Mentor? Who doesn’t have one? As long as there’s someone challenging and guiding you as you go on through your life or career, then you got a mentor. It can be one of your parents, teachers or someone you truly trust and make you accountable also. Someone who believes in your potential and is honest enough to tell you whether you are doing great or not.
Mentoring, in this digital world, is way better, now more than ever before. Being part of the connected world a.k.a. a “netizen” really opened up a lot of opportunities for me, including being a mentee by great mentors around the world. Recently, I enrolled (and already finished) in the “30-Day Growth Plan with John C. Maxwell” (normally US$199) for FREE because I was able to take advantage of their special offer on the last day, March 17, 2020. That’s a few days after the Philippines was placed under the enhanced community quarantine. Thanks to the internet and mobile devices plus apps.
Actually, my first mentor was my mom. She was also my first teacher before attending school. She taught me how to do everything, particularly cooking food and viand on my own, just using notes written in a piece of paper. She used to be a storekeeper in a public market, near our house. That makes us home alone with my brother and we almost spent all day playing. But everyday when 10AM strikes, someone, a pedicab (we call it a sidecar in our locality) driver, would bring home or deliver the uncooked ingredients for our lunch.
It’s like the old way of doing Grabfood or those apps that deliver food (ingredients) or groceries. The vegetables were already cut and prepared as well as all the ingredients. I just needed to wash them before cooking. Would you believe that I can already cook at the age of six or seven? Of course with the aid of my mom’s notes (it’s like following a page teared up from a cookbook) and a chair to climb on. Then after cooking, she will arrive home around past lunchtime, and everything is ready.
When I started my primary schooling, my teachers believed that I was a smart kid. They saw my potential and they sharpened my skills. I really got a photographic memory and I learnt new things faster than most of my classmates. I also loved reading books, to the point that I had my own mini-library under our staircase, completed with lights and a sturdy study/reading table. My parents were also supportive in the training that was offered to me.
Most of the time, I needed to be at the school premises or other institutions to review, train and prepare for academic contests and quiz bees, even if it was before or beyond my class schedule. Sometimes, the schedule even fell on a Saturday, half of the much anticipated weekends. Don’t get me wrong there, I enjoyed being trained and getting advanced lessons. As a matter of fact, I finished as the first honours from grade one to grade 6 and continued to be on top of the class until 4th year high school.
Yes, I started early in mentorship as a mentee. I was already mentored wayback then as a young girl. I did not realise that it enhanced my thirst for more knowledge and attained more skills in life as I grew up. That also cultivated two of my personal advocacies in life, to be fulfilled through the establishment of JURIS Learning Hubs: to develop children’s functional literacy and their leadership skills, and help other not-so-young people to become lifelong learners.
One of my favorite mentors is Ms. Annette Villarruz whom I met through the Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF). Ms. A, as we call her, acted as our compassionate yet disciplined “momster” all throughout my stay with GRF as a volunteer trainer/facilitator (guess I can also be considered a mentor) for leadership camps. She loved all of us, her “monsterific mentees” aka monsters, and trained us to be the best that we could be. I even felt honoured when they saw her in me.
Currently, I have got a lot of mentors from Connected Women’s Elevate Program (I was selected to be a scholar for the cohort1) and Mommy MK Bertulfo, the CEO/founder of Filipina Homebased Moms (FHMoms) group. I am now also blessed and proud to be part of the Ambitious Tribe Batch 1, a 8-week Intensive Mastermind Online Program facilitated by one of the best LinkedIn mentors in the world, Ms. Kassy Pajarillo-Braganza.
Being a mentee would require your resources, particularly your dedication (money, time and effort etc.) and commitment, to be a lot better than before. You need to endure some hardships along the way while knowing or rediscovering your deepest true self. You also need to give up some time and properly schedule your activities. It also helps if you have an accountability buddy in an existing program. Great mentors, on the other hand, are also being kind and generously share their time, experiences and expertise in helping you achieve your own personal and professional goals. They intentionally guide their mentees and also learn from them as the mentorship program goes.
The question now is this… is a mentorship program worth it?
I believed that I answered that by sharing my experiences above. But I rather rephrase it as this one proactive question: are you willing to invest & rediscover yourself?
Caution though. There’s also an unexplainable and addictive feeling of being mentored by experts who would love to see your growth as an individual.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go find or search and enroll in one now, to experience the marvelous grace of mentorship.