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ANNA-VIJA MCCLAIN BUSINESS UNVEILED

How to Navigate Mentor and Mentee Relationships

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How to Navigate Mentor and Mentee Relationships

ANNA-VIJA MCCLAIN ON BUSINESS UNVEILED

How to Navigate Mentor and Mentee Relationships

When starting your business building relationships are key to success. Some of the most valuable relationships can be a total surprise! Who are the mentors in your life? How have they effected how you run your business? Maybe you are a mentor yourself. How do you navigate and share your experience with your mentees? Today I am chatting with CEO & Founder of Piccolo Marketing, Anna-Vija McClain all about how mentor and mentee relationships are game changers in your business!

MAIN TOPICS
  • Why it’s important to have a mentor
  • How to have a successful mentorship
  • Mentor Opportunities 
KEY TAKEAWAYS

Find a quality mentor! 

Prepare an agenda and have a specific goal or purpose when asking for help.

Become a mentor yourself! 

MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST

Anna-Vija is an accomplished entrepreneur, speaker and sought-after expert on topics related to small business growth and professional development for young, ambitious talent. For the past decade, she has helped business owners boost profitability while achieving increased personal fulfillment and has equipped hundreds of young professionals with the skills and resources to successfully transition from college into their careers. She’s spoken to thousands of people at conferences, colleges and companies, helping them achieve greater clarity so that they can increase their impact through business growth and heightened personal fulfillment.

LINKS MENTIONED

Be sure to follow Anna-Vija and Piccolo Marketing on all of their social media channels to stay up to date with all of the valuable resources they share. And if you want to learn more about Piccolo’s Marketing Mentor Program, visit piccolomarketing.com.

EPISODE TRANSCRIBED

I'm back for another episode of business unveiled. And I'm super excited today because I'm talking with another nashvillian gal who is sharp and on fire. So I'm so excited, we're gonna and we're gonna be picking her brain on like marketing stuff. And this is stuff that I geek out over on a via McLean, she's the CEO and founder of Piccolo marketing. And if you're not on her email list, you'll have to get on an email list because I'm on it. And I get like really good tips and really great insight from different different angles of marketing. And so she's an entrepreneur, she's a speaker, she's really an expert in marketing. And she and I both have a lot of the same awesome contacts in Nashville from the entrepreneur center. From entrepreneur organization from catalyst, we both been able to surround ourselves with some really freaking awesome people that have Continue Reading

