For weeks in 1987, Rick Astley’s song, “Never Gonna Give You Up” topped the charts in 25+ countries. It also won most major awards that year and dominated MTV and radio request lines.
It had heavy competition. That same year, we were all doing Kylie Minogue’s “Loco-motion” or cranking up the volume on Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” And while for Minogue and Houston, these songs were just a taste of many wins, the same could not be said for Mr. Astley.
So, what’s the difference between years, even decades of success, versus being a one-hit-wonder?
Well, I have some bad news… OK, are you braced and ready?
You’ll never crack the code. Sorry. Take it from someone who’s been there before, even when you think you have the winning formula, you cannot go to sleep. As the last few years have demonstrated, everything can change on a dime; a lesson we continue to learn as we head into 2023.
There’s no question that our modern society undervalues the mentorship experience. It glorifies DIY tutorials, floods us with “self-made” messaging, demands a smooth trajectory, and rewards the concept that we should (somehow) have all the answers already, or else we’re doing it wrong.
And although this “X” factor is often unspoken about in business, mentorship is immeasurably valuable, with a profound ripple effect. So, to close out our business and mentorship pod, it’s only fitting that I reveal the immense impact some of my mentors have made in my life.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- The three Ps of mentorship
- Building your “business muscles”
- How to maximize the mentorship experience
- Benefit from someone else’s mistakes
- The Sandy Sparkle
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
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- Sundae’s Website
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae Bean – YouTube
- Sandra Capra – LinkedIn
- Susan Hyatt – LinkedIn
- Dr. Martha Beck
- Trudi Lebron – LinkedIn
- The Antiracist Business by Trudi Lebron & Arlan Hamilton
- Global Coach Coalition
- Global Coach Coalition – Waiting List
- Adapt and Succeed
- Meet the Coalition
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Full Episode Transcript:
it is 03:00 am in New York, 9:00 am in Johannesburg, and 9:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. And I’m actually really IN TRANSIT right now as I sit in a temporary apartment as we just landed in Switzerland. And in addition to being in transition, I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed through any life transition.
Before we kick off this episode, I wanted to give a special shout-out to my listeners and recently also my viewers because we have moved the IN TRANSIT podcast also to YouTube so you can view as much as you can listen. And from what I’ve seen, you have loved it because this month we’ve had over 5,000 people listened to the show. So thank you so much for each and every one of you who are new listeners, as well as those who have been longtime listeners. Your engagement means everything to me. So, thank you so much. And if you love this show, but haven’t rated or reviewed it yet, please do because it helps us reach other people and just makes me feel really good.
Alright, so let’s get started. Today’s episode is around business and mentorship. So if you’ve been listening to this Bean Pod, you’ve already had a glimpse of some important mentors in my life and the life of others. That makes me think about this quote, from Warren Buffett. He says, “It’s good to learn from your mistakes, but it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” And I think in my case especially, when it comes around mentorship and coaching, I am the other people because I have made mistakes and I am the first person to share about them so others can learn.
So, the more mistakes I make the better you benefit from because you won’t have to make them like I did. This is the third part of a three-part series on mentorship and I’m really excited to come on the mic and talk with you about it today because I’ve had mentors in my life for decades. And they have truly helped me keep focus, keep the quality of what I do, has kept me in business and truly help me enjoy my experience. So and if you know my work, you know I am all about straight talk. And in my community The Hub, I just talked about The Unspoken, the things that aren’t said that need to be said, that our only thought. And one of the things I want to do is shed light on what’s unspoken in business and that’s also what mentors can help you do. So if you didn’t catch that series inside the IN TRANSIT Hub in my Facebook Community, go ahead and check that out because I gave some straight talk on what’s unspoken. We’ll touch on that a little bit here as well in addition to diving deep into mentorship.
Now, let me start with the unspoken in business. There’s a lot that we don’t talk about that I wish people did more of, and I definitely do share those truths inside, my Global Coach Coalition community, and my program, but one of those is that business- this is going to be really unpopular. Here it comes. Business is hard, right? Everybody out there is promising how it’s so easy and you can make fast money and five figures, 10 figure months, and you know it, overnight. And I just don’t think it works that way. I think if you are creating something of quality with longevity, it takes time. You need to have the right foundations in place. And it cannot be based on a one-hit wonder, but something deep and sustainable.
So, my experience in business is hard. Challenging. But it’s also good. And one of the things that I learned along the way is it’s like that expression, “Small kids, small problems. Big kids, big problems.” The same thing goes for business. But what I’ve learned, I thought, when I was working with my mentors, I’d assumed that the more successful they got and the longer that they were in business, the fewer problems they would have. But that isn’t the case, what I did learn and I’ve learned that with my own business is, I’ve already celebrated my ninth year, I’ll be going into my 10th year celebration in June, that the problems get bigger. But you have then developed capacity to navigate them. It’s like you’ve built the muscles to navigate those problems.
