by Ashley Streff
Why I believe in Mentorship
I want to talk about mentorship. By now, you’re probably very familiar with the rise of coaching, mentoring, workshops and digital courses. But are they really worth it?
My answer it yes. But it’s not a short answer.
I graduated from photography school in my early 20’s during the recession. There were no jobs, and I had no connections to the industry. I realized I was completely on an island, and had nowhere to turn. I always had tunnel vision for the whole ”go big or go home” type of life.
If I was going to do something, I was going to do it wholeheartedly and be the best.
I only wanted to work for a magazine under Conde Nast or lululemon. So I began my long journey to where I am now. I believe the world 100% led me down this path so that I can help others. I’m not done evolving yet, but this IS part of the journey. I believe that the world denied me all corporate employment, so that I could understand the struggle, the suffering, the will it takes to build a business and make a difference in the world.
It’s not like I didn’t try my hardest to get employment jobs.
I flew back and forth across the country looking for jobs. I applied. I went on interviews. I received MANY rejection letters. I had to start building my own path and find work and connections on my own. 10 years ago, we didn’t have Facebook groups, digital courses, coaches for literally everything under the sun, and Instagram was still borders with Nashville filters. It was all trial and error ALL THE TIME.
I was going off intuition and open to the path. There were a lot of things I did right and a lot of things I did wrong. I felt like I was dragging through energetic mud in those building years. I’ve been in the heart of social media and trends being out here in LA. It’s allowed me some incredible access to so many experts and inspirational people. I’ve been lucky to photograph a lot of them.
Since being in the world of trends, I was witness to the unfolding of digital courses and coaching. I create brand visions through photography for many coaches and mentors for their marketing. I’ve been able to see the ins and outs and what works and what doesn’t. I’ve had mentors myself and have also taken digital courses. I’ve had good experiences and experiences where they were lessons learned.
What I can say is that when you’re building your foundation, you’re really going through it and you’ll need some guidance here and there. And at times, a lot.
We all know about growing pains, and growth is heavy, imagine feeling fully alone, exhausted, emotional, and still handling legal responsibilities. You’re DEFINITELY going to want someone there who will point you in the right direction and have the experience to do so. These people can help cut through some of the bad business decisions, and give you tangible documents that will support you in your business.
The only fault I see in the industry right now, is that there is a “get rich quick” mentality instead of being cautious and empathetic that we’re not only dealing with people’s emotions but also their money.
I believe that mentorship is crucial in your business evolution. You don’t know what you don’t know, and just like schooling we take courses to further our education, or just like therapy, we invest in our self-care and find some guidance through the mindset and emotional blocks that come up along the way. There is doubt that building a business takes a lot of work. And yes there are ways of making it easier on you, so make sure that you find a mentor that’s supporting you in what your needs are right now.
How do you do you not get scammed?
(reference my tips in my branding blog post)