Well, I know, they've taught me and we'll have to see what onvia says. But the whole thing around community is mentors, and having a mentor and having a relationship with the right mentor, which by the way, you guys, it's changed my life. I mean, my life and my business. And not only my bank account and my team, but like everything changed for me when I went through catalyst and when I got the right mentor. And so I attribute a lot of my success to a lot of my mentors through entrepreneur organization. And so it's awesome to be able to grow with that, but then also become a mentor and give back. And that's what we're going to be talking about today is about having the right mentor, and like how to be a good mentor, but also more importantly, how to be a good mentee. And like something I realized about myself in the beginning is I was very defensive. And I had an answer for everything. But like when you're a mentee, you really need to take a step back and soak it all up. So we're gonna talk about that today. interview. Welcome to the show.
Thank you for Having me I'm excited to be here.
Yes, I'm
super excited to chat.
So before we kick off and start getting into all the guru of marketing and mentorship, share with our audience, I know your background, because we have clarified it on some stuff before. But for all the ladies and gents out there who don't know you and don't know, what your upbringing was, and what's your journey been, like, just share some background so that everybody knows how you've gotten How the hell have you gotten to where you are today? Yeah, so
um, so I was like you said, I'm a Nashville girl. So I actually moved here from Ohio when I was 10. But I feel like I've been here long enough to call myself a Nashville girl. But yeah, so I started working in restaurants when I was 16. Because I was like, you know, I want to buy my own pizza, and get a cell phone and all those really important things when you're 16. And, yes, I started working as a hostess and then just kind of worked in restaurants up from there. So I ended up becoming a waitress and did some bartending and, you know, some some shift manager kind of things. Until when I was 22, I got offered to do private events. I know, you know, all about that Country Club outside of downtown Nashville. And so I sort of made the transition over into private club management, and learned a lot there, made a move over to a downtown club, a business and dining club, and was there for almost four years. And by the time I was 28, I was in sort of the the senior manager position at the club. And in that industry, there's not there's unless you go work for like a corporation that manages many clubs or something like there's not really a lot of upward growth potential. And so it 28 I was kind of like, Okay, well, I don't want to be in the same position until I retire. So I'm going to have to make some moves. And so that's when I first started getting mentors, and sort of latched on to some people. And they gave me phenomenal advice. And I ended up deciding to learn a little bit more about marketing agencies and how those worked. And then pretty quickly after that opened my own. And so since then, about six and a half years ago, I've been working strategically with small business owners to do digital marketing execution.
So amazing, and I absolutely love it. And so
how.
So I know, like I mentioned how some of the mentors in my life have had such an impact on life and business personally and professionally. So when you were a mentee, like talk to us about how did that go? And then like, tell us about like, your top three mentors that just changed everything? Like, did you have that experience?
Oh, yeah.
And I have, so mentors also come in so many also shapes and sizes, right? They come in different forms, they come at different times, they stay with you for, like, you know, different lengths of time. So, um, you know, for me, my big transformative mentor experience, was being able to recognize mentors. So I know that sounds weird, but like, you know, there are all these programs you can join, where it's like, we're going to pair you with a mentor, and it's like, official, this person is here to do this, and every, you know, third Thursday of the month, which is great. Those are awesome programs, mostly. But once I found one organically, it became so obvious to me how many there were in my life already that I wasn't utilizing. And so you know, it's it's people that have experience and things that you don't it's people that that are willing to just have coffee, and listen to you that you can go to and ask for a really specific favor or question, again, all shapes and sizes. So to me, the transformative experience was being able to recognize mentors, and then decide to work with them, and to have that symbiotic relationship back and forth. Because sometimes, you know, you've got a mentor that is further along in one thing than you are, but maybe you're further along in something else, and you guys can share back and forth. So that's what helped me decide to start my own company was specifically a local business owner here. Legend, john Boykins. I don't know if you've met him before, but really great guy. And so he was some guy I met at a networking event, and just kept in touch with and when I decided that I wanted to make a career shift, I was like, you know, he knows a lot of people. Let me just ask, and I went and had coffee, and he was nice enough to like, you know, give me a half an hour of his time and was like, here's how you determined like, showed me. This is how you find in your heart, like what the right role or job is for you. And then once I figured that out, he was like, yeah, so go find a job. That's that. And if you can't find one, make one. And literally that sentence like I have goosebumps saying it right. I love it like that sentence like it. had not occurred to me before that, like, it sounds weird. It's someone giving you like permission and encouragement behind something that maybe you already feel. But you are too scared to really, like, get behind and take action on. And so yeah, it was very transformative. And then once I saw that I was like, wait, look at all these other people in my life that I I'm sure I had a period of being really annoying for the first few years of berating people with questions left and right. But it works. So I know, apologies.
Well, in the first thing that I noticed is, you know, you can't be afraid to ask, because people, all they can do is say no, or I don't have time. And so now that you're on the other side, because I'm sure you get inundated with, can we have coffee? Can I pick your brain? Can
I do this? Can
I do that? And, you know, there's only so much time in the day. And I know that we both probably love to give back. But what is the strategy that you use to make sure that someone is actually ready to listen to your experience and your guidance? Because what I've learned is not everybody is actually ready for to take that jump. And so how do you prequalify people if they ask you for your time to make sure that they're actually ready?
