But what’s in it for the mentors? And why do so many of them choose to do it for free?
We asked them, and lots of their reasons sounded familiar. Lots of the things mentees love about growth mentoring are also what motivate the mentors to give back their time.
From the benefits of community-building to knowledge-sharing and skills-building, here are five reasons why mentors do it for free, and what we can learn from that.
Joanna Delaney - Head of Growth at ProWritingAid
“Every time that I get a review it just lights up my day”
It’s no secret, helping others feels good.
Even something as simple as passing along your unused car parking ticket can give you that kick of endorphins. So mentoring someone – helping them tackle their biggest barriers and find their greatest passions – is bound to give you a sense of fulfillment.
But it goes beyond just feeling good. There’s lots of research to suggest that altruism actually benefits your health. It can trigger the same psychological changes that happen in your brain when you experience happiness (The Mental Health Foundation). Helping others can give you a focus, a sense of purpose, and mentors often come away with more confidence and self-esteem.
And we mustn’t overlook the role of gratitude. Lots of people keep gratitude journals these days. We practice mindfulness and actively focus on our positive experiences, because we know it’s good for us.
Mentors receive regular affirmations from their mentees. Watching a mentee finally reach that goal or break down that barrier is incredibly rewarding.
And GrowthMentor goes that step further, by giving mentees the opportunity to leave reviews for their mentors. Reading through those is like a ready-made gratitude journal all about you!
Michael Taylor - Founder at Vexxpower
“On every single call, I learned something”
It’s not all give. Mentors get a lot out of these conversations too.
GrowthMentors are given a unique insight into sector trends, marketing plans, new solutions, growth strategies, and success stories within the network.
By working through challenges and overcoming barriers with their mentee, mentors can refine and develop hard skills, like machine learning, SEO, data security, Martech, and competitive research – to name a few! Through their mentoring conversations, research, and planning, they build their own professional toolkits for when they encounter the same problems at work.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Mentoring also helps to develop soft skills, such as:
- Emotional intelligence – listening and empathizing with mentees.
- Self-reflection – looking at their own life and learnings to help advise mentees.
- Organization – scheduling chats, planning agendas and being prepared for conversations with mentees.
- Leadership – being in a role of responsibility and authority.
- Problem-solving – finding solutions to a range of challenges.
- Management – guiding effective communication and being accountable.
- Active listening – listening closely to mentees and not dominating conversations.
- Coaching – helping mentees find their own solutions to problems.
- Resilience – being confident in their own ability.
- Adaptability – working with a variety of people on a variety of topics.
- Giving feedback – offering constructive and honest feedback, even when a mentee might not want to hear it!
To be a GrowthMentor, you don’t need to be at the top of your game. It’s not all one-way, with the expert teaching the pupil. Good mentoring is about having a conversation – it’s a valuable shared learning experience for mentor and mentee alike.
As a mentor, you’re not expected to know all the answers. Your job is to search for those answers with your mentee. It’s about knowing where to look, bringing a fresh perspective, and being open to the fact that you’re learning too.
And mentors can learn a lot about themselves in the process – their strengths, what they enjoy, what they don’t enjoy, areas they need to develop – things that they might not have been aware of before.
If you’re a mentor, help your own learning process by keeping a journal.
Write down your own thoughts, reflections and learnings after each conversation with your mentee.
In your final session, take a look back over the ways in which you’ve also developed.
Dimitris Lianoudakis - Founder and Principal at LP Group Payments Consulting Inc
“Some of the best advice received has been free”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
‘Take it one step at a time’? ‘Savor the moment’? ‘Don’t eat yellow snow’?
Did you pay for it?
We get given advice throughout our lives and some of the best stuff isn’t paid for.
Don’t forget that GrowthMentors know what it’s like to need a bit of friendly advice – and they’re happy to be the ones to give it.
Peter Murphy Lewis - VP of Marketing and Founder
“This is the best social entrepreneurial ecosystem that I belong to”
Being a GrowthMentor isn’t just about mentoring, it’s about building a professional community – keeping networks current and well-informed, so that knowledge is shared and everyone can benefit. Mentors have a vested interest in optimizing their professional community.
By sharing learnings and best practice, GrowthMentors help prevent their peers from making avoidable mistakes. And the fewer mistakes that are made, the less “marketing waste” there is, the better the professional community is for everyone.
GrowthMentor was founded with this very principle in mind. It’s about sharing the load, supporting one another to achieve mutual goals, and making sure everyone has someone to turn to when they have a question. And they do their own bit in upskilling the community, by regularly sharing blogs, video toolkits and mentor advice.
Elad Shmilovich - VP of Marketing at Holisto
“Mentoring is a way to pay it forward”
Sharing is caring! When someone helps you and you pass that on by helping someone else, you’re helping to sustain a rich network.
For all the reasons above – the fact that it feels good, that mentors know what it’s like to need help, that it contributes to a community-wide knowledge base – mentoring is a great way of ‘paying it forward’.
You keep your learnings in the system, and they continue developing organically as more people get involved.
By contributing some of their own time, mentors have a huge impact – on individuals, on themselves and on the professional community more widely.
What we’re looking for:
- Growth marketers, product managers, and designers, with extraordinary track-records of success
- Inspirational founders that have “been there and done that.”
- Friendly people that take joy in helping other people.
- At least 5 years of demonstrable experience working in growth.
- GrowthMentor is a #givefirst platform. You should be cool with mentoring for free until you have three reviews.