Welcome to episode 11 of the Light Her
Project Podcast, Real Women.
I'm Rachel Strella.
And I'm Vixen Divine.
Thank you for tuning in today.
Today's topic is mentorship for career
growth and personal development.
Oh, great topic.
And we like to jump right into our
So let's talk about them.
For me, mentorship kind of has a special
place in my heart.
It was a mentor who actually encouraged me
to start my business in 2010.
I've been through a string of like...
unfulfilling jobs after college and when
she really drilled down to the common
denominator she said that she believed I
might be an entrepreneur and she noticed
that my source of unhappiness kind of came
from the lack of control over the outcome
of my work.
So I honestly never thought that I would
run my own business but I guess that's the
power of a mentor you know sometimes they
see things that you could never imagine.
That's very true.
People sometimes see things in you that
you're like, I just know something about
her, just something about her.
Like that's all they know.
They don't know what yet.
They just know something about her.
For me, it was something that I discovered
what I wanted to do because I didn't want
to do something.
When I was in high school,
One of the things that they did was they'd
send you out to a job, you know, basically
to showcase your skills and get you
around, see what you like to do and that
sort of thing.
I'll never forget it.
I worked for the state, Department of
Transportation and the lady's there and
she was like, this is what she should not
have said to me.
She said, oh, this is such a good job.
You just work here
for 20 or 30 years and you get a great
pension and healthcare is wonderful and
you come here every day and you'll be
I could, I just like, the thought of me
working behind a desk for even 20 years
was just like, I then came to like to
realization to what I never ever wanted to
do again in life.
So that experience drove me to something
I'm like, okay, I had to look for
So that was how I came into finding, you
know, looking even looking for a mentor.
Ah, okay, that makes sense.
All right, so a lot of people don't know
where to start to find a mentor.
So you wanna share a little bit insight on
what that process looks like for someone
who might be looking for a mentor?
Yes, it is all about personal
It's that intuition.
It's that something about that person,
just like they feel something about you,
you feel something about them.
It's you, you're like, oh, I wonder how
she does that.
She just commands a room when she comes
in, you know, whatever it is about that
person that sparks you, you're like,
almost like I want to be like them.
Now you don't actually want to be like
them, but there's something about them
that you want to learn.
You want to know how to do that thing,
whatever it is.
You something that swag that it the way
they speak to people, something that you
want to learn.
You want to be that you want to know.
And that is a feeling that you get.
You can't really search.
for a mentor, it's all about being in the
right place and getting that feeling and
seeing that person.
And then you can start to talk about being
together as a mentor.
So once you get that feeling of that
person, then you can start to pursue.
And the question is, how do you do that?
Well, I agree with you on the feeling and
it wasn't something I'd actually thought
about till you articulated it.
I've always thought it kind of depends on
the mentor you're looking for.
I mean, some might be looking for career
advancement, you know, others might just
want to expand their professional skills
and some mentors are even helpful for
personal stages in your life.
Sometimes a great mentor can be a
combination of all of these things is what
and that's what makes mentorship really
I think if you're looking for someone to
guide you in your career, you know, one
piece of advice that I was given before
is, you know, find someone who does what
you wish to aspire to be or do and ask
them to mentor you.
You know, and maybe even find someone
within your own workplace if you're
looking to grow within your job.
I mean, there's, there's a lot of
I agree with you about relationships too,
because I always recommend asking friends
I know professional development groups are
another good source.
In fact, that's how I found my first
mentor, which was through a female
executive group called CPathy.
So, and now, you know, ever since the
world really turned virtual, you know,
there are also these online groups and
communities you can join, you know, and
some of them do offer mentorship
But you ask a good question, though, you
know, how do you go about that next step?
Do you have insight on that?
I think, to piggyback on what you said
also, is that what you're interested in
doing, the type of mentorship you're
looking for, that is what's going to spark
If you're not looking to learn to ride a
bike, I don't care if that person can ride
a bike on one wheel with one hand standing
on top of their head.
It's not going to pique your interest,
because you're not interested in that.
Whatever you're interested in, whatever
you're interested in learning, that's
gonna pique your interest when you see
someone else really good at it or the
style that you're looking for.
So no matter what the reason is for
finding that mentor, that's what's gonna
pique your interest in how they do it.
So that's gonna draw your attention.
So how you do that is once they pique your
interest, then you need to be where they are.
For instance, say you wanna be a doctor.
And you never ever, don't just go to the
hospital when you're sick, volunteer, you
know, that sort of thing.
So then you'll get to see, you'll be in
that environment and get to see who piques
your interest at what it is that you wanna
do or what it is or how you wanna be or
how you're gonna live your life or that
kind of thing.
That type of person is gonna pique your
But if you're not around them, you know,
you'll never get that way.
No, you're absolutely right.
That's really great advice.
