In the symphony of our lives, there are often unsung heroes whose guidance orchestrates our greatest successes. They are the mentors, the quiet architects of our growth, whose wisdom and support shape the melodies of our careers and aspirations.
Mentorship isn’t merely a professional transaction; it's an intimate dance between experience and aspiration, a bond forged through shared wisdom and unspoken understanding. As I reflect on my own journey, it becomes vividly apparent that my story is woven from the threads of numerous mentors who graciously dedicated their time and insights to guide me through the tapestry of possibilities.
From the seasoned veteran who illuminated the path ahead to the unexpected guide whose words echoed long after our encounter, each mentor played a unique role in sculpting the narrative of my life. Their impact transcended mere career advice; it touched the very core of my being, shaping not only what I do but who I am.
In this homage to the mentors who have been the guiding lights in my journey, I aim to express the deepest gratitude for their unwavering support and profound wisdom. Their influence has been a catalyst for transformation, steering me through storms, and illuminating the way toward uncharted horizons.
Join me on this introspective journey as I pay tribute to a couple of my unsung heroes, acknowledging their pivotal role in sculpting the person I am today. Through heartfelt gratitude and reflection, I hope to illuminate the profound impact of mentorship while honoring those who selflessly shared their knowledge, experience, and compassion.
Their stories, woven into the tapestry of my own, serve as a testament to the enduring power of mentorship, a force that not only shapes careers but enriches lives in immeasurable ways. This is a tribute to those whose guidance has been the cornerstone of my growth—a celebration of the transformative force of mentorship.
Meet the Mentors
I’d like to introduce you to a mentor who has significantly influenced my life’s path and led me into the bookkeeping and accounting realm in the first place. Drumroll please…. The one, the only… Seth David!
Seth and I were friends prior to ever working together. I was a very starving artist, I had just left a job in advertising and after a few months on the job hunt, I found myself in an absolutely desperate situation. I was out of money, rent was coming due, and of the hundreds of resumes I had sent out, I had nary a single interview on the horizon. I found myself in a conversation with Seth one night and he casually asked me how things were going. In a flash of brutal honesty, I responded with the hard facts of my current predicament. He offered to have me help him with a small project and a lifelong bond was born!
Seth saw an opportunity for me to build a career that I wasn’t even considering at the time! He took me under his wing and although I was far from qualified, he trusted me to learn the skills and gave me real world experience while I did so! In the beginning, we would meet three times per week and Seth would freely pass his knowledge and expertise on to me. I feel like I got a masters degree in bookkeeping from Seth. On Fridays, we would meet at a co-working space in Burbank and we would spend the day together, each of us working on our own work, but more often than not, the two of us goofing around like a couple of muppets on caffeine.
As time passed, Seth got busy with other projects, but he was, and still is, always available for me as a resource and a guide. I honestly cannot express enough gratitude to Seth as both a mentor and a friend.
I would like to introduce another mentor who has had an equally significant influence on my journey. Roll out the red carpet, please, for the remarkable… sensational… Christine Galli!
I met Christine via Seth, she was looking for a little bookkeeping support with some of her clients. She posted on Facebook that she was looking for someone and Seth responded recommending me. She originally hired me through Seth’s company as a contractor. It didn’t take us long to realize we were a good match for each other. I appreciated the extra work and she didn’t mind my spunk!
Christine quickly recognized in me something that I hadn’t even considered for myself. I viewed myself as a novice in the world of bookkeeping and accounting. I kept to the shadows, quietly getting my work done, believing I had nothing significant to offer. On the other hand, Christine saw me as a very capable leader. Over the years, she has encouraged me to grow into my own power and to share that with the world.
After a couple of years working together, Christine invited me to an accounting conference to discuss the future. She had some other opportunities that she wished to explore and so she wanted me to help her run her bookkeeping firm. I was excited about this opportunity, but that damn imposter’s syndrome kept creeping in. What did I know about running a bookkeeping firm? At every turn, Christine was there to reinforce her belief in me. Eventually, I learned to believe in myself.
Christine eventually sold her book of business to me and this became the inception of The Numbers Agency. I can never truly express my gratitude for Christine and all that she has done for me. She has been the catalyst to me owning my own firm and continues to push me toward both personal and professional growth.
