Mindset

3 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor at Every Stage of Your Career

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Emily Williams

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Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or scaling a business of your own, having a support system is essential to how far you’ll go, and how fast you’ll get there.

As you might already know, my career didn’t begin in the corporate world but rather, working a string of low-paying jobs (such as being a nanny, a matchmaker, and serving up lattes at Starbucks). It definitely feels far from the conventional route to entrepreneurship. And yet, when I finally decided to trust my intuition and start my own business, I managed to scale it to seven figures within the first 18 months. This wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t invested time, money, and energy into finding the right mentors to guide me on my journey (and yes, my matchmaking skills came in handy!).

Over the last seven years of growing I Heart My Life to where it is today (and recently launching the Emily Williams brand), I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of learning from life-changing leaders in the personal and professional development space, such as Marie Forleo and Brendon Burchard.

My mentors have inspired me with their teachings, opened my eyes wide to the opportunities that are available to me, pushed me to test my limits, and helped me to find the courage to go after my biggest goals. At this stage, I’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in high-level masterminds, attended dozens of conferences, and invested in high-ticket private coaching packages—and I can say with complete confidence that nothing replaces a powerful conversation with someone who has been where you’re at, understands the challenges and struggles you’re facing, and points you in the direction of your dreams. 

I’ve seen the magic for myself—which is why I continue to invest in coaching, even now that I’ve taken on the mentorship role for my incredible clients.

If you’re looking to ramp up the success you’re seeing in your career journey, or scale your business beyond what feels familiar, then there’s no doubt about it: working with a mentor will speed up your progress, and guide you on your way to success. And while this might not seem like the most natural course of action (especially if you’re an introvert like me, or if you’ve considered yourself to be a lone wolf ever since you learned how to walk), I promise you that the value you’ll get from soaking up the wisdom of leaders who have walked before you will far outweigh the discomfort of asking for help.

Still need convincing? Let me show you what you’re missing.

You’ll start holding yourself to a higher standard.

Have you ever wondered why you show up as one version of yourself among your college friends, and entirely another while your boss is around? Or maybe you’ve felt a wave of ambition after having a deep conversation? Our environment plays a huge role in how we show up in the world—which is why it’s so important to surround yourself with people who inspire you to be at your best.

My clients are always quick to point out when I’ve asked them a question they would never have thought to ask themselves or shifted their perspective on something simply because I see it in a different light. That’s when I know for sure that it’s not the strategy that matters most when it comes to career or business growth, but mindset. Since the results of our work are so intrinsically linked to our emotions, it can be a lot more effective to work through them through a mentor’s eyes. (Plus, you can’t put a price tag on the feeling you get when someone you look up to supports you in your time of need or casts their eyes on your work and gives you personalized feedback.) Without even thinking about it, we’ll challenge ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones and start showing up in new and aligned ways. 

You’ll get clear on what really moves the needle.

We’re often so close to our own vision that we forget to step back and look at the big-picture. Whether you’re working on a pitch, a presentation, or a new offer, you might find yourself getting caught up in polishing and perfecting the details—even though you know they don’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. 

Perfectionism is a hard habit to break—and even harder when you’re doing it alone. Working with a coach or a mentor not only offers you an insight into a leader’s workflow, but also keeps you accountable and on schedule as you go for your goals. You’ll be able to soundboard your ideas within a safe space, and get candid and to-the-point feedback. Plus, you’ll inevitably start setting stricter boundaries around where you invest your time and energy. (Trust me, when you know you’re paying four or even five figures per hour of coaching, you become hyper aware of the value of your own time—and streamlining comes naturally!) 

It’s like seeing the future you in action.

Our potential often reaches far beyond what we see in ourselves. We only catch a glimpse of it once in a while—but instead of pursuing it outright, we turn to leaders that mirror the qualities we see in ourselves for guidance and inspiration. These are the people whose podcast episodes you’re always caught up on, whose Instagram posts you always engage with, and whose teachings never fail to stir up something powerful within you. (Pay close attention to these patterns, Lovely. They’ve got a lot to teach you about the person you want to become.)

Whether or not you decide to work with a mentor within your specific niche or industry, it’s super important that they echo your values and have a similar outlook on life or business as you—but are currently a few steps ahead. That way, you get to see how they handle stressful situations, approach their wins and their setbacks, and interact with their environment. Learning from the way they show up will help you to embody the next-level version of yourself and start aligning your thoughts with your actions—so that you can manifest whatever it is you desire (the promotion, the corner office, the sell-out launch, you name it) quicker. As Oprah puts it, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

Now that you know how valuable mentorship can be within your career, I urge you to ask yourself how you could incorporate it into this stage of your journey. This might mean seeking out a coach whose approach you admire, or a higher-up colleague within your current organization who would be willing to take you under their wing. (And if you’re looking to scale your business and ensure your financial freedom, it might even mean booking an exclusive VIP day with my husband James and me!)

You’ll feel less alone, more inspired to take action, and more motivated than ever before to chase your version of success.

Emily

P.S. Check out episode 206 of the I Heart My Life Show to learn how to build a thriving professional network (yes, even as an introvert!). 

Written by our contributor Emily Williams.
Emily is a Success Coach and the Founder of I Heart My Life.
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