I find sometimes you just need to be at
the right place at the right time.
We had a question from a group who talked
about some of our personal mentors and you
know, what's the best thing a mentor ever
I had to really think I've had a lot of
mentors over the years.
Two that really stuck out for me.
Um, one her name was Maria and
she's the one who helped me find my, you
know, business and path.
And one thing that she taught me was that
everyone is a potential customer.
And I really believe that because whether
you realize it or not, we're showcasing
our personal brand every second of every
If you're having a bad day and fly off on
somebody in the grocery store, well,
probably not likely that person's gonna
want to work with you in any capacity.
And then I had, so I've been so lucky.
I had a really great encounter with a
You may have heard of the name Jeffrey
He wrote the Little Red Book of Sales,
Little Black Book of Sales.
I connected with him because he wrote one
of the first books on social media called
And we connected on LinkedIn.
And it turns out that the Hilton is one of
So he would come to Harrisburg area, you
Now he taught me something completely
He held nothing back.
He said, all right, I got three pieces of
advice for you.
One, get out of bumfuck.
Two, make your name your brand, and three,
double your rates and fire half your clients.
Now that was a bold mentor.
I'll say that he lit a fire under my ass
on some things, and I did do about two
thirds of those within reason.
But sometimes you need people like that to
get you out of your own thinking.
Yeah, it was the right advice for me at
the right time because it was about a year
into my business and I was feeling a
So it was the right advice for me at the
What about you?
Well I totally agree with him, especially about the
I mean, you are worth, as soon as, you
know, as you grow, as you get better, and
you're worth so much more than you were
And a lot of people are afraid, they're
afraid to actually charge what they're worth.
They're charging the same thing that
somebody just started is charging, you
know, that kind of thing.
So I totally agree with him on that,
I can't say that enough, so he was a good
So what about you?
Do you have any mentors that you recall
that gave you any great advice?
I do, I do.
Although he didn't know it and he died
before he even gave it to me.
So here's my thing.
It is the Milton Hershey story.
So I worked for Hershey for I think around
And what was so inspiring to me that he
taught me, like I said, he died years
before I ever met, is the story that
really, he failed so many times.
So many times, bankruptcy like over and
His recipe, I want to say his chocolate
recipe was like 200 times before he before
he made the right one.
Like something like he failed over and
over again but he was so persistent.
It only takes one time to get it right and
that time that you get it right you run with it.
So you never give up, never ever, I don't
care, I can fail.
I can do it wrong a million times.
And guess what?
I don't care.
Because you know what?
He inspired me to the respect where I can
say, you know what?
I'll just do it again.
Might be right this time.
So he really did.
Even though I never met him, not alive, I
only know his story.
And he inspired me to do what I do.
So the fact combined that I did not want
ever work at a test job.
So I knew that.
I knew that if I was persistent in what I
did and got the best, the best, the best
at my craft and then I can charge what I
want, I can do what I want, and work when
You know, I've heard it said that a lot of
people give up right before they have that success.
Yes, I've seen that.
I've seen that.
Digging the mine, digging the hole, and
the gold is right on the other side of
this wall, but you just don't make that
Yeah, it's really unfortunate.
Well, let's talk about characteristics.
You know of a good mentor,
I know the obvious one is the ability to
listen and obviously you want somebody who
has life experience.
I think for me, one of the things that I
found that was helpful are people who
aren't afraid to tell you what you don't
want to hear.
It is so easy to have somebody pacify you
and you obviously want someone who's
supportive, but sometimes it's that thing
that you weren't expecting that might be a
little hard, that constructive feedback.
But I feel like that's definitely a
quality of a good mentor because you need
to grow and so you need people to
sometimes tell you something you don't
want to hear.
You know, if you are not uncomfortable,
you're not gonna grow.
If you're already comfortable in what
you're doing, that means you already know
how to do it.
So that's not growth.
If someone is mentoring you, you're trying
to learn something or whatever you're
trying to do, you're trying to grow, you
can't grow and be in the same place at the
They can't coexist.
So I think someone who, I'm pretty much a
straight shooter and I know everyone
cannot take that.
So I like to preface what I'm gonna say.
I will ask you, do you really wanna know?
Which is about to tell, that's telling you
I'm about to give you something.
But you have to be prepared for that in order
So that is a great key for a mentor.
It's also a great key for a mentor though,
if someone is going to catch you when you fall.
If you know that someone is going to be
there, because soon enough now the net
will be removed, but the first couple of
times, you've got to understand that
someone's gonna be there if you fall.
But then there's gonna be a time, you
gotta tell them now, you're gonna do this
on your own.
Because you know that they're good enough,
they just don't know that they're good enough.
So that's when they have to fall, fail,
And they only have to do that once or
twice because you know they could do it
anyway, they just didn't know.
