Social Media Strategy, Personal Branding

The Virtuous Circle of Mentorship and Its Impact on Your Career

plant handsJay Baer Blog PostMy friend Marcus Sheridan wrote a very forthright blog post (as is his custom) recently called “8 People That Dramatically Impacted My Life in 2013.” I was amazed and gratified to have been mentioned in that post. Here’s what Marcus wrote:

I’m going to be very honest here and say there have been times I’ve asked myself why Jay Baer has been so kind to me over these last couple of years. His interest in my well-being and success is literally baffling, and the fact that he asked me to write the foreword to his bestselling Youtility has proved to have a major impact on my career as well. I simply can’t thank Jay enough for the person he is.

Those are kind words, and I wanted to thank Marcus for them. But, given that he said he was confused why I have helped him (insofar as I have), I also figured it would be a good opportunity to explain myself and my beliefs about careers and the virtuous circle of mentorship. Maybe it’s just the old man in me surfacing as the calendar flips again to a new year, but I felt the need to put it out there as a comment on Marcus’ blog. He encouraged me to write a blog post about it, so here it is.

I wrote:

 

Honored and touched to be here, my friend.

Why do I take an interest in you? Three reasons:

1. You are an incredibly good person who genuinely cares more about others than about himself. It’s rare, and I try to surround myself with people who have real values, because it can be a struggle to toe that line. Simply put, I’m a better person when I’m around you than when I’m not.

2. You are in the “steep ascent” career phase, and I know how tricky that can be. You get flooded with opportunities, not all of them long-term benefits. I want to continue enjoying your extraordinary talents forever, so if a grizzled old dude like me can provide some advice on occasion to avoid you burning out and moving to Anguilla, I will.

3. I have had astounding and amazing guides my entire career. The guy who owned the McDonald’s where I worked my first job? Awesome. Taught me everything about work ethic. My college advisor? Awesome. Taught me everything about thinking big. My first boss when I was in politics? Awesome. Taught me everything about strategy. My first boss when I worked in corporate marketing? Awesome. Taught me everything about relating to employees. My first boss during my initial stint running a major division of a company? Awesome. Taught me everything about choosing your battles.

First person “of influence” to ever tweet one of my blog posts? Jason Falls. Second? Chris Brogan. Those guys – and so many others – have helped me a ton, and continue to do so. I’ve been so lucky on the speaking side, too, to have many world-class mentors like Kelly McDonald, Rory Vaden, and Mark Sanborn who go out of their way to make sure I’m progressing. They don’t have to do that, but they do it because someone helped THEM.

Mentorship, advice and counsel is a virtuous circle, and is constantly under-appreciated in business and in life.

I’ve never taken a business class. Not one. I’ve gone to business school by having outstanding people take an interest in me and what I’m doing. And that’s why I’m happy to help you whenever and wherever I can. Not only because I love you, but because I owe it to the people who love me.

 

Friends, I know there are a lot of places you could spend time on the Internet, and I cherish each of you who choose to visit us here at Convince & Convert. But none of you would be here if it wasn’t for the people I mentioned above, and SO many others. Will you do me a favor, please? As you think about what you want to accomplish in 2014, remember the virtuous circle. The more people you help, the more people you’ll have helping you. Thanks for giving this some thought.

And if I can help you, never be afraid to reach out to me.