Tuesday, September 18, 2012
in the past year, i relocated to los angeles, had work featured in several publications (including a cover!), began teaching at paul mitchell the school, travelled all over the united states doing hair and was hired as a national educator for john paul mitchell systems. what a difference a year makes!
none of it would've been possible without the constant guidance and education of my mentor, lucie doughty. i am forever indebted to her for the things i've learned from her in the time i've been assisting her.
and now, in an effort to pay it forward, here are a couple things i've learned about why you NEED a mentor whether navigating a new career path or the ins and outs of this crazy adventure we call life:
1. THEY'VE HAVE BEEN THERE.
so many of the challenges and decisions i've had to face in the past year were things my mentor also experienced somewhere along her career path. her insight helped provide a clarity that would've otherwise been completely absent from my decision making process. let's face it, carving out a place for yourself in the world is tough. mentors can be instrumental in working us through those rough patches, with words of advice or simply words of encouragement.
2. THEY MAXIMIZE OUR EFFORTS.
i am very fortunate to have a mentor that has truly mastered the fundamentals of hairstyling. recently, i was assisting on a shoot and she redirected my curling iron setting technique. after her coaching, i attempted to follow her guidance. it was awkward and i felt like it was the first time i'd ever set hair. i pretty much failed miserably, BUT i learned something new about a hairstyling fundamental that could've taken me ages to figure out on my own. mentors are there to teach us how to work smarter, not harder. this is valuable whether we are relearning a very fundamental skill or attempting to navigate the road to success (whatever that looks like for you) as efficiently as possible.
3. THEY KEEP US FOCUSED.
ideally, a mentor is someone that is doing what you ultimately want to do. this means, mentors have an incredible understanding of what the goals and focuses need to be in order for us to get there. early on in my time assisting, lucie asked me about my goals and what i wanted for myself regarding my career. over the months, any time my focus gets shaky and i spread myself too thin, she encourages me to revisit my goals and refocus accordingly. i'm proud to report that under her tutelage, i've now become quite adept at catching myself before i veer too far off the path.
there are MANY other benefits to having a mentor. for one, being around someone that is better than you, raises your standards by default. you're only as good as the people you hang around. if you want to be the best, you need to rub elbows with the best. all in all, much of the success i have experienced has been a direct result of hanging with the best. and i only hope to get better with time.
who are YOUR mentors? what value have you found in having a mentor?