Mentorship for Career Growth & Personal Development!

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to episode 11 of the Light Her

Project Podcast, Real Women.

Real talk.

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

personal experiences.

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

something else.

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

or colleagues.


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 do.


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

your interest.


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

taught you?




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

Social Boom.

And we connected on LinkedIn.

And it turns out that the Hilton is one of

his customers.

So he would come to Harrisburg area, you

know, often.

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

little stagnant.

So it was the right advice for me at the

right time.


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



Can't complain.


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

17 years.

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

I want.




Very smart.


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

last dig.


Yeah, it's really unfortunate.


Well, let's talk about characteristics.

You know of a good mentor,

you know.

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

same time.

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

to grow.

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

keep flying.


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

same way.

I believe that we should always keep

seeking mentorship and opportunities to

provide mentorship.


Like you said, learning never stops if we

wanna grow.

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

support me.

You know, she wasn't wrong.

I just wasn't ready to hear it.

You know,




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.

You know?


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

own way.


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.






All right.


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

or guidance.


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

professional development.


So the article talks about with today's

technology evolving.

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

with technology.

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.


I do.


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,

because I...

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.


Yeah, totally.




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

they're going.

I mean, they know where they'd like to be,

but they have no clue how they're gonna

get there.

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

basically saying.

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



So Vixen.


Is there anything you'd like to add about

this topic?


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

Project podcast.


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.


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