So when a mentor does that for you and not
hold your hand at the end of that growth,
that's when you can spread your wings and
You're absolutely right.
Well, one of the questions that have come
up, you know, discuss mentorship from the
perspective of both a mentor and a mentee,
you know, I've been fortunate enough to
have been in both positions.
I can say I really enjoyed giving back.
But I think that a part of me errored in
some ways, because I think I may have
encouraged my first mentors or mentees
To be more like me or follow my path, which
wasn't necessarily the best direction.
I think I was overzealous in the
excitement that I had.
And I realize now, you know, and I think
it's helped me become a better mentor,
particularly with my team.
You know, I also think that you gain so
much from the relationship as a mentee, as
you do the mentor.
Really, I really believe that.
And I, any mentor I've had has felt the
I believe that we should always keep
seeking mentorship and opportunities to
Like you said, learning never stops if we
I have had the opportunity to be a mentor,
but I've actually very shortly into it, I
really did stop doing that because it just
may have been the luck that I've had
because the people that have come to me,
like I said, I'm straight shooter.
I'm gonna get you to where you wanna go,
but I'm gonna tell you because I'm gonna
tell you when you're not doing it right.
You can go any direction you want to.
You do not have to be like me, but you
need to learn the skills.
You don't have the skills, you can't make
your own little thing.
You make your own little reputation, your
own little, you can't, unless you have to
have the basics.
So I have found in my, I've just had bad
luck where people wanted to be pacified
and they did not want to grow.
They just wanted to say, good job, good
But that's not gonna help anybody.
Yeah, some of the hardest lessons I
learned were, you know, that first year or
two of business.
And I remember, you know, I'd make
mistakes even though my mentor would tell
me, you know, and she would say, what did
I tell you?
What did I tell you?
You know, and I remember being pissed off.
I remember being like, whatever, you don't
You know, she wasn't wrong.
I just wasn't ready to hear it.
It takes a lot of growing up, especially
when you run your own show.
You really have to get out of your own
way, you know, and you're only going to do
that with people that truly have your best
interests in mind.
But you have to listen to them.
I have a young lady that she's in her 40s so
I'm still I'm still calling you guys young ladies.
I have a young lady that I'm working with
actually right now who knows she's in her
So we are still together right now but
since she knows and realizes she's in her
own way this may turn out well.
Yeah, yeah, you have to recognize that.
You can't be in denial, right?
Well, let's talk about what we're seeing.
So there's a gentleman who I'd never heard
of until recently, Ari Rascar, and he is a
founder and CEO of a property company.
He's a very successful entrepreneur.
And he shared a video on TikTok.
And he says that mentors can be anyone who
teaches you something.
It doesn't have to be a boss or
colleague he actually said he personally
learns a lot from YouTube. He thinks a
mentor can be your favorite author or even
someone you've actually never met in real
life. But someone you can learn from he
suggested taking classes, you know for
something you want to learn.
So that's an interesting take What do you
think about that?
Well um I guess I'm a product of that.
Like I said Milton Hershey I've never met
him at all.
It was only his actions and his stories
and things that he did that were
documented thank goodness that I was able
to learn from that.
And I also agree with the mentorship.
You're a book reader.
I'm a book on tape listener and I've had
some really eye opening
revelations from listening to some books
that give me different perspectives on
So, and I've learned a lot from that.
So I agree with that.
Yeah, I don't think I've ever articulated
it this way.
You know, I never thought of a book or an
author or somebody I've never met to be a mentor.
But it makes sense when you think about
I mean, the books, I mean, I think maybe
the books on tape are a little different
than reading the book because it feels
like someone is talking to you.
It feels like they're right there and
they're just in the next room maybe.
They could possibly be in the next room
and talking to you, you can hear them in
the next room.
So it's more lifelike as opposed to
reading the book.
So you hear a voice, you hear a person,
that person is talking with you.
So, and maybe that's the feeling that I
get that's different than just reading the book.
That makes a lot of sense cause I
don't consume content that way.
But what you're saying makes total sense.
Well, you know, another thing that we saw,
um, you know, it was an article that was
shared on LinkedIn about trends and
mentorship and one of the things it talked
about too is a difference between a coach
and a mentor, which is a really good thing
to talk about.
And I've had both and coaching is usually
focused on a specific goal or skill, you
know, and it involves providing feedback
Mentoring is a little different.
I mean, that's more long term holistic and
it involves sharing knowledge, experience
and wisdom and also fostering personal and
So the article talks about with today's
It's easier to leverage
technology and digital platforms, which is
apps and podcasts, webinars, you know, and
I agree with this.
I'm a member of a peer CEO group called
Vistage International and they do have a
face-to-face component we meet once a month, but
we also can connect with other members
worldwide online and they frequently have
webinars and focus discussions in certain
areas of leadership where you can connect
with people with a different sort of
setting and level.
