As an entrepreneur, you have a have a lot to be thankful for: A growing business, your great team and clients, the freedom to follow your own path… sometimes it seems like this gig is too good to be true.
But it probably didn’t always feel this way. When you were starting out, you had to lean on the people around you until your business got up and running. And that support system probably consisted of a mentor or two.
So I asked around and found 3 very successful entrepreneurs who are truly thankful for their mentors (and learned what made them so special).
Founder of WineLibrary and VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur who is dominating the field of social media. Aside from that, he’s authored multiple books, presented a TED Talk, and hosts the AskGaryVee Podcast (along with many other things). He’s been close with his mentors since birth — since they’re his parents.
When I asked him who his mentors were, he said, “My parents. They taught me to be a good human being and to value things like self awareness and empathy and hard work…Real old school value.”
Today, he’s built a personal brand that’s worth $10 million — and is still growing. It looks like his parents definitely set him on the right path, and that he's endlessly thankful for that.
Branden Harvey uses photography to tell stories for companies like UNICEF, ABC Family, Paramount, and Amtrak (among others.) He travels the world to work with all kinds of companies and non-profits, and is very thankful for his mentor, Mike McDonald, who has backgrounds in both business and non-profit work.
Branden said, “Mike's wisdom within the business world and understanding of social justice is a huge asset as I work within this new innovative field. Mike and I share a similar worldview and have similar personality types. I've appreciated hearing perspectives on my personal and professional life from somebody a few decades ahead of me. Having a mentor has made me far more effective in my work life and far more emotionally healthy in my personal life.”
Because these two work with similar audiences and have a foundation of shared passions, it seems that their mentor/mentee relationship has become a priceless asset.
Kai Davis is an Oregon-based outreach consultant who helps fellow entrepreneurs grow their consulting work, too. His six-figure business has consistently grown over the past three years — and that’s thanks in part to guidance from his mentors, Brennan Dunn and Amy Hoy.
He explained, “Both have provided actionable, specific direction on how to grow my business. Amy, through her 30x500 course gave me a framework for building information products. Brennan, through Double Your Freelancing Rate, gave me a framework for building a successful consulting business. What makes them so great is they aren't afraid to share the formulas for success because they know it takes work — and most will try to avoid that work.”
Sometimes mentors come from educational opportunities — and conversations spawned through their teachings can turn into to lasting relationships.
They're Thankful for Their Mentors: Are You for Yours?
If you have mentors that have helped you (and still help you) in your entrepreneurial journey, make sure to let them know how much you appreciate their help, guidance, and feedback.
Without great mentors — who knows where entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk would be today? If you’re lucky enough to get a few mentors of your own, don’t let them get away. Hold fast to their expertise and always remind them of how helpful they are.
Has your mentor had a huge impact on your business? Share with us!