A Mentoring Environment as a Networking Platform
Mentoring is such an important practice, especially for those of us who are entrepreneurs or carry an entrepreneurial streak. We move fast and have a lot to juggle so we need a consistent system to stay inspired, help others, and get advice and feedback. The reason I say we need a system is so that we follow through on our commitment of being a mentor. It is so easy to get too busy and drop the ball on things we want to do, unless we have a system to stay engaged. I juggle a lot and I have to have systems for the things that are important to me.
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Rainmakers ThinkUP, which is a local Indianapolis event that provides a platform for small business owners to meet and share ideas and resources with each other. I have always loved the concept of this event and last week I saw the event platform in a whole new light. ThinkUP is a system to engage in mentoring on a monthly basis. ThinkUP gives every attendee the opportunity to be not only a mentor, but a mentee. In the last meeting, I sat at a table of four and felt like I was truly able to help two people with their business challenges. Then, I had the opportunity to present an issue and all three of the people that sat with me followed up after the event to provide their support and further insight on my topic.
I think the reason why so many people get turned off my networking is because is seems fake or forced. Mentoring, as the activity to engage in networking, is much more natural and enjoyable. Try it! Reach out to people you want to meet and ask them for a meeting to learn from them. Offer to be a mentor to people that could use your help. It is an incredible way to start the relationship building process.
I am putting out a challenge to all Rainmakers to attend ThinkUP as a “serve more” project and watch how it helps you “be more.” For those of you who are not Rainmakers but happen to be in Indianapolis area, join us for our next event. Register for the next ThinkUP here.