Are You Sharing Your Experience Through Creative Mentoring?
I recently spoke to a group of retirees who asked what they could do to stay passionate and youthful. I simply answered that there is just one way – mentoring!
My friend Zig Ziglar was famous for one of his sayings, “When you’re green, you’re growing, and when you’re ripe, you begin to rot.” His point? Don’t get stagnant in your life. Continue to learn and grow daily. Sharing your expertise grows both people involved!
Don’t think you need a specific certification or education to perform these services. In fact, if you’ve ever been a parent or leader in anything you do, you’ve mentored along the way. Now you just need to actively look for new opportunities to mentor.
As a side benefit, mentoring keeps you young and raises your level of self-esteem because you do have specific knowledge to share. You get a renewed respect from others, and if you are mentoring well, you will get asked some questions that you will have to research on your own, thus growing yourself!
So How Do You Get Started?
Take a look at your current environment. Do you go to church/synagogue? Are you connected to a club or association? Do you have younger family members and friends?
Make a list of your experiences and expertise. For example, I flipped a house last year, so I could answer a lot questions on that topic or mentor someone who is interested in privately investing and restoring homes.
I’m also a business owner, single parent, artist, podcaster, grandparent, have adopted a child, world traveler, speak Swedish, know plumbing, and the list goes on and on. So does yours!
Take an Inventory of Your Skills
I bet few of you have actually sat down and done an inventory of your skills, knowledge and expertise! Do you have a passion or expertise regarding music? Are you a history buff? Can you crochet or knit or sew?
Are you passionate about fitness and health? Have you overcome a health crisis or disease? Do you like boating, golf or tennis? Are you a coin or stamp collector? Have you ever invented something? Written a book? Have you lived abroad?
Do you know and love plants, birds or gardening? Do you paint or do other types of artwork? Are you handy and know how to hang wallpaper, or lay tile, or something else? Your list could go on and on!
Children’s Organizations Are Looking for Mentors
You can mentor young and old! So many grandkids live far away from loving grandparents who could mentor. You could step in. Schools, daycare centers, and all sorts of clubs/organizations for children are currently looking for mentors!
And thanks to the Internet, you don’t have to mentor locally. You can mentor worldwide! What a privilege and growth opportunity that would be for both of you. Can you imagine your conversations with friends? It certainly would go beyond doctor visits, who recently passed and next meal discussions!
Here are just a few places to look. Then you could Google others yourself.
- Girls Inc. is looking for mentors. SCORE wants mentors who can share expertise with startups and growing businesses.
- Find a Mentor is a mentoring network community where you can register to help as a mentor.
- Hospitals and some doctor’s office hire mentors to help patients with their upcoming surgeries and healing process.
- Boys and Girls Clubs are always looking for mentors as well as Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
If you believe you need some coaching on mentoring – there are programs that do that, but I am telling you it is not necessary!
You Still Have Value and Worth
For me, mentoring is all about choosing the right people who will take my expertise, use it and benefit from it. Since mentoring takes your time, you want to be choosy about who to share that time with!
I love it when those I mentor report back on their successes. And when that happens, you don’t need to actively search for people to mentor, the word gets around and your phone starts ringing.
It’s a very gratifying gift to mentor. You learn you still have value and worth. And you can take pride in the fact that you advanced another person’s life. So what are you waiting for? Go try it!
Do you mentor? What mentoring groups are you working with? Are you looking to find the right fit for your skills and expertise? Please share your mentoring path with our community so you can help others join in on the fun.
Sheryl Nicholson is an international professional speaker, author and podcaster known for her authenticity and results-oriented tips. She relates quickly to women and their real-life challenges at work and in their “love space.” Her work-life balance podcast is available on iTunes or here. She shares leadership tips at her website.