Yeah, and so usually I don't start out either a mentor or a mentee relationship all in with everything I've ever wanted to do or learn. So you know, it sounds like you sit down at the table the first time and you're like, let me tell you everything that's going on in my life and how you can fit like, Okay, um, you know, let's start with something simple. Give me one challenge that you're working on. So, as an example, I am one of the founding mentors with the Women in Business Program at Vanderbilt. And anyone who's listening in the Nashville area, it's a wonderful program, they're always looking for mentors, and they have different events throughout the year. But when you start working with someone in that capacity, you know, it's challenging to assess where, where they need help. And so when I'm assigned a mentor through that, or excuse me, a mentee through that program, the first thing I do is just like, get to know you, like, tell me about you. Okay, let me you know, let me give you a little bit of my background, and it's just sort of a 30 minute, let's learn about each other. And then I usually end it with what's one thing that I can help you with right now. So in that scenario, I'm sort of driving the conversation as the mentor, because I understand that as college students, they might not know where to where to start, right. But when I give them one thing to focus on, it makes it tangible. And it makes it it makes it easier to digest. So then we can use that one thing or scenario to work through, is this going to be a good pairing? Right? So I had one girl who very lovely young woman, we did our coffee meeting, and I asked her the question, what one thing can I help you with right now? And she said, I'm really trying to get an internship for the summer. And I don't have any idea where to start. And I said, awesome. Let's work on that. So we spent the next three months where every checking call, we would say, Okay, here's the next step that I think that you can work on, go research and stuff, see how you feel about it, maybe put together you know, your resume and your LinkedIn. And then next month, she would come back and she'd have that to show me so I could review it with her, and then be like, Okay, so here's some new next steps that you can take, she would go do some stuff and come back and say, This is what I did. We could review it and take the next step. So I didn't have to solve her problem by being like, Oh, yeah, let me just get you an internship. Because then she doesn't learn anything. She just got an internship, and then our relationship is it. It doesn't build anywhere, you know, but like having one thing or project to focus on together was a really great bonding experience. And now she can come to me and be like, this is what I need help with this week or this month.
Yeah, and you're certainly not a lot of people know where to start. And so one of the tools that we use, which I'm so glad that you printed it off.
It was very fun. I had not done it before. It's very fun.
So for those of you who've been listening to me for a long time, you know, I'm a geek when it comes to psychology methodologies. And so I'm a true colors facilitator, a certified facilitator, so I can share it with others and facilitate workshops. And so for some of our episodes asked me and I'm like, Can you send this to a few people because I feel like that it is a tool that we use to lead in to some of these conversations. And so when it comes to mentors, mentees internships, we use the one psychology methodology which I really do love them all, they all have great meaning behind them. But the difference with true colors is that it's with pictures and colors. And it's super easy to understand. Right? So I had to do it. I'm like, your numbers, she's like, are you gonna tell me what all this stuff means? Like, yes. But this is exactly how we, we have every potential in turn. And then this is a very timely conversation, because this year, I am the mentorship chair for entrepreneur organization in Nashville. And so one of the ways that we try to match people is based on their personality. And we don't match people who are just like them, we do the complete opposite. We want to match people with people that are not alike, so that you can get a different perspective. And then I always want to ask people like, what is one hour a month worth to you? Like, what is your time worth to you? Because some people say, time is money. Some people say time is precious, some people say time is priceless. So based on how you view your time, is how we try to match people. And so will you tell us your numbers for your colors at the very bottom?
Oh, the numbers matter, too. Okay.
Um,
I would say that every other thing that I take like this, I'm always the red or the orange version. So I was really surprised, because that was my lowest one with this. So I am a nine in the orange category. I am in 19, in the gold category, which is my highest. I'm an 18, just slightly below it in blue and a 14 in green. And it's very interesting because I know that you do some work with disk and stuff. Now that I'm looking at these numbers. If I were to chart them on a graph, they would be almost identical to my disk chart. Gotcha. Which is really funny. But I am a Gold's not a Rasha.
So based on your, based on your, where you are in your life, and what you're doing professionally, your colors can change. And so it's and I always like to say like, everybody has all four colors, but typically we have we call it a bright color and a pale color instead of saying, like strengths and weaknesses. And so when I was in healthcare, which was as my parents would say, my real job I was a, I was like a 20 gold. And which gold means that basically, you GST you get shit done. You're you're accountable, people can count on you, you're loyal, you're dependable, you say, you're gonna do something for us and get the shit done. No matter what it takes sacrifice or sleep, you sacrifice. You know, it's like I don't need to eat I need to
finish is overrated, I think no.
And so it's like, in health care, I was very gold because I had a chart on my patients. And if I didn't chart appropriately, enough to give enough information for the insurance company to pay the bill, then my patients would come back crying with a bill in their hand. And,
you know, so it's
