It’s been some time since I actively seek out answers from the universe. And that universe is Google. It’s 2016, and after handling a very traumatic issue, I decided to start a blog. Nope not this one. I had my original website which I then had problems with, so I looked around to find out more from those who can teach me.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know any writer that could help. So I searched online to look for the “answers” and it came up on Facebook in the form of an algorithm that led me to an ad about a class ( I’m so proud I used the word algorithm HAha ).
Now, I couldn’t attend that class but the facilitator/instructor reached out to me and we made an appointment to meet. So it wasn’t really him teaching me but me hiring him to fix stuff that I couldn’t understand on my website. It was a lot of technical mumbo jumbo that the platform was telling me and I don’t speak the language. It was a blessing to have him.
Well, it was all going smoothly and he got the job done but then I got stuck again. I was left with no knowledge I could apply on my own in case something happens again. “So did I need to find someone again? Do I need to pay someone again?” I asked myself.
This time it was hard to get it resolved because by now, he had moved out of the country. So I’m back at square one. Sigh… I was so confused, lost and frustrated. I had all my articles in there and now I’d just given up on it. So I started a new one from scratch.
Which is this one right here.
So in 2018 I used my Skillsfuture credits to lookup other courses I could take to build my knowledge about digital stuff and maybe learn a thing or two about technology since I’m such a dufus with IT and a dinosaur of my time. And I signed up and went for this class which interestingly was teaching us about digital marketing.
I was blown away. I had something set up right and quick and the teacher was so impressed that a dino like me could catch up fast. The class was a short few weeks and it was quite difficult for me to attend each one as my schedule doesn’t permit it. Well, I still do have a job after all. So I missed out on a few sessions and the teacher suggested I sign up an external Master Class with him and his own academy, which would cost much much more of course. So I decided that I had to leave it as what it is and learn on my own from then on.
Disheartened and unmotivated, I went home and taught what I learned to my husband, which became a huge surprise. As now, he’s even more explorative and knowledgeable than me. I was so happy because I had found something that he is now passionate about. He loves to design and he’s a craftsman. He had stopped selling his brand many years ago before we even heard of what digital marketing is. And now I see that spark in his eye again. He gets to do what he loves and make money out of it.
He was hooked. I was so proud of him that his passion drove me to be even more ambitious. I needed to find a mentor that had as much interest as us and what more, people who actually care. So I went on Facebook and did a shout out to all my friends.
Does anybody or knows somebody who knows about Shopify ?I asked
And I got a couple of replies, thank God.
And the choice I made was the right one that till this day, despite us being slow improvers, they have not given up on us. Even when we’ve not been meeting up due to Covid, even when we were disconnected for some time due to finances and life gets in the way. They never gave up on us.
Our own mentors are Hasif and Redzwan from The Digital Bros.
Their hard work, determination and passion has clench them deals with big name clients that I shall not mention here. And I love that we are all growing together. Watching this space of continuous support. How we wished we had that much interest and passion when we were their age. We would’ve gotten a 20 year head start.
Now even though we are always open to other teachings, methods and sources, and we’re always learning from someone or somewhere, we still do fall back on our most reliable team. Team Hustle.Which is what I called us at that point.
So I’d like to share with you what you should look out for when looking for a mentor/ digital leader and what you should prepare yourselves for when being a mentee.
1. Before you hope someone could teach you, make sure you’re teachable. A mentor appreciates a student who listens with an open heart and are able to take feedback and advice.
2. A mentor has to have the same level of passion or even more passion than you. Someone who’s just in it for the money isn’t someone you want teaching you “things”. They’re probably going to teach you basic and then get on with their lives. You don’t mean squat to them after that. There’s no follow up.
3. They are approachable and easy to talk to. Someone who you feel ease to ask as many questions as you like and not feel afraid to offend them by your style of talking. That’s your crowd right there. You really want to avoid overly sensitive and ‘snowflake’ type of mentors. They’re tough to manage emotionally.
