There are so many benefits to having a mentor, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve had your feet in the event industry for a while. One of the biggest pros is that if you choose your mentor wisely, they will be someone who has quite a few years of experience under their belt. Most people love sharing their knowledge and well-seasoned wisdom, and it’ll really help you grow quicker than you would on your own.
Why Do I Need A Mentor?
If you struggle with distraction and maintaining focus in any aspect of your career, a mentor is a great solution for you. They can be the voice of reason if need be, and they’ll be able to give you a different, unbiased perspective on tough situations. Personally, one of the biggest game-changers for me was that my mentor held me accountable. So often I would have these amazing ideas but never actually implement them. This is where my mentor came into play, and I found that I was growing more responsible overall.
How Established Should I Be In Order To Have A Mentor?
Truth be told, it doesn't matter what stage you're in with your business or career - you can always benefit from a mentor. You evolve with your business, meaning that your mentor checklist grows as well and your needs may be different from stage to stage. At the start of your career you need help with the foundations of your business, but once you get to a more established place your goals might have changed or you might face other challenges you hadn’t anticipated.
What Does A Relationship With A Mentor Look Like?
No two mentor/mentee relationships are alike. Some are more relaxed, some are more professional, but it truly depends on your comfort and what sort of guidance you’re seeking. Molding your communication is solely up to you, whether it’s physically or virtually.
When I was in the early stages of my business, I remember going to my mentor with what I thought was an amazing idea. I was ready to invest a ton of money into it and really commit. That’s when she sat me down and showed me how to research something properly. From that point forward, I began to understand how to decide with my head instead of my heart, even though I’d always been very impulsive. Before then, I'd never really been taught how to really evaluate something objectively, carry out the research and then analyze that research to make my final decision. As an example for what I personally needed at the time, I’m glad my mentor stepped in and taught me to listen first and act second. This simple observation on her part really saved me a small fortune!
When choosing a mentor, it’s best to have a plan first and foremost. Know what it is you want to get out of the experience so you can make an informed choice. It’s often tempting to choose a mentor with a similar skill set, but look for someone who can fill the gaps in your knowledge. Building on your weaknesses is the key to success and any good mentor will complement your career path.
Kylie Carlson is the owner of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.