Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mentor - Coach or Trusted Friend?

Wikipedia defines mentors as: "a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, usually a more experienced person. Some professions have "mentoring programs" in which newcomers are paired with more experienced people, who advise them and serve as examples as they advance. Schools sometimes offer mentoring programs to new students, or students having difficulties."

Having blogged for about four years now, I've built up quite a community of small to medium size businesses. Several people regularly read my opinions and comment back to me. You come to regard them as your online group of friends. In their comments you get a sense of who they are. My stats tell me where many are from, (at least generally).Certain ones remain anonymous but even that after a while becomes their name to me.

Others go that one step further and hire me to mentor them when they see the need. After more than 25 years working with businesses, you build quite a useful bundle of experience to share. This type of collaboration is a particular joy to me. Every bit of it comes from blogging and the trust that it builds. These relationships also inspire me. It has been suggested more than once that I should write a book on branding - something I would have scoffed at four years ago. Now, I think I have something to offer, so I am trying to organize my thoughts and proceed with that suggestion.

Where ever you are with your personal and/or corporate brand, I hope you feel comfortable at some point to allow me into your sphere. Sometimes having a mentor/coach in your hip pocket provides the leadership you desire.


JohnJAdams said...

Ed, it was so hard going from Toronto where I had many mentors in business to Essex where I could not find a business mentor (for a business in the mid-growth stage) whatsoever. I tried many City resources and was merely referred to a "Junior Entrepreneurs" talk. I had a booming business and no one to talk to about how to take it to the next level.

How do you suggest finding mentors in your area that are at an advanced level instead of beginner level?

Ed Roach said...

I could help you out there John, if you want to develop a positioning strategy and online branding.

Maybe we should have one of those "old fashioned" phone calls :)

John Adams said...

Sorry Ed, we took some time to ourselves this last week during my spouses shutdown (green giant). I would love to talk it over once I get caught up here. I have all but stopped/sold my "offline" operations though. I was simply curious as to how to find REAL mentors in general. Most of the people I was referred to, I ended up mentoring (usually in marketing).

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