I was super excited to be matched with Iain as he’s someone that I already knew of through the creative community in Edinburgh. I tend to find myself at a bit of a crossroads with where I’m at with my business on the reg (I work in comms but I also have a pretty time consuming side-hustle publishing a magazine), so I was looking forward to having a bit of guidance and advice about how to negotiate my way through life. It can be really isolating running a business on your own so knowing that I’d be able to meet up with Iain every now and again for a chat was quite a comforting prospect.
I went into my initial meeting pretty well prepped. I presumed that Iain wasn’t necessarily a women’s magazine aficionado, so I took a pretty well rounded set of notes so that I could explain the concept of what I’d been up to so far and what I’d like to achieve (riches, early retirement and a year round tan) and we took it from there.
Three things I’ve learned from my experience as a mentee with The Marketing Society
Do your homework
Iain was brilliant at simplifying what was going on in my mind. Flying solo can make for a very excitable mind with endless possibilities and I admittedly struggle with lack of focus. Iain rightly picked up on this early doors, and set me the task of ‘picking my battles’ focusing less on my entire to-do list and instead encouraged me to recognise the 2 most important tasks that would help to move things forward. It seems simple, but I guess getting as far as he has in his career has taught him a thing or two about keeping his eyes on the prize!
So do (at least try to) put into action any advice you’re given. Your mentor has probably been there/done that. The life-hack opportunities are limitless.
Use the time between sessions wisely
Iain and I met around every 8-10 weeks depending on what I’d managed to achieve in the interim. I always leave Whitespace feeling like he’s just untangled my messy mind. We generally reflect on what’s happened, then chat through the possibilities of what I can feasibly achieve before our next meeting. You gotta be hustling hard between sessions so that you’ve got something to talk about at your next meet!
On the day-to-day I’m not accountable to anyone, it’s been good for me to feel a little under pressure to impress someone (other than Mama T).
It’s true. Earn your mentor’s trust by putting in the legwork and the opportunities that surface can be pretty surprising. Neither Iain or myself are precious about introductions, which is nice. If we can encourage a collaboration that could be beneficial for each other, then we share it. My mentoring sessions have definitely opened more doors and given me the chance to meet people that I wouldn’t have otherwise have been able to, or even considered reaching out to on my own.
You get out what you put in. If you want your mentoring sessions to be worthwhile. Be pro-active, be responsive and be kind.
All in, I feel really positive about the mentoring process with The Marketing Society. Main piece of advice for mentees - Your only limit is yourself.