just it was it was heart wrenching. Now, it's not that I was unhappy doing it, I was good at it. But I really didn't know how my brain were born with the way our brain is wired. We're not we're not really going to change that. And so when I got into healthcare, and I got more into a creative opportunity, where I own my own business, and really focused, I became a much happier person. People are like, how did you know, when you like were, you know, in the right position where God wants you to be when you start your business. And I'm like, 30, like, it took a little bit to figure it out. But I realized, and when I redid true colors, as a business owner, I realized I am flourishing and happy and most energetic when I can act orange, and not be so structured, and not able to outsource the gold part. And so what's interesting, though, is that, and I'll give you you guys a little bit of background, so again, like the gold people, like, my right hand is high gold, and that is on purpose. And when I say high, I mean like her numbers, you know, she's a 24 gold, and that's very purposeful. And so when we're looking for interns, and we're matching people, it's like, we know the gold people will get the job done, their feet to the fire, they will make them accountable, and they will make sure that that experience happens no matter what. It's not always about being Nice, it's about getting shit done. Yeah. And then the blue portion, which is your second number very close to gold, blue is this is like you care, you care about people. And in marketing, like, you have to care about your client, the story, the message and put it out to the frickin world. And if you don't care, there's a big problem, right?
So
it's good that you're blue, I'm, I'm second blue, too. And so it's like, we genuinely care. And typically, like in companies, you know, these are like your people that are running customer service. It's like they notice if you're off, they notice if you're depressed, they noticed if you're sick, and like, they will actually say, Are you getting enough sleep? Do you need soup? Do you need medication? Like, we're the people that will like
yesterday, why and give it to people. Literally yesterday, my account manager said via message, she was like, Hey, I'm really sorry, I threw my back out. And this hasn't like happened before, is the middle of the day. And she's like, I just wanted to let you know that, like my husband came home and like, I'm going to be like monitoring my emails to like, make sure everything and I'm like, go to the doctor, like, she lives in New York. So I can't physically get to her. Lucky her. Because I'm like, I will come over there and make you stop working and drive you to the doctor like, no. I feel bad. I'm like, I want to get things done. But also like, I want to take care of my people just as much.
Yes. But it's like in a lot of women we are we are have lose, I will tell you, as a woman, business owner and leader if your highest color is blue, it's it's very difficult because your emotions lead your decisions, which as a business owner is never good. It isn't. And so having someone else within your company, so you don't have blind spots to not lead with emotion and lead with numbers and data is way more important. And so yes, it's all about, you know, taking care of people. And then I think your third was was your third green. Yeah, it was, yeah, green is the the analytics, the research, the complete factual part of someone's brain. And so like the high green, and on our team, she there's no emotion that drives a decision period, then it is black and white, the data doesn't lie, the numbers don't lie. If you think you're making money, but then you look at the ROI, and you track your time, and you do all these things that a mentor taught me to do.
Back in the day, Andy Bailey,
um, it matters. And so as a business owner now that I've gotten into like this online world of selling online, especially when a pandemic happened in 2020, thank goodness, I had the know how and the resources to sell online. But we make all of our business decisions selling online based on the data, not what I think and not what I feel. Because what we like as women, and what consumers actually click and convert are two different things. So it can ramble.
Yeah, well, that's what, yeah, what you're saying about time and things like that. I mean, that's another thing that I also learned from a mentor. So like, I had no john capitole sit down and like, for years, and he was like, yeah, so what are you doing as a CEO? Like, what are you doing with your time? And I'm like, see wing, like, right? Like, I don't like putting out fires. And he's like, no, like, you got to be better about it, you know, and it's, it's wonderful when you have people who have done it before, because they're not telling you what to do in a bad way, like they're not, but like to be able to focus on certain parts of your work style, or your personality, that are like weaker points for you, or skills for you, and have them say, look, this is why this is important. And if you can do this thing and that skill set, it will allow you like if I can get my green under control, with some data and some time management, I can just take my goal to the next level, right? Because now I know what I'm doing with my time and all my information. And that's what I've done in the past year and a half with like budgeting and time management and labor tracking. And all the sudden it's like you know, I'm getting such a high off of everything in the golden the blue because I've been able to supplement the things that I don't naturally pay attention to.
Yeah, and but it changes your mindset and it changes everything. And then so the orange, which I am a 24 orange, but I say that I'm a potty trained orange. If without eo and without the mentors that I've had Which by the way, it's funny because all have all your mentors been men might have all been men. Now that I think back to it.
So no, the ones that I've mentioned just case by case basis on this podcast so far has been have been men but no, so I actually have many female mentors so on through the catalyst program at the EC, this is funny, my efficiently assigned mentor is Tammy Hawes, I learned her 12 he's all green girl.
She's amazing.
I have several others. So Stephanie Huffman is a local agency owner. And she and I've been friends for six or seven years now also a great mentor. And then this is funny, when I was talking earlier about identifying mentors. I never realized how much my mother is a mentor for me. Mm hmm. until I started to learn about those relationships. And when I did, it was like, okay, you know, I went back in hindsight and saw all of these situations where she was in it, not just in a motherly way, like she and my father own their own business. So she was a single mom, when she had me, put herself through nursing school, you know, worked as an OB GYN nurse, 12 hour shifts, and then she and my father decided to open up their own e commerce business. And it occurred to me that without even, you know, specifically, hey, we're gonna sit down and have some mentoring. Now, you know, a lot of that was setting phenomenal examples for what I could accomplish. And then, you know, if I ever asked it was always Yeah, here's what you can do. And here's some resources. So I do have female mentors as well. But I think men tend to be more willing, I think, I think that mentor programs, official ones tend to be more populated by men in my experience,