So, when I started boxing, a little bit of endurance strengthening that I did, depleted me the next day. Over a year of boxing with my coach, I realized what I was doing then, was now lighter and I was ready to take on harder things. And that’s what I think you should be prepared for with business, that there is an uphill climb, and then does it mean you’re doing it wrong. It means that this is how it works. We go up that incline and we build our muscles, right?
The next thing I think that we don’t talk about enough is that you never crack the code. But what I’ve learned is that like with life, your business is also IN TRANSIT. So even if you have years where things were working, something will happen and it will make you shift just like that.
I had three really successful years in of business, back to back. And then COVID hit. COVID threw everybody for a spin. And while that year was very successful for me, I did feel the impact of following year. And right when I felt like we were gaining normality again, then Russia invaded Ukraine, creating instability globally for those who are looking for products and services like mine.
So even when you have, what you think is a winning formula, you can’t go to sleep. You have to still be paying attention to the market and it doesn’t mean you didn’t do it right. It didn’t mean you didn’t crack the code. It means that there is no code to crack. It is a constant monitoring of your environment and your business and clients’ needs. So if you want to crack the code go ahead and give it a good go but I just don’t think our global economy works like that. I don’t think we work like that. I think it is something that is constantly IN TRANSIT like your life.
The third thing I think that is too often unspoken is that you will make mistakes. You will make mistakes and we often go to mentors so we can avoid mistakes. And my philosophy is go to mentors so you will avoid the easy ones. We need to save our resources and energy for the hard ones. So don’t waste it on the easy ones. And when you work with a mentor, they will be by your side to help you untangle the tough ones.
The other thing that I’ve learned about mistakes, I used to want to avoid them. I don’t know why I felt like I had to avoid them. Maybe that’s the recovering perfectionist in me coming out. But what I’ve realized is that when we take a growth mindset and we say, “Okay, what can I learn from that?” That you’re actually stronger on the other side, right?
So those are some things I think we need to keep in mind and speak more about in business:
- It’s hard.
- You never cracked the code.
- You’ll make mistakes.
I don’t think when you scroll on social media that that message comes across. In fact, I think it’s the opposite. And I think they’re selling you things that are not true. It doesn’t mean that you can’t bring in more ease in your business. It doesn’t mean that success can’t happen with lightness. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying, don’t go in thinking that you’re doing it wrong if you feel like you’re going on an upward incline. Don’t feel like you’re doing it wrong if you have set up systems that were working and now no longer working. That’s part of the process. Don’t think that you’re bad at business because you’ve made some mistakes, it means you’re engaged. It means you’re trying new things. In fact, it’s a sign that you’re doing something right.
Okay. That is my little soapbox about the unspoken and business, as it’s connected to mentorship because this is what mentorship is about. It’s about helping others see what they can’t see. The things that are ahead of them that you might not be expecting.
So while we talk about mentorship today, I want to go into a few basics. I want to define what mentorship is so then we’re on the same page. I want to share a little bit about the benefits of mentorship by giving you a sneak peek into what I’ve gained from working with my own mentors. And then I’ll share a little bit pragmatically about how you can make the most of a mentorship, whether you are the mentee or the mentor. And of course, we’ll talk about what are the risks if you don’t have one.
Okay. So let’s dive in. I would love to talk about my very first mentor and I don’t know if I’ve mentioned her on the podcast. She doesn’t know that I’m going to talk about her but she’s someone that I hold very near and dear to my heart and her name is Sandra Capra. I worked with her at Accenture. Then it was called Andersen Consulting, a consulting firm way back in the 90s. And she was my first introduction to the professional sphere. I was in university, of course I had worked, but I had never worked in a corporate context. And I can’t tell you how lucky I was to have her as a mentor at the time, because what I learned from her is that: she showed me how to create space. She showed me how to celebrate. She showed me how to work through hard things.
And besides really practical things, like learning about instructional design, she did other things for me. Like, she nudged me to get more work-life balance when I really needed it. And she, which a lot of people don’t know, she’s actually the one who introduced me to coaching. The reason why I learned so much from her as a mentor is because she modeled it, she lived it. And she in addition to being a role model, she invited me into her, “Why?” Behind her choices. So it wasn’t about learning from her mistakes. It was about watching her successes and then helping understand why it worked, right? What is the reason behind, what I would call the “Sandy Sparkle?”
She taught me very early on that I could be very serious about my work and bring joy to others around me. So Sandy, if you’re listening, I am forever grateful to you because you set the bar high and you set the tone for me.