Reflecting on Mentorship
In my experience mentorship extends far beyond the exchange of knowledge - it encompasses a profound relationship built on trust, guidance, and shared aspirations. Its value transcends the mere transfer of information; it fosters growth on a deeply personal and professional level. Here are some of the benefits I’ve experienced:
Guidance Amid Uncertainty: In the labyrinth of career choices and life decisions, mentors serve as experienced guides, offering clarity when paths seem obscured. There have been many moments over the years when the path was as clear as mud. It was time to grow or time go. I have reached out to both Seth and Christine over the years seeking both career and personal advice. Both have always taken the time to listen and to offer guidance, an invaluable resource and one that I am eternally grateful for.
Accelerated Learning: The mentor-mentee relationship compresses the learning curve. It grants access to accumulated knowledge and experience, allowing mentees to sidestep pitfalls and leapfrog toward their goals with greater efficiency. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Seth has his own online courses on bookkeeping, but I am living proof of this concept. There is no way I would know everything I know had I not had Seth spoon feeding me bookkeeping information right from the beginning!
Holistic Development: Beyond technical skills, mentors often nurture holistic development. They instill values, soft skills, and the resilience needed to weather the storms of professional life. This guidance molds not just career trajectories but shapes character and resilience. Christine has always kept an eye on the bigger picture with me, pushing me toward personal growth as much as the professional. So much of what Christine has instilled in me is interchangeable between my personal and professional lives.
Networking and Opportunities: Mentors often open doors to networks and opportunities otherwise inaccessible. Their connections can expand horizons and offer avenues for growth and collaboration. Both Christine and Seth have opened doors for me. I feel so lucky to have such generous mentors!
Confidence and Support: A mentor’s belief in a mentee’s potential serves as a powerful catalyst. Their unwavering support and encouragement nurture confidence, empowering mentees to embrace challenges and strive for greater heights. I don’t think I ever would have started my own firm if Christine hadn’t been behind me cheering me on. She absolutely saw potential in me that I was unable to see in myself. I’m grateful that I believed in her belief in me.
Long-lasting Relationships: Mentorship often evolves into enduring relationships that transcend professional spheres. It fosters a bond built on mutual respect and shared experiences, creating a legacy of support and camaraderie. One of the best things to come out of my mentorships are the long-lasting relationships that have been forged. My relationships with Seth and Christine are far deeper and more meaningful than I could have ever imagined.
Pay-it-Forward Effect: The impact of mentorship doesn’t end with the mentee. It creates a ripple effect as mentees, inspired by their mentors, pay forward the wisdom received by guiding and supporting others, perpetuating a cycle of growth and learning. This is the great gift of mentorship. I want to pass on what was so freely given to me. I want to share my insight and knowledge, but also I want to inspire and guide and support those who come after me.
I would like to take a moment to express my heartfelt thank you to my mentors and to all of the mentors out there. Mentorship is such a rewarding experience, but it takes time and effort and for all that you do, thank you. In closing, I’d like to share a couple of the lessons I’ve learned from Seth and Christine.
Just say yes. It doesn’t matter if you’re scared, it doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re qualified, it doesn’t matter if you deserve it or not, it doesn’t matter if you feel like an imposter in the role, just say yes. Take the opportunity and do the damn job. You can always ask for help if you need it.
Life is not always what you think it will be. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be running my own bookkeeping firm, I would have laughed you out of the room. But life can be surprising and sometimes not at all what we expect. Learning to embrace those changes has given me a happier, fuller life than I could have imagined.
You are enough. I have spent way too much of my life feeling like I’m not enough - not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not funny enough… I refuse to spend another second in that bullshit. I’ve been fortunate to learn over the years that I’m the only me on this planet and no one can do me better than I can. I don’t need to know everything and be everything to everyone. I am me. And I am enough.
In essence, mentorship is the cornerstone upon which careers are built, ambitions are realized, and legacies are shaped. Its value lies not only in the knowledge exchanged but in the transformative power it holds, sculpting individuals into better versions of themselves and empowering them to navigate the intricate tapestry of professional and personal pursuits.
As I express my deepest gratitude to those who selflessly shared their insights, I implore each reader to embrace the spirit of mentorship. Whether as a mentor guiding others or as a mentee seeking wisdom, let us recognize the immense power in these relationships. Let us pay it forward, nurturing a culture where knowledge is shared, guidance is offered, and growth knows no bounds.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. Consult with a qualified professional for personalized guidance tailored to your specific situation.