okay. It's funny, because like, I was the are you the oldest? I am. Okay, I was the oldest to, and but I had a very aggressive father who like taught me like, no BS, and, you know, you fend for yourself, and you never rely on other people. And so by me growing up with that mindset, it's almost like God knew that I needed like strong men to sway me to FM listen to them. Because I would catch myself. If I'm so freakin hard headed. I mean, the older I get, like the I've gotten so much better again, because like at the AEC, and do they teach you best practices on and then in our forums, too, as you know, you know, that you want if you it's like, sometimes as a woman, it's hard to ask for help. You know, it's like, oh, we can do everything. And I've learned over the years, like, Don't be like that, like, it's okay to ask for help. And what I've also learned, especially through true colors, is if you find somebody that has a higher number than you, they're actually way better and way more qualified, the way their brain is wired to do the things that you're not good at. So when you can outsource to people, now you got to train them. You've got to train the people the way you want them to be the culture. That's why I say like potty train the brain. I try to be fun with it. And funny because anybody even you don't kids. I mean, I've dogs. We all know
what, buddy.
Yeah,
no. So it's like, I want to be relevant to people. But there are if you're a good leader, and you learn how to communicate and mentor and guide people, your company can flourish way bigger than you ever thought. I mean, I'm walking proof of it. But you've got to give up some of that control. And so, for oranges, or like hot oranges, these are the people that in a marketing perspective, they're like, Oh, my God, we could do this, and this and it's like, not the normal stuff, right? So like, I'll never forget one day I'm like driving on the interstate. And you know, I should be paying attention to the road, but there's a billboard which I never looked at billboards, but there was steam coming out of soup. And it was a Panera Billboard. And like it was that Panera was like at that exit. And it said something. It was like turning, you know, it's like turning fall outside. And I'm like, Oh, the butternut squash soup would be amazing. But it's like some marketing genius, like had some kind of poof steam coming out of the actual soup Billboard. And I'm like, that's a genius marketing technique. But it's like the oranges. Like we're just kind of off the wall. Like sometimes no team is like so you were here on earth. And then you went there and we have no clue what planet you're living on and what's going on in your head. But as an orange like if you don't surround yourself with the with the gold people in the green people and the blue people like I made some I don't say bad decisions as an early business owner, but I did not allow the data because I didn't know I didn't know how to do that. I just did what Thought and so you know, voice a lot of money and all that, but I call it a learning lesson. But if it wasn't for the mentors, you know, to help me understand, then I wouldn't have surrounded myself with the right people, because usually as a new business owner, I don't know. But did you hire people that you liked? versus hiring them for their mind and their mindset?
So I'm selfish, and I want both.
Okay, no, that's good.
I actually. So, in my last corporate job, I learned about the disc profile, again, similarities, but differences to, to this exercise. And I think that the true colors exercise, and that my first couple of hires were people that I had worked with previously. So I already knew them. And I knew what their skill sets were, interestingly, those were people who, like, I was a compliment, they didn't do the same things that I did, they filled in my gaps. So the first person I hired who still works for me now six and a half years later, is, is very good with like, detail orientation, routine work, you know, so like administrative, like, she's really great. If you're like, hey, I need you to just sit down, and like create these spreadsheets, or, like, I need you to, you know, do all this reporting, or I need you to just like make sure that this blog gets done every week, or whatever it is. And so I knew that like, for me, I get really excited about big things. And it's get all the things done, and I tend to lose track of details. As we got a little bigger, I started using the disc as I don't want to use the word qualifying because we've never looked at a disc profile. And like, Hey, we can't hire you because of your profile. All right, what we have done, though, has been like, Hey, we're not going to hire someone who's really meant to sit in an office all day and like, do routine paperwork to go be an outbound sales person.
Mm hmm.
Right. So like understanding this, we do use it. But really, it's interesting, we try to go for the culture fit first. Because sometimes I go look, you know, we're doing marketing, and I can teach you how to send an email blast,
right?
You know, like, I don't need you to already know some of this in order for me, for you to be a good employee or team member, it's more important that the culture fits there. And that what you were saying, like their, their inherent nature is going to match the role, slash the, you know, the team in general.
It's so important. And it's like, nowadays, people talk about these tools a lot more. And like, back when I started my business, my first business, I didn't they're, like coaches and consultants and mentors, like, that wasn't a thing. And like, I was in the library with score, which, you know, scores kind of, it's kind of a mentor program. And I mentor with them.
I am, I am
I've been with them. It'll be four years this December.
I mean, it's awesome. And so but I remember when they matched me, which I do want to talk to you about matching. When they matched me, Charlie redmon. He's, you know, in heaven, because he was like, literally at three when they matched me with him and allow Yeah, old man. And he owned nursing homes. And some, like, what is this man going to teach me about wedding planning business, but I was so young, and like, I didn't get it. And so now it's like, it's not about your industry. And it's, it's not about that at all. It's about being a good business owner and a leader and choosing the right team members and knowing you're not it's it's about so much more than just your industry. And so, what is your technique? Because I know that you guys are launching an intern program, and you guys are going to be matching people. So what is something that? If so, someone's listening right now? Like, what are some tips that if they're looking for a mentor, and for you, like when you're matching people? What are some things that you were, like your baseline, like, what are you doing to make sure it's a good fit, like a good match?
