I have never flourished and thrived in a classroom. It is as true now as an adult as it was as a kid. However, now as an adult, I am looking for mentors, not just someone who is knowledgeable in their field. I want my mentors to fit my core, purpose and know how to help me execute my mission professionally as well as personally.
When I was in high school my youth group went to Sharing and Caring Hands in St. Paul, MN. Mary Jo Copeland, the founder of the homeless shelter took a few minutes to talk to our group. She shared a little bit of her story with us and it has stuck with me for the rest of my life. She told our group she realized she had a choice in life. She could build up or tear down, she could be bitter or get better. She chose to build up and get better. This moment set the tone in my life to know how to pray and watch for the perfect mentors to come along. I began watching those who do well what I have set out to become.
Throughout my life, God would bring my mom, Krista Wigger, Becky Casey, Cindy Dozier, Pat Sloan, Donna Hup, Sara Broers, Julie Wright, Ken & Mary Hood and others who have set the course for specific times in my life. I consider these individuals as mentors in my life.
This last year I set out to begin to understand marketing as a whole. I want to understand the role traditional and non-traditional marketing play in business marketing. I was looking for a mentor who was all about the people and money was the benefit and outcome of being the best in what they do. I did not have significant resources or income to go out and buy books or a program. What I did have was a book I had purchased for $.50 called ‘The One Minute Manager’ by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johson. I had picked it up on a whim thinking the concept was interesting and wondering if I could apply it to a stay at home mom. I had no idea I would need it or want it on a business level when I bought it.
When I began wanting to understand marketing I started with the book I already had, ‘The One Minute Manager’. I was not even sure I would like it. However, I fell in love with Ken Blanchard’s personal and professional mission and from his books has become my mentor. Again, I did not have the financial resources to purchase all of his books, but I was hungry to learn and hungry to add more tools to implement in our business, RCV Web Presence.
Minnesota has a fantastic interconnect library system. I hopped online to alplonline.org and began my book search. Sure enough, all of the books I wanted to read were in the library system. Over the course of four months, I requested three to four books at a time and devoured each of them. The beauty of the Blanchard books is they are short, sweet and to the point. Told in allegory form they are applicable and because they are shown in story form it gives my brain a “real” picture of how it works.
I have also checked out books by Corrie Ten Boom, Charles Spurgeon, and Dan Kennedy. An education also includes fictional, classic works of art. Classics cause us to ponder real-life situations in a non-real environment. Little Britches, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Tubman, Hinds Feet on High Places, The Prince and the Pauper, Little Women & Little Men are all some of my favorite beloved classics.
It is possible to be mentored through books and to gain an education through the public library system. Short on cash or just not sure if you want to make the investment in the book you are interested in? What do you want to learn? What skills would you like to improve? Maybe the library has precisely what you are needing.