I started tearing up, this lady spoke with authenticity, passion, enthusiasm and a general exuberance for life. She lit up the room and inspired each and every one of us there. I was determined to get to know her better and have her as my personal mentor.
I’m sure I’m not the only person in the room who had the idea. But, I was one of the lucky few who was brave enough to ask her to be my mentor.
So what happened?
Did she say yes? You call her your mentor, but does she know? Did you chase her down after her talk and exchange contact information?
The answers to all of those questions are, “no” and “it doesn’t really matter”. Why not? Manjit mentored me during her talk without officially taking me under her wing. She simply mentored me by being who she was. When I really needed some reinforcement that the best way to be – is myself. If we all embraced our uniqueness and followed our passions, I believe the world would be a better place.
Manjit no doubt gets asked to mentor many other people, so I will send her this post and definitely tag her on social media and I am sure I will meet her again in the future. One of my most impactful mentors was another dragon Brett Wilson, the extent of my connection with him consists of writing him a letter after I finished the Hoffman process, receiving a personally signed copy of his book in return and I’ve done the occasional comment on his Twitter. I still consider him my mentor because without him I would never found Hoffman and never had the courage to come up with the Beyond Digital Transformation Conference and raise over $100,000 for various charities.
I will re-iterate one of the points Manjit made that I hadn’t seriously considered. She said she got as much out of being a mentor as being a mentee, so that same evening when I was asked to be a mentor by this amazing, accomplished and rock star of a woman by the name of Gina. Never having been an official mentor, I said yes! I am not sure what I should do as a mentor, but time to start this new journey.
I hope this article serves as inspiration for all of you to never stop being yourself and constantly inspire others, because you may already be someone’s mentor, making a huge difference in someone’s life and never know it. Knowing is not the point though, make a difference by being yourself is.
Tell me have you been inspired and taken action as a result of a person’s influence, where they were unaware of being your mentor? If yes, give them a shout-out below by tagging them in your comments!
Meet Gina – Neha’s Mentee!
Gina Gegeoju has a passion to uplift her community to reach their goals in their personal and professional lives, and is always searching for ways to help others get from point A to B with the support they need. Currently, she works for a non-profit organization that helps give everyone equal access and support to pursue entrepreneurship. She also co-founded a women empowerment organization (Imperfection Lives Here) which creates space for women from all walks of life to learn from one another, showcase their businesses and celebrate each other.
Her education background is a diploma in Practical Nursing and a Bachelors in Indigenous Social Work.