Yeah, so and this is where I think it comes into play for on both sides of the coin here. So, um, you know, if you're looking for a mentor, you want to make sure that you're looking for someone who can help you, like we talked about earlier, with something strategic, someone that you'll be able to relate to or get along with, and finding those people can come from all places. So you mentioned score, you know, even Chamber of Commerce events or things like that, when there are you know, industry leaders, you know, you might be careful somebody who might be a competitor in your industry in your in your town might not want to be your mentor. Yeah, but you can go to the other side. So I know someone who gets phenomenal mentorship in her industry from like, oh, Leading professionals by going well, I live in Nashville, but you live in like Memphis, Mm hmm. And they don't care. They're like, Oh, I'm happy to help you, as long as you're not going to, like, get into my territory, right. So, um, you know, being able to find as a mentee, being able to find someone that you think will will match up with your goals, and you have something specific to work with him on. As a mentor, I think finding somebody that you're going to feel some satisfaction, and some fulfillment giving back to. So again, I do the Women in Business Program at Vanderbilt, I feel really strongly about that. Because as a young female, I felt like I didn't have as many obvious choices for guidance and mentorship. In my adult professional career, I want to be that mentor to young females who might not be able to find that now. Right. So like, that's going to provide me with a lot of fulfillment, because it's something that I was missing in my career path. So finding something that's going to make you feel like you, you know, you're really giving back is important. And then again, just setting the tone of how much can you give, how much can you work together, where it doesn't feel overwhelming, and it doesn't feel like someone's trying to, you know, stuck you for all those, like you drive for all of the connections you have, or the referrals or you know, things like that.
And that's something that like, to me, a mentor is not, you know, it's like to talk about expectations, like, what is a mentor for and what are they not for? Something with me is like, I never thought of a mentor as like, hooking me up with connections and hooking me up with business. However, my brother, who went through catalyst, and his mentor, it's been a completely different relationship, because he, he, he knows a lot of people that, um, that could use my brother's services. And so if you ask him his experience with his mentor, and he's like, Oh, my God, he hooks me up with like, all these people that need my my PS services, and blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. And I'm like, but what are you learning from your mentor? Uh, huh. Like I learned so much. I'm like, my mentor didn't do that. Like I didn't. Like it just it was a completely different relationship. And then something else that I want to point out that you said that's really important, is goals. And so when I first got my very first mentor, I didn't have any goals, because no one had ever asked me ever Oh, yeah. What are your goals? What do you want? Why are you doing this? No one had ever asked me. So naturally, I never thought about it. And so it really pushed me to think about what do I want? which at the time, I'm like, I don't know how many people are going to call me to do an event in a year and Andy's like, No, no, no. What do you want? And it's amazing what you put down on your vision board or on your, you know, whatever kind of board you have, even if it's a big piece of paper, like that's okay, but take a picture of it. So it's backed up in the cloud. And you got to set goals for yourself and like, don't set like 15 goals. It's like, no more than three people. No more
of that. Yeah. Well, and I think that's the interesting thing, you can always make new goals, yes, you have 15 goals, that's totally fine. But start with just a few of them. Yes, you can focus on in complete 15 or 20. At the same time, you know, but again, unless you have, you know, whole teams of people that help you and things like that, I mean, this, it gets kind of complicated, and it's hard to stay focused and feel accomplished,
focused Focus, focus that you've said it, that's the key word, with too many goals. You're not focused. And again, I can say this, because this was me for so long, where I'm like, I'm gonna do this and this and this, and this, because I'm an overachiever. And then the results are watered down. And they're not what they could be if you focus. So yeah, and a mentor taught me that. Tell us about something exciting. you're launching a podcast, and I want you to share with us, what's it called? Who are your guests? Like, tell everybody what you're doing? Because it's
really good. Well, thank you. So I'm actually when you and I were joining Leah Hayes, who is also a podcaster. I was very inspired by you. And it was like, okay, you know, they're doing it. I've wanted to do it for a long time. And the thing that I had a challenge with, honestly, was finding something that I felt compelled to spend time working on. Because marketing, there's so many podcasts for marketing, and a lot of them I mean, a really good I've listened to many of them. And in my head, I was like, you know, I just don't want to create, you know, duplicate content. I want to create something that's a little bit unique. Something that I can really get behind. And so, over the course of this quarantine, I've been really inspired by all of the some good news, and the good news network and all of these places that are like, Hey, there is a lot of good, amazing things happening in the world. And if we would focus more on that it would hopefully be infectious. You know, that kindness that people have, you know, the ways that we help our communities. And so that really got me jazzed up. And I was like, you know, what, that's what I want my podcast to be about. And so started interviewing people in my network, that are going above and beyond in the community, many of them have had really tragic things happen in their lives. And they've sort of risen above that, and found ways to, you know, to turn it into an opportunity to help others. Or they, you know, they're just motivated to, you know, to start something just beneficial to the community. And so that's what the podcast is about. My goal is to make everyone happy cry. So if you're in the mood reserve, happy crying, but it's called the happy news group. And we just launched our first podcast episode. This past Thursday, we interviewed Matt charrette, who I'm sure you know, through the he's awesome is amazing. And I met him through the catalyst program that you mentioned when I was a student in class eight. And so he talks about his experience where all three of his restaurants were hit by the tornado. Yeah. And Italy, obviously COVID happened. And he still was so inspirational to the community, he had that Nashville strong mural painted on the side of Boston Commons. And he talks a lot about what we've been talking about here today, which is company culture, and how to lead through crisis and how to be there. to really demonstrate what it takes to own a business and for your team. I don't know how much true colors he was doing, but but I'm not sure what color his is. But I would guess blue is pretty high up there. So