And so, you know, I think one thing that
did come out of the pandemic, you know,
was that we are very well connected now
And you have just about any type
of coach or mentor you'd want at your fingertips.
That's so true.
We got slammed with that technology.
If you didn't know what Zoom was, you know
what it is now.
That sort of togetherness, even if you
didn't want it, it is here.
Yes, as far as being together and noticing
what a coach and a mentor different, how
they differentiate, it is so much more
personal to be a mentor.
than a coach.
A coach is making me a better esthetician.
I'm gonna look at your technique, I'm
gonna help you with that, I'm gonna
correct you, you're gonna demonstrate,
that type of skill, whatever your skill
is, is going to elevate that.
Whereas that mentorship is an all around,
it's not, it may be your skill too, but
it's an all around you improvement.
It's an all around mental improvement.
It's an all around you, whole you
I totally agree with that.
And that was what's great about,
especially when I was starting a business,
having a mentor, because there are
different areas of the business that
obviously I need coaches for, but I needed
a mentor to really help me holistically,
with what the heck I was even doing.
And she had started businesses herself and
had success in that arena.
So it was very helpful for me just to
learn more of that macro type of thing,
I really had no clue.
You know, I was winging it.
And I mean, there are business coaches
that are focused on things like
entrepreneurship, but I felt like for me
at that time, a mentor was a much better
fit for me and helping me sort of navigate
the ins and outs of the business.
That type of approach was better for you.
Some people understand themselves that
Some people, the thing about it is, I
think if you're looking for one of these
things, you have to understand what's
going to make you happy and what you're missing.
You have to be missing something.
If we're going to mentor you, or if
someone's going to mentor you, you have to
know what you want your outcome to be.
I love to start with the outcome.
Don't just go through it, and then where
you end up is where you end up.
What goal do you have?
What is your end goal?
We can't get you there if we don't know
where you're going.
We can walk for miles and like, okay, so
where are we going?
We might be walking in the wrong
You know, I agree with that.
But one thing I hear from especially
younger folks is they don't know where
I mean, they know where they'd like to be,
but they have no clue how they're gonna
But I do find a lot are still just really
unsure about, and that's where a mentor is
helpful too though.
Sometimes it's zeroing in on what it is
you're actually trying to accomplish in life.
And a lot of us haven't given it a heck of
a lot of thought, to be honest.
Um, there's, I mean, purpose is just goes
well beyond your career.
I mean, it's, it's very important, but yet
not everybody knows what that looks like.
So I'll say that I think, you know, a
mentor, if you're feeling just stuck in
even figuring out where you want to go,
it's helpful to give that perspective.
I actually saw online that they had,
believe it or not, there's tests that help
you to figure out what you wanna be.
That's one test.
There's tests to figure out who you're
looking for, like a mate.
There's tests for everything is what I'm
So I'm sure there's a test that can help
to guide you before you start.
It'll at least give you, so in other
words, if you want to be a doctor, so you
know not to start over at the lawyer's
At least you have an idea that you can go
over to the hospital.
I mean, you might end up being a nurse,
but at least you know you like healthcare,
you know, so it can help to guide you in
the right direction.
So you're not completely off.
No, it makes total sense.
Um, I didn't know what I was looking for.
You know, when I had my first mentor, I
just know I was very unhappy in my
career, um, you know, and it really took
that her figuring out that common
denominator of all these jobs and what,
what it was that she was noticing that was
missing, you know, um, and sometimes
that's helpful too, once you recognize a
pattern and having a mentor help you
recognize that pattern.
So, well, we're coming to the end of the
Is there anything you'd like to add about
I think we pretty much covered it.
I hope, and you know what?
It's not just young, I was gonna say young
people, but it's not just young people
because now people are going into a second
career or a different career or they're
changing for whatever reason, divorce or
whatever the case is.
So when you start, you want to just make
sure that you have a direction where you
want to go.
And if you don't,
please find one of your tests online.
And at least, so you don't end up in the
lawyer's office when you need to be at
least in the hospital.
So you wanna have the right at least realm
where you're going, because if you find
the wrong mentor, you're just gonna waste
your time as to where you're going.
Cause you'll end up back where you're
supposed to be eventually, but you'll just
waste a lot of time doing it.
I think I say, you know, you might be surprised
how many opportunities there are for
mentorship in small ways.
You know, I sometimes rely on my friends
just for guidance and advice because it
gives me perspective.
So I would say never be afraid to ask for
guidance or help.
I mean, the worst anyone can say is no,
and that's okay.
You got to keep trying.
If you want to grow, it's there.
You just got to find the right people at
the right time.
Thanks for tuning in to the Light Her
We are wrapping up the 11th episode and
we're excited for the next one.
We're gonna actually be talking about
So I'm very happy about that.
You can follow the conversation online
with our hashtag.
So in the meantime, keep it real, Real
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