Did she know she was going to have an impact on me 20 years into the future? No. Did I know that? No. But looking back, I see the impact that she had on me as a mentor. And thus, I think it’s important for us to talk about mentorship because if we are the mentor, we hold the possibility for impact in ways that we don’t even realize. If we are the mentee, we can be shaped in a way that will do good for decades to come. And I don’t think we talk about the importance of mentorship enough in light of that potential impact.
All right, let’s fast forward to one of my business mentors. Now, I’ve talked about Susan Hyatt on the show. I’ve even had her in an episode. It’s no secret that I have leaned heavily on the mentorship and coaching of Susan Hyatt for my own business success. And I want to share a little bit about why I chose to work with Susan. The ironic thing is that Susan and I both share similar coaching training. We both went to Dr. Martha Beck for our coaching background. I’ve done other coaching’s, but that’s one that we share. But why go to someone who might share methodology with me? I chose Susan because I had watched how she was showing up over years and there was something about her that was bold, that mirrored in me what I knew I had inside but hadn’t yet embodied. So I chose to work with Susan not to be like, Susan or to do what she does. But to find that form of bold in me. My flavor of bold.
And believe me, I know there are ways Susan, and I are very different. And Susan, if you’re listening, you’ll remember our swimsuit fight on a yacht where she was encouraging me to be bold in one way that I was like, “No, no. That’s not gonna happen.” So the thing is with Susan, I knew she embodied what I could inside but hadn’t been coaxed out of me yet.
So if you’ve been following my work, you might have noticed a shift, 2016-2017 where I wasn’t using Susan to be accountable to her. I was utilizing our relationship as a mentor-mentee and coach-coachee to be accountable to myself. Another thing that I’ve really appreciated about working with Susan Hyatt is that when you work with her one-to-one, she’s very open about mistakes that she’s made. And it has helped me in working with her and in a mentorship group with other successful business women together watching that those mistakes don’t go away. Again, it goes back to what we’re talking about before, it’s they’re inevitable. It’s how you handle them.
So for me, it normalized challenges in your business and it took away the shame of, “Oh, that I messed up.” Or, “That was hard.” Or, “That didn’t work.” Even to know, not everybody constantly sells out everything all the time when you get further down the road, helped normalize those ups and downs, right?
So, why do I share that with you? I share that with you because if you’re looking for a mentor, I would encourage you to find one that lives what you want to embody. What you need coaxed out of you. And from my perspective, I would suggest finding someone who challenges the status quo and who does the unconventional or the unexpected, because they are the ones who are taking risks and are learning from them and growing from them. They’re the ones that are probably growing at a faster rate than someone who’s playing it safe.
So thank you to my business coach Susan Hyatt for the impact you’ve made on my life and business over the years.
Now, a more recent mentor is Trudi LeBron. You’ve heard about her in this pod that we have on Business and Mentorship. She was my Equity Centered Leadership Mentor. Now, I have such a hard time putting into words what I learned from my time with Trudi, I worked with her for over a year in a group and one-to-one. And just some of the things that I gained from working with her was more depth in how I create community, more skills around how to create psychological safety. The importance of creating intentional spaces and what it really means to have an equitable business.
The learning I had with Trudi, even though you can learn about it in her book, which is amazing, and I recommend it to everyone, is much more than knowing. It’s embodied. At least for me on my journey, it was necessary also that it’s embodied learning. And her practices are deep and powerful so I cannot explain the impact that it’s had on me. I know it will last a lifetime.
And it makes me think about when people talk about working with a coach or a mentor, what’s the ROI? You hear that a lot, the return on the investment. And while with Susan Hyatt, I could quantify the return on the investment legitimately. And this is just a sort of a side note for people who are thinking about, “Is an investment worth it?” Don’t look at the moment that you’re working with that person, look in the next year and the following year because for me in my experience, the return on my investment happened in the future. It was the year after or even two years later because that impact takes time.
And that’s what I mean. People aren’t often patient. They’re ready for quick results now. But doing the right work is a process, right? It is a process. So with Susan Hyatt, I was able to quantify the return on my investment and show that to myself as the business owner. Yes, that legitimately one-to-one created return. But with Trudi it wasn’t about the financial investment. I measure it in terms of quality of community. And I can’t share all the details, but one of the most meaningful pieces of feedback I’ve ever received was from a participant who had a very traumatic experience in her year and had been struggling. And I didn’t know this and she came into my community with others, and later, I heard her share that she hadn’t felt that safe in months. And to be able to hold a space for someone who, due to something traumatic, was not feeling safe and be able to create that with them is priceless.
So think about your mentors and go beyond this idea of a return on investment quantitatively in terms of money but also think about your mentorships in terms of depth of your own growth and quality of what you’re creating. That is unparalleled in terms of why you should work with a mentor. At least for me what I’ve gained from my mentors. I know had I not done this, had I not invested in these mentorships, the money that I invested it collectively was a lot. It was very significant. But I honestly don’t think I would have saved anything. In fact, I would have made less money and there would be less depth less safety for my community, and less quality professionally. So I owe so much of the impact I make in people’s lives to them. That’s that ripple effect that mentors have in your life.