yeah, well, I
think like with Matt Well, and I know Matt very well, too. And one thing that he is he is an amazing mentor. And he's a great leader at being a mentor. It's almost like he's gifted with the mindset of just automatically helping others is first. And so I know that Matt is orange, blue, because he, I mean, who has all three restaurants completely blown down and gets back up to take a risk, rebuild it. But for him, it was about the people. It was about which you guys will have to go listen to
unobvious podcast, always. And no joke, we had to cut it down. He and I were on like the recording for the podcast for almost two hours. Wow. And I was like, okay, we we have to cut this down. Like it's Yeah, there's so much good information. And just retelling in there. Yeah.
But for him, it wasn't even about like his restaurants. It was about all the people that he employed. It was about the community that eats there, and has their family dinners there every week, it was more and that's what drove him. And so when you allow to lean on your customers, your team members, the people that look to you to provide a space and a service to pay your freakin bills. I mean, that's He's like, I'm putting food on people's tables, families tables, like not just people coming in and eaten, but like more about, you know, his team members and his employees. And so for him, it was more about like the people that kept him going. And there he was. He's very public about it. All he posts, he writes on Facebook and post things and everybody deals with things differently. But through some of the tragedies, you know, I know we call them tragedies, pandemics, you know, all those things. Do you remember when our town flooded in freakin 2010 Oh, my gosh.
This was I mean, I feel like the tornado in COVID was just such a fast double whammy for Nashville that like, I mean, it just, yeah, it's so impactful. And to watch our city rise up again and help each other was so inspirational, huh?
Yeah. And that's what we have to remember. Like, we always come out stronger, and better even when you go through something so terrible. And it seems so terrible. That's why like, with which we are both paperless, and like I was talking about on the Mac side and like you were talking about, like productivity on the PC side. on something else that we did together, and people will come up to me if I talk about it, they're like, gosh, you seem like really angry. I'm like, No, no, this isn't anger. This is passion.
And I don't ever, ever notable difference.
I'm like, this is passion.
So what makes me angry is when people don't take the measures to back up their stuff. But you can't leave here or listen to this episode. And not know that if you're a business owner, you need to backup your clients and your business shit in the cloud period, the end, like you have to because I've lost everything, I've been there. I've been through a flood, I've been through a fire. I've been through things that people say, Oh my god, that's so tragic. How did you pick up and keep going? And I'm like, well, it makes you smarter, and it makes you stronger. So it you know, it's just how it is?
Well, and that's the so the I'm on the Forbes coaches Council. And they asked these questions, they asked all the coaches internal questions, and then they use them to compile articles, which is cool. But you literally yesterday, they were asking one of the questions was, how do you recommend that, you know, business leaders lead through a crisis? And like, how do you address that with your team and move past it? And that's the thing is that, like, you know, What, are you gonna do just give up? Mm hmm. You know, well, I lost everything. I guess I don't have a business. Now. I guess I'll go back to you know, whatever, like waiting table like, No, you gotta, you got to figure it out. And I think that when we're talking about company culture, and mentorship, and leadership, and all these things, you have to consider how you set the tone. It's not just because I have mentors. So I am the CEO of my company, and I have a lot of mentors, but I am also mentoring every day, everyone in my company. Yeah. And that's not a set session, we don't sit down. I mean, we do we actually have, like a professional development session. But every day, I'm setting an example, and mentoring them in, you know, a sort of a side way, right? So we're focused on this problem, but you're learning as we go. And when we have a crisis, or even when we just have something as simple as you know, oops, we had a grammatical error go out on a tweet for a client. And if I overreact to that it sets a terrible precedent and tone and culture for my company, you know, but if I can pause and say, Okay, what do we learn from this?
What happened?
And put it to my team? Hey, team, what happened here? You guys tell me what happened? I don't need to come in screaming you already know. You know, and then it's like, Okay, well, this happened. How do you guys think we can keep it from happening again? Mm hmm. And it is phenomenal to me how much ownership they take over the situation, how fast they are to come up with solutions, how quickly they will assess other parts of the business that could have the same pitfalls, and apply that principle across multiple, it's like, I don't need to come in and dictate if you have the mentorship mindset, in your business, your team will rise to meet that. And it's a level of respect and growth, or it's like, yeah, we're all in this together. So this is the common goal, how would we all work together to you know, to get there, and then you don't, you don't have to be a tyrant. You can use that mentorship, you know, in mindset to sort of grow your company in your people all at the same time.
Yep.
And and another thing I've learned through all of this is if you try to solve everything for everybody, they're never going to be able to think on their own
Chemin de fish.
Uh huh. And you're never going to be able to step out of your company and your company owns you, you don't own the company. So you know, that's another thing is empower your team members to think on their own. And guess what, guess what, they're gonna make mistakes, which turned into opportunities.
But I think that you have to give them the room to make safe mistakes. And this is where I think a lot of people completely jump over the onboarding process. And the part that mentorship plays in there. I'm a mentor to my team, but they also mentor each other. They also teach each other we cross train everybody in our team and almost everything, because it allows two things. One, the person who's teaching or mentoring is learning even deeper, because they have to be able to explain it and teach it succinctly. And the person on the receiving end develops a really great rapport with their teacher who is a colleague of theirs, right. And so there's this mutual respect back and forth. But it's it's just the concept of being able to have it at all levels.
