Let your light shine on others by paying it forward
If you are very lucky, encounters with standout mentors have made significant positive changes in your life. You would likely be much different had it not been for these few elite individuals that shared extensive time and ideas with no thought of reward other than helping others. It seems hard to believe with so much gain that we often do not realize the gifts received until far too late to thank them.
You may have received the gift of an entrepreneurial spirit from your parents working to provide and encouraging your progression. They may have insisted you advance your knowledge by going to school beyond levels you considered sufficient. Maybe they left you with the drive to believe you can accomplish anything you want if you only try.
During your education time, there may have been those professors that spent countless hours debating concepts eventually published as manuscripts. These professors were each different in skills and personality, but they shared in their gift of giving time and skill to the development of others. None ever wished for anything in return.
Working on the job you may have had bosses that believed in your ability to manage and worked with you to sharpen those skills. They may have taught you how to analyze data or to manage major personnel problems. They believed in you so much that when they were asked to report to you once you became their boss. Yet they always shared and gave assistance any time asked.
Then there were those that trusted you in business. They believed in what you were doing and helped secure investment in your company. When times were bad, they helped you get over the hump. When they were good, they were excited by your success and the fact that the investors they found made money. After the companies were sold, they remain friends willing to share and provide advice and guidance when asked.
These wonderful people “paid it forward.” They made you more successful than you might have been otherwise. They did so with no arrogance, ego, or desire to do anything but help. These are they type of people that you want to seek as your mentors. They are the ones you want to reward for all of their guidance. They are the ones you should try to mimic in coaching your team. You get to win twice when you do. Once by having a successful company and the second time by seeing the success of those you mentor.
Become the light of someone else’s life by “paying it forward.” Let your knowledge and skill live on through others. You can be proud of them and pass along the gifts that were given to you by others.
By the way, should you ever get the chance before it is too late, let those mentors that help you know you appreciated all they did!
Taffy Williams is on Twitter by @twilli2861mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. More is available via his company website , photo website, or “LIKE” ColonialTDC on Facebook. You can also find him in the group Startup Group on Linkedin. Other articles are in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com.