4. A mentor should respect you as much as you show respect to them as well. If someone is just “expecting” you to respect them because they’ve got a Masters then … walk away. You don’t want that kind of ego in your company.
5. You should be able to show some commitment for what they’ve committed their time to, which is You. Sometimes it’s not just you as the client (Mentee) as getting your business but they want you to actually LEARN and APPLY what they taught you and not spend 3 hrs just tuning out all the IT jazz they’re trying to make you understand. It’s effort you know.
6. Good mentors have lots of patience and you should be too, especially to yourself. I’ve stopped kicking myself for all the times I don’t understand and will still ask them to repeat it for the umpteenth time and they still oblige. Love them.
7. Integrity. This is the most important part people! They must have integrity. Meaning, things like the course module, in the method of teaching, in the transparency of the fees to the knowledge and transactions, in following up. Everything. If you feel it’s dodgy, it most probably is.
8. This also falls into integrity. If they don’t get back to you about that course you’re interested in, then don’t bother waiting anymore, they’re not as interested to have you as a student. So if they don’t want to teach you, find other teachers who will. That’s all. Don’t take it personal. It’s a good thing too because Mentors should have the right to choose who they want to teach and so should you. You have the right to choose who you’d like to learn from. And if they’re unresponsive, that’s not who you should learn from. Accept the rejection as a step towards the right path.
Alright so, I’ve learned a lot on this journey and the beauty is, it hasn’t ended yet. And I’m glad that I have the Hustle Boys ( I call them ) on this road of discovery and growth with us. Cos it’s a scary world out there and it’s rare to find sincere, genuine, passionate and honest people who are willing to coach you on something you are sincerely passionate about. And who still believe in you when you doubt yourself. They are the most hard working people in the industry that now I get to know personally. They’re not just temporary, and not just for the course of weeks. They’re all in and all the way by your side until you get there. So our family is blessed to have them.
Not Every Leader is For Everyone
There’s many types of leaders and methods of teaching and styles of learning. The methods of my mentors doesn’t necessarily work for some and it’s the same for other mentors as well to other students.
If you are looking for a Digital Leader to follow and skill up, take note of your intention. If it’s to learn something solid and for the long run, then it’s for you. If it’s just for the moment and “getting fast cash” then find mentors who have the same values or vision as you.
The reason why my mentors resonate with me is because they’re always upskilling and updating in this field. Which means, they’re always looking forward and maybe 5 steps ahead of their peers. They have a community and resources that are vast and efficient. They’re in networks that are inter connected. They’re experienced and they deal big, small and medium. No dream or success plan is too small or big for them. However you’d like to grow. It’s tailored to you. They’re humble and they’re honest. They’re approachable and they’re knowledgeable. They’re reasonable and they’re very human and compassionate in their style when dealing with business and people yet disciplined enough to keep you on track and motivate you. They feel responsible for you in the sense that you are their student and they want the best for you always.
ECommerce might seem like a scary ocean to swim if you don’t have at least a crew or a Captain to guide you along this journey. Especially if you want to do more than just learn the basics, which you most probably could get from the internet and Youtube. Get yourself into a community or a small group of friends who can learn from each other’s skills set.
Have this in mind, everyone’s learning style, level of understanding and absorbing knowledge is different, so take your time to fully comprehend what you’re learning and how you’re going to apply it. Find a mentor that suits your style of learning, someone patient and passionate about what they do. Someone who’s humble is a bonus. Someone who you can easily ask questions to without feeling bad, is a definite win. Find someone with integrity.
One day, you might be a mentor to someone else. And when that day comes, don’t follow those leaders who are all fluff. Who aren’t the type of leaders that you’d respect. Be someone that people can look up to, that people can trust and love. And when you see your students make something of themselves out there in the scary World, maybe you’d get to say, ” That CEO was my very own student.” And you’d be proud that you got the chance to mould tomorrow’s Leaders.
Someone you teach today might be tomorrow’s LeaderLeoni
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It’s almost the weekend folks, hang in there 😉
Peace and Love,