That makes such a big difference.
Absolutely. So really, as we wrap up, because I could talk about this
so long. I know you have several other things. About eight other podcasts to record is all good.
But like Quality Matters. And once you have been mentored good Back, like become a mentor yourself. But one key thing that Ana via you pointed out is like, prepare to be a mentee. Like prepare an agenda. Have a goal see up through the purpose for asking for help. Don't just say like, Can we have coffee? Can I pick your brain? It's like, be very specific about that one thing.
Yeah, I need help with
right now.
Those two things. Can we have coffee so I can pick your brain is so vast? Yeah. And please don't say like when say, How can I help you? What's something I can help you with? Please don't say, well, gosh, any help you can give me would be amazing. If
you guys can't see the face
I'm making, it's the most like straight line valid face. It is because it puts all of the work back on the mentor, to figure out what it is that you need help with, you know, they know you need help, they're happy to give it don't keep using the question as an opportunity to think well, it's so great that you're going to help me anything that you can do would be great. Yes. What one thing do you need me to write? Yep.
It's just you've got to prepare, you've got to think forces you to prioritize? What do you need right now? And it? How often would you recommend people changing mentors?
So this is interesting. I actually don't, I don't formally close relationships with mentors. Okay. So the way that I treat it is that we have really open commerce or mentees. Honestly, anyone that I've ever mentored knows that they can come back to me at any time with anything they need. I let the mentee drive the the exchange and the frequency. So I'll come in and say, okay, you know, do you feel like you need to meet once a month about this or have a call once a month? Does it need to be once every other week? Does it need to be once a quarter? How much help and guidance Do you need, and I let them sort of drive it because they need to be hungry for the leadership. And for the the growth, it doesn't matter how much I give them, they have to want it in order for it to be beneficial. So I let the mentee drive the relationship. When I feel like we've sort of come to the conclusion of a specific situation that I'm helping with or a topic or whatever it might be. It's sort of like, Hey, is there anything else that I can help you with? Is there something else that you want to move on to? And many times they don't know? And they'll say, You know what? I don't really know, I don't think there is right now. I want to sort of work through this on my own. And I always say great. I'm always here, you let me know if you need me. And I've had people that have come back to me months later, you know, a year or two later, you know, hey, I was just wondering if you could help me with this one thing or like, Can I get a reference or a referral? Yeah, absolutely. I'd be happy to do that. So I treat my mentors the same. I don't you know, disengage from the mentorship. Now we're just friends. You know, so I don't think that you have to turn it off. I think you can just adjust the like when you talk and just know that you're there for each other if
you need to be
awesome. I love it. Yeah, I mean, it's almost like you have a lifelong cheerleader. Yeah. Help you cheer, you know, through the good and the bad and the ugly, and it's all good.
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And that's the thing. Who doesn't want more cheerleaders? I would like my own squad of cheerleaders. Yeah.
Yes, we need more. So people want to connect with you. Well, first off, guys, go subscribe to podcast, we'll put it in the show notes thing and yeah, yes. And then if people want to connect with you, what's your favorite platform to connect on? Um,
you know, it probably Oh, that's really funny. I was gonna say email, but that's not platform, like just email me directly. That's totally fine. I would say probably Instagram is the best. And that's interesting. We have one for my work. But then I also have a personal Instagram under my name. And so that's where I usually am doing, you know, the dming. So yeah,
awesome. Well, we will put
all the stuff all the good stuff in the show notes so you guys can connect with on via. And if you have any marketing mentorship questions, I'm sure that you you welcome them.
Yes. And this has been awesome.
Can I expound on that? I will say this, sometimes I do podcasts and people do message me and I'm really excited. And I will say I love nothing more than talk clearly than talking about this kind of stuff. Yeah, like literally if you have any questions about marketing, I'm not going to try to sell you anything. You don't. It's totally fine. Like, you know, we have stuff we can help you but most people if they're just like, hey, I need help. One of the things I love doing is this, it's like mentoring or even making connections to other people. You know, Angela, you're the same way I know you have a huge network of, you know, of people, not only in the Nashville area but beyond that, you know, can help in all different assets of thing you know, all different jobs. You know, so we specialize in small business. If you're growing a small business, please ask me questions. It's so fun to talk to you. So yes, please do that. Don't just, you know, hear it and then let it go out the other ear.
Right? Well, and also to like, that's how we get our content. Like is by asking questions. Like, we don't know how we can help unless you ask these freaking questions
piece. Sure. Sure. Yes, it totally frames up. Yeah, what we're creating. That's a really good point. I do little video series on my social media, and almost all of them come from, okay, I was doing a webinar the other day, and here's what people were asking about. And so let me just go ahead and share it with the group. Yep, yep.
Yep. Turn on. It is I don't know. It's very fulfilling, like to be able to share and give back. So I love it.
Well, thank you so much for your time today. Yeah. Thank you,
and everybody that's listening. Thank you so much for your time today. I hope you got lots of nuggets and takeaways. Be sure to go over to the show notes, connect and be sure that you tune in next week for another episode of business unveiled. Have a great day. Bye, everybody. That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show. And leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela proffitt.com slash podcast and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights. And I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember, the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business, help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD.
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Published: November 24, 2020

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