Where can you find someone who is just what you need? They may be sitting next to you reading the paper. Look around.
I’ve had several wonderful personal mentors. My godmother, Northwestern University professor Alvina Krause, had “teas”. At these salons, I learned the fine art of conversation. My grandmother taught me the importance of family. My mother helped me find my voice and be comfortable being myself. She always said, “We grew up together”. Maybe so, but she was also my guide.
My brother Bill (aka WC Triplett, II) has worked for Presidents and Senators, Tibet and Tienanmen, written best sellers and significant treaties. He showed me how important it is to get involved. Ed Van De Vort loved learning and sharing and gave me confidence because he believed everyone was capable.
More recently, I’ve found that long time friends and even their parents like Betty and Tommy Goad and Polly Wysor have stepped in to advise and support me as I got older. They have each also been an inspiration and a role model for me as I began to mentor more people younger than I am.
Long time local residents of Austin, like Connie Roberts and Beth Mertz, have given me a perspective and a history that is a framework to understand where we are now and where we are headed.
I think I will enjoy being an elder statesman if I can do as good a job as they have done for me and others.
Business Success Center prospects tell us in their initial meeting they want a “Mentor” to advise and guide them to solve a specific problem or achieve a specific goal.
When I first started in business, there was a small group of people who started a few years ahead of me. They had recently been through what I was going through and that was a big help at the beginning. I could relate to them and they could be patient and understanding with me.
But when it comes to a business mentor, there’s been no one better for thirty plus years than my husband and partner Daniel Diener. That’s what I told Patricia Rogers when she interviewed me for the Austin Business Journal‘s “Journal Profile”.
As a matter of fact, I met Dan because I needed a mentor for a photography project. He has always been willing to share his time, knowledge and expertise.
A good mentor is a guide, encourager, teacher, strategist, supporter — an exemplary person to emulate. That’s Dan.
What have I learned from him?
- To be entrepreneurial.
- To be systems driven.
- To know how to fight fairly in business.
There are so many other things I have learned from him: versatility, resourcefulness, staying curious, balance, strength, and camaraderie. I couldn’t have a better mentor and partner. He means the world to me. Here’s to you, Daniel.
Your Role in Mentoring
Who has helped you? If you’ve been as lucky as I have, you have a role to play, too. Let them know what a difference they made in your life.
Where Can you Find a Mentor?
If you want a mentor, look around you. That person may be closer than you think. They may not have a fancy title or advanced degree. They may be just what you need at that time for your personal life or your business life. The key is to find someone who inspires you and then return the favor by becoming a role model to others.