I was recently asked to be a guest on "Signed & Sealed" with Lashawn Jenkins of The Notary Institution and Samantha Smith of the Georgia Notary Network and She ListenS Mobile Notary, LLC.
They were celebrating Mentorship month and wanted to share a conversation with mobile notaries and loan signing agents about the power of a good mentor.
Naturally, I jumped right on this opportunity. I love mentoring others, and I have had profound experiences as a mentee myself.
As the show date approached and I started gathering my thoughts and notes on what message I'd like to convey, I realized that while in my own head I had an idea of what mentorship was to me, verbally defining it wasn't as easy as I had thought.
Wiki defines mentorship as, "a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but they must have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn."
Yeah, I guess that works.
But to me, there's something more. So here's how I defined it:
A mentor is a ROLE MODEL that shares their experiences, perspective, systems, guidance, and tools to achieve results and BECOME who you want to be.
The key word is, Role Model.
Learn from someone you'd be proud to emulate, or be associated with. Choose someone who has the characteristics you'd be proud to demonstrate. The world needs more role models.
Throughout the show, I had four or five major points that I wanted to convey. Then, the live audience posed some amazing questions that opened the door to some pretty deep conversation about success and partnering with the right mentor. You don't want to miss this full hour packed with value!
Point #1: Mentorship can cut the learning curve
Without a doubt, having the right mentor can help you get the results you want faster than you might get on your own.
Point #2: Understand what mentorship is
There are lots of ways to define mentorship, so the style of mentorship you may encounter is on a spectrum ranging from extremely formal, to very loose and casual. Sometimes mentorship can be in the form of a book and an author. Sometimes you may have someone local that meets with you in-person and shows you the ropes. The reality is mentors are everywhere if you are seeking them.
Here are some common mentorship options:
Point #3: Choose a mentor wisely
One of the biggest mistakes new notaries make is that they make a random post on Facebook that says something like, "Would someone be willing to mentor me?" Then, they take advice from the first person that says, "yes."
Now, that could very well work out okay, but choosing the right mentor is usually more complex than that.
Here are two considerations for choosing a mentor:
First, make sure they have the results you seek. You'll want a mentor that is either in the same business mode as you, or has been in the same business mode as you. I wrote an article on business modes that you can read here.
In short, one of the major missteps you can make is to take six figure advice from a four figure earner. No judgement. They are simply in a different place than where you want to go. And frankly, earning six figures consistently takes a different mindset. It requires that you become someone that does the things that provide the value that will earn six figures or more.
Please note that income is only one measurement of results. Other results you may be attracted to are, work/life balance, reputation, lifestyle, kindness factor, free-time, integrity, peace of mind, contribution to community, and more.
The second consideration in choosing your mentor is their shared values. There are lots of ways to earn money and make a living as a mobile notary and loan signing agent. Some are in integrity with the law and codes of conduct, and some of them are not.
Are they going to be proud of the work you do and how you treat people? Be clear on your values like, time, attention, integrity, honesty, commitment to win-win relationships, etc, and choose a mentor that is in alignment with those values or helps you strive to be/do better.
Point #4: You can have more than one mentor
It's hard to find a mentor that can be really great at everything. Don't put that kind of pressure on them in the first place, especially in our industry. You can find a mentor that is really great at the "book smarts" side of things, and is an expert in state notary law. Learn from them.
Maybe someone else has found an efficient way to track invoicing and bookkeeping so taxes are a breeze.
And then someone else has tapped into the art of office pop-ins with a 60% success rate, so you learn from them on going "escrow-direct."
And it could go on and on.
Humans are amazingly creative and can find a solution to any problem. Stay open to learning new ways of doing things from different people.
One idea, or one person, could change everything for you.
#6- Find mentors in other industries
As a solopreneur, when you grow yourself, you grow your business. Personal development IS business development for you.
We can talk about how to sign & stamp paper all day long, or how to get our printers to print both letter and legal size paper, but if we don't talk about things like; emotional intelligence; communication; living intentionally; kindness; mindset training; and contribution, then we aren't really building a business or a legacy that will last beyond the current market.
This is a relationship-based business. We must be aware of how we "show-up" to these relationships so we can improve the quality and depth of those relationships over time.
Find mentors in other industries to help make this happen. You don't have to know your mentors. They don't have to know you. Read their books. Take their courses. Listen to their podcasts or videos. Whatever it takes to learn their way of thinking that helped them get results you desire.
Here are a few of my mentors that have helped me become who I needed to become: (please note: aside from brief encounters at live events, I do not know any of these mentors of mine, and they have each changed my life forever!)
Point #7: You don't need a mentor to get started or succeed
If you have taken three loan signing training courses, have your printer, and all your tools, and are just sitting around waiting to get started or "get turnt" in your business, until a mentor falls in your lap, then this is just classic psychological resistance.
Mentors can certainly help, but never let the desire for a mentor prevent you from moving forward. Take action. In fact, in the taking of the action, there is a really good chance you'll be introduced to the person or the situation that will lead to your new mentor.
Mentorship is a two way street
Whichever direction you choose in mentorship, whether with a live mentor in your area, or through a book you buy from Amazon, the secret ingredient is always execution. All the advice, resources, networks, and systems of the world will not matter if you don't actually use them.
Make implementation your superpower and nothing will stop you in this, or any, business.
Yours in growth,
Enter your email for the free report that details how I got started and grew my mobile notary and loan signing agent business to multiple six-figures.