Not All Mentors Are Created Equal

Not All Mentors Are Created Equal

A few months ago, Shonda Rhimes came across my Instagram timeline in a video promoting her MasterClass for aspiring TV writers. I almost jumped out of my seat. I’m not really interested in writing for TV per se, but writing in any form is a serious skill, and Shonda’s got it down pat. To get an opportunity to learn from the titan herself? Yes please! If there’s even a sliver of hope that she could make me a gladiator like Olivia Pope, I’m all over it.

In an ideal world, choosing a mentor would always be that easy. You’d get that spark and know immediately that learning form this person would revolutionize your life. But it’s rarely ever that simple, especially if you’re looking for a mentor online.

The internet is brimming with “experts” on everything from blogging to small business, and all of them promise to help you slay at one thing or another. But online, it’s easy for nearly anyone to look like a pro and hard to tell what you’ll really be paying for. How do you know who to choose when everyone’s got polished websites, cutesy inspirational Instagram posts, and a couple thousand followers singing their praises?

Naturally, everyone shines the spotlight on their brightest moments. Even Beyonce only posts her finest selfies. Mentors are no exception. Of course they’re going to show you their highlight reel. But don’t get too caught up on pictures of vacation getaways and captions full of inspiring words and forget what you’re really looking for. Sometimes the hype is just a cover up for a lack of real success.

Look for proof that your potential mentor is actually good at what they do. A business coach should have a history of business success. A personal branding expert should be able to point to brands they’ve helped develop. If all you want is #inspiration, search it up on IG, but a true mentor has real wins they’re able to translate into applicable knowledge they can use to coach you.

If you’re worried your own judgment isn’t enough, don’t be shy about getting feedback from people who’ve worked with these mentors. If you wouldn’t buy a new foundation without checking out Youtube reviews, you shouldn’t pick a mentor without getting the inside scoop from someone who’s learned from them. Ask other clients what they got from the mentorship experience and how they felt it impacted their success and use those answers to help you gauge whether their mentorship is worth your investment.

Another great way to spot a good mentor is by looking at their freebies. Most online coaches and mentors offer loads of free content–newsletters, blog posts, printable worksheets, even social media posts. Consider this your taste test. Good mentors aren’t scared to deliver gems in their free content because they know they have plenty more to share. So if your potential mentor’s free content is a mess, feels empty, or doesn’t inspire you, there’s a pretty good chance the stuff you’ve got to pay for isn’t going to be worth your coin. If the sample doesn’t leave you hungry for more, keep it moving.

If an online mentor passes all these tests, you might have a winner on your hands! There’s just one more thing to consider. Not every good mentor will be the mentor for you. Mentorship is a pretty personal relationship. Chemistry matters. You’ll want someone whose values and worldview align with yours so they can use their expertise to guide you towards what youwant. After all, you’re choosing a mentor as an investment into your goals, so it should absolutely be about you.

Somewhere out there in the big, wide digital world is your perfect mentor — your Shonda. You’ll have to squint past the hype, ask the tough questions, and do your research, but it will all be worth it at the end when you find the titan to your gladiator.

Let me know your thoughts on mentorship by dropping me a line at safiabartholomew.com! I’m @safiajb on instagram & snap!

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#SlayYourWeek: Stick To Your Word and Accept Nothing Less

#SlayYourWeek: Stick To Your Word and Accept Nothing Less

Recently scrolling my Instagram feed, I came across a post from Myliek Teele(Founder of CurlBox) that shared an excerpt from the book Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.  Here’s what she highlighted:

“Our ego wants the ideas and the fact that we aspire to do something about them to be enough. Wants the hours we spend planning and attending conferences or chatting with impressed friends to count toward the tally that success seems to require. It wants to do the fun stuff – the stuff that gets attention, credit or glory. That’s the reality. Where we decide to put our energy decides what we’ll ultimately accomplish.”

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This Week in Girl Bossin’

This Week in Girl Bossin’

This week was nothing short of amazing with “girl power” moments everywhere. We are creating history and changing lives all while being smart and fly! Here’s a recap of the top moments this week:

Making moves that mean more than a hashtag, Awkward Black Girl Creator, Issa Rae has started a scholarship fund for the children of Alton Sterling, a black man who was shot and killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this past Tuesday. So many of us fall complacent in being hashtag activists but rarely take our convictions off line. She tweeted, “$200k in 9 hours. When we unite we are amazing. I am so proud of us. Thank u for thinking of #AltonSterling’s kids.” Kudos to Issa for using her platform for change.

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Earn What You Deserve: 5 Tips for Getting Paid More

Earn What You Deserve: 5 Tips for Getting Paid More

Picture this: you’ve been at your workplace for three years and are doing a great job – you work extra hours when on a deadline and always deliver above and beyond your job description, yet you have not received a raise. Why? Because you are waiting for your boss to offer one. Or, you are a busy entrepreneur who undercharges for your high quality services and worry that if you raise your fees your clients will leave.

Don’t be that girl.

If you can relate to this and are making less than you deserve, take these 5 steps to learn how to ask for more:

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