So the question might be, we talked about why? Why mentors? What are the impact? What you get from it? But what about the how? How do I make the most of a mentorship relationship? And, you know me, I always have something very practical and tangible for you to work on. I would think about it in terms of the three P’s. The Three Ps of Mentorship is Prepare, Practice, and Pause. Prepare, Practice, Pause. This is something actually teach inside my program, Global Coach Coalition. So if you’re interested in more, you know where to go and how to contact me.
But let me just say a little bit about it. Briefly here, the Three Ps around Prepare, Practice, and Pause is when you are the mentee, it’s important for you to Prepare before you meet them so you can really articulate what you want to get out of your time together. Now it might be your anxieties that you’re feeling. It might be around some of the hopes that you have, the aims that you have, but come to your session and be directive with your mentor.
Now, if you’re the mentor, how do you prepare? One thing I think is really important for mentors to do is to battle their unconscious competence, right? There’s so much that you know but you don’t realize how much you know. So one of your jobs, I think as a mentor is to draw down that wisdom and learning and be able to articulate it to your mentee. So do the work, prepare and think through; How did I get that success? What were some of the mistakes I made? How did I rebound from them? So, that’s preparation.
Then the next P is Practice. That means in your time together during your session together, practice this dance of sharing and asking. So both parties share and ask in the session so that the goals are met. Practice listening to your mentor. But also practice listening to yourself. And accepting, what they have to share, but without attachment. Because if you’re the mentee and they have wisdom for you, it may or may not resonate with you based on your lived experience. And as a mentor also share without attachment on whether they will do it or not because they are the expert of their lives. And then during the process, share feedback on the process. “Is this working for us? Do we want to change direction?” So you’ve prepared now during the session, you’re practicing.
And then after comes the Pause. So if you’re the mentee, pause and think well, what resonated? What am I willing to experiment with? What are my homework assignments? My next steps? What has to happen before we meet again? That’s pause.
And as the mentor you also pause. What am I learning about my mentee that I didn’t know before? What do you think based on your experience does your mentee need next? What is coming that they can’t yet see?
So Prepare, Practice, and Pause will give you some insight on how you can support the mentorship experience.
I hope that’s been helpful for you. Remember, do you have to have a mentor? Just saw something today on LinkedIn. It said, “You don’t need coaching. It’s not like toothpaste,” right? The same thing with mentorship. You don’t need a mentor like we need to brush our teeth or we need food and water. But we are richer because of it, we are nourished because of it. When we have a mentor, we avoid the easy mistakes and then save our energy for the big ones. We are able to move forward faster without a mentor, it slows us down and our quality stagnates.
And perhaps one of the most important things benefits of having a mentor is that you don’t feel alone. Having a mentor by your side keeps you motivated.
All right, it has been so joyful for me to talk about mentorship today because I’ve just tapped into these wonderful relationships I’ve had over the years and reflected on what I’ve gained. I can’t tell you how meaningful it has been for me to think about that. And that is one of the things that encourage you to do. Look back, who have been key mentors in your own life, in your own business, in your own profession? What did they do that contributed to the quality of your work, the quality of your life? And then maybe reach out to them and say, ”Thanks.” Just like this episode is a way to say thanks to my mentors.
All right. There you have it. I’m so grateful to have this time to talk to you about mentorship and of course, this is part and parcel of everything that I do. If you are living a globally mobile life or your life is IN TRANSIT, I have built a program called Adapt and Succeed to mentor you along the way. To share the mistakes that you don’t want to make. To avoid the easy ones. To help you have tools to untangle the tough ones, and to fast-track where you want to go. As well as cherish the experience. Adapt and Succeed has been tested and proven around the world from a wide variety of individuals. And we have upgraded it to be more in alignment with where I’m at now in my business and to reach a larger number of people, But still in a very deep way. So check it out. Adapt and succeed. If you’re not a do-it-yourself person, of course it has built-in mentors. Alongside you for Adapt and succeed are the licensed facilitators of the program, the Global Coach Coalition, so definitely check it out. I’ll put information in the show notes.
And just a little heads up. If you want to be a mentor to other people who are living globally mobile lives, or lives IN TRANSIT check out Global Coach Coalition. We are having a brand new version of it coming up in 2023. You can get on the waiting list, The bonus of that is you have me by your side, not just for the tools but as a business coach to help you avoid the mistakes and fast track what I learned to do along the way. So two exciting things to check out the show notes and get on the waiting list.
All right, so everyone, thank you for being here listening to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean, thank you for listening. I’ll leave you some words from John C. Maxwell: “One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see, and help them navigate a course to their own destination.”
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