The Value of a Mentor for Your Digital Agency

 Have you ever heard the saying….

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves – but a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” Bible

Think about it – one can be overpowered but three are not easily taken down or torn apart. This is a great way to think when you are a leader. A leader needs to be wise and surround themselves with a wise team and resources. As leaders we sometimes feel like we have to make all of the decisions or we will be seen as weak or not in control, but the opposite is actually the case. I know this to be true because that is exactly the way I was -- emphasis on “WAS”! I thought I needed to do it all myself -- be a self-made man. I was going to be a strong leader and lead myself and my people,like Moses or something. I could not have been more wrong and more out of line than when I first started my Agency. I started my Agency in my upstairs bedroom ready to take on the world. Well, I soon realized ( the hard way - one divorce and one heart attack later) that a good leader needs leadership and guidance as well.

Do you cut your own hair? Change the oil in your car? Or replace the water heater when it goes out?

Why? More than likely you are capable of handling these things on your own, but you choose someone else to take care of these projects because they have been trained and are more qualified. In certain situations, you trust others to do a better job than you. Why? Because you know they are better qualified, quicker and more reliable than you in these instances.

What about seeking counsel, asking for help or having someone to keep you accountable? It is easy to make the decision to have someone else cut your hair but not as easy to reach out for help when it comes to your business.  We try to do it all ourselves – I got this!!  I am not going to spend money on something I can do myself or figure out on my own. AND yet we do it every day! 

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.”  --- Andrew Carnegie

It is time for a mind shift. It is time to think like a true leader and all good leaders surround themselves with good people, good resources and a good mentor or accountability partner. It is vital to the survival of your business and your health (yes, your health). Entrepreneurs forget the strain of being our own boss sometimes. It is truly the most rewarding and yet the most stressful job of all and that is why we all need someone to share in our struggles and our triumphs; someone to guide us and prepare us for what is to come.

I have had several mentors over the years and have learned immeasurably more with them by my side than if I would have been on my own.  As I was building my first agency, there were responsibilities and decisions that I had to take care of and I needed someone to bounce ideas off of or get a little direction.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby

Find a brain to pick – an ear to listen and someone to point you in the right direction!!  I am not talking about a friend who will tell you whatever you want to hear. I am talking about a professional who only wants the best for you – someone who wants to share his or her knowledge with you and have a vested interest in you succeeding! Finding A mentor is not the same as finding the RIGHT mentor. There are plenty of people who say they are experts on a subject or know for sure what you need, but have never actually been where you are and experienced what you are experiencing. Every professional needs a good mentor or accountability partner so how do you find the one for you? Not an easy question to answer because everyone is different and everyone has different needs – But – there are a few things to look for in a mentor.

  1. Do your homework on the person, verify their successes.
  2. Meet with the person to make sure your personalities match up (see if you are a good fit) - Ask them the hard questions.
  3. Talk to some of his or her clients if needed.

Think about the type of mentor/coach you need (not necessarily what you want but need) then seek them out and make this happen.  Trust me – some of my best business decisions were made with the help of my mentors. This does not have to be a lifelong mentor (I have had several over the years) but someone you need during this time of life. Think about it! You asked around about who cuts the best hair - you ask about where the best deal is on buying tires or getting one fixed - You probably did some research on the plumber to replace that water heater (or at least looked at the reviews). You are always doing some sort of research on who can help you or what is the best fit for what you need -- This also applies to  a coach or mentor. 

If you do not have someone pushing you, encouraging you, guiding you -- then it is time for you to get a new mindset and be the leader you want to be!

You,ve got this - but not on your own!! 

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well, I'm sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

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