The Power of Mentoring

Published 3 months ago • 3 min read

Amplifying Success

Your Solo Leader Newsletter

The Power of Mentoring

Backstory

Here's a quick bit of context before I talk about mentoring.

Last year, after reading all about Soloprenuership, I became fascinated.

Solopreneurship = "Act of running a business entirely on one's own."

I spent last summer planning how to add value to this growing space.

The Big Idea

The concept of "Amplifying Success" was picked as it resonated with many of the people I researched. I planned to launch three distinct offerings (while working a full-time job).

Research & Learning

Many people I spoke with advised me to build an audience first. Then, offer products or services. So, off I went, building an audience and sharing the journey. This allowed me to gain deeper insight into what each offering might look like from a user/customer perspective.

Digital Learning

It takes thoughtful consideration on how to frame a course(s) that is meaningful and valuable. Many offer quick fixes or share how to be just like them - that's not what I wanted to offer; it's unrealistic.

Community

It is a full-time job to manage an engaging community effectively. Great examples I found were Pavilion or Justin Welsh because these play directly into the audiences they serve and offer great value and learning.

Success Directory

Many marketplaces favoured low-cost freelancers and didn't raise the profile of Solopreneurs in the way I expected. I discovered many lists people were putting together in Notion pages, but no real directory was dedicated to this population.

Over the holiday period, I had a good long think about what I had learnt and why I was doing this.

The answer was = To help others.

I decided to ignore all the signals and advice and do something more proactive in 2024. I wanted to get closer to who I wanted to serve and walk their journey.

The Power of Mentoring

The Offer

In January, I offered free mentoring (in my spare time) to Aspiring Solopreneurs.

3 per month for 2024.

The response was incredible, and within three days, I had 36 people from all over the world take up the offer.

The Approach

After an initial assessment with each mentee, I set out a distinct approach (see below) to guide them in uncovering clarity in what they are trying to achieve and then for them to chart their own success journey with my personalised mentoring.

The Mentees

Each mentee is at a different stage on their solo journey. Each has a distinct business offering that reaches different target customers, unique value propositions and go-to-market routes.

  • Writer / Ghost Writer
  • Personal Trainer
  • Wellness Coach
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Political Candidate
  • Executive Assistant

The Progress

My first three are nearing the finish line of the framework. This does not mean the end of my mentoring. We have validated their success journey, identified their metrics for success, defined their target personas and brand, and are now validating the final stages before either relaunching or launching their solo offering for the first time.

The Mentoring Learnings

Learning One:

For me, the most significant learning has been that people need guidance.

All the articles, posts online and quick growth gurus often mislead people. We end up with half the information about someone else's success journey, but that playbook doesn't translate to those who try to apply it.

The missing link is creating our own story and success journey.

Learning Two:

Mentoring has a stigma attached to it. Many may have tried it within a corporate workplace and tried to lean on others to open doors. Some have used external mentors, and the results have not been seen, often because of a mismatch between a mentee's needs and a mentor's expertise.

What are the Pros and Cons of Mentoring?

Pros (for the mentee)

  • Offers the ability to get expertise from people who have walked the walk
  • Help validate or guide decision-making from an unbiased place

Cons (for the mentee)

  • You have to commit and be invested in the journey
  • If you don't find the right match, it can be a waste of energy and time

Have There Been Any Mentoring Bottlenecks?

Life happens for the Mentor and the Mentees. Sometimes, progress slows due to time commitments on both parties.

I found leveraging Slack for privately sharing Mentoring videos and guidance valuable, and my Mentees have progressed in their spare time.

My approach has also leveraged private Notion pages for capturing their work and a Google Doc template for their final outputs. This has worked well, as we can share notes and see progress any time of the day.

So Far, What Did I Get Out of Being a Mentor?

The whole experience has been eye-opening. Each person I have worked with has inspired me. They have beautiful backstories and sometimes painful journeys to reach where they are today.

They have chosen to be brave, with many being located in parts of the world where being a specific gender is a disadvantage, resources don't favour them, and even many of the creator tools on offer don't work there.

To have the courage to ask a stranger for help and put themselves out is a testament to their commitment and drive to make their ideas a success.

For Amplifying Success, the experience has shown me that people need more than quick training, a pep talk, a look at what I've done and a "be like me" approach.

People learn differently and sometimes don't know the skills they need or how to navigate issues that seem big but are not.

With a bit of guidance and direction, the power of mentoring can give others the confidence and clarity they need to Amplify their Success.

Matt Atherfold

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