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MENTORING BLACK LGBTQ YOUTH WORKS!

Part 2 of our series “Strong Finish” will help you see why Oprah Winfrey, President Obama, John Legend, Tyra Banks, Maya Angelou, Tyler Perry, Micheal Jordan and almost every successful person of color always gives credit to their mentor for the success they have. It was their mentor that was the difference between being like everyone they grew up with (average) and becoming what they eventually were known for (awesome). Step 2 in having a strong finish in order to have a great start in 2015 is getting a mentor.

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Mentoring works. Period.

The Life Coach industry is a multi-million dollar industry. It’s extremely expensive to hire a life coach. You would think that the people who can already afford a Life Coach would not need one right? Wrong. People who have success or are looking for more success understand that they don’t know everything already and that they need to surround themselves with people who have knowledge that they don’t have.

People who “know everything already” don’t need a Life Coach. They know what they need to be where they want to be in life – they are just waiting for the right moment so they are “struggling on purpose”.

Life coaches developed from the long standing, proven techniques of mentorship. Find a young person with a mentor and you have found someone on the right path. Sign them up. Hire them. Promote them. Why? They already have all the characteristics of someone who is willing to learn and listen. Too many people have stopped learning because once again “they know everything already”. Once you stop learning, it is extremely hard to get back into the habit of learning again. You then fall into a trap and are then left behind.

But how do you find the right mentor? How do you know who to listen to?

I used to drive myself crazy worrying about the things people said about me until one day someone sat me down and told me to look at where I am right now and what I have accomplished – then compare that to the person who has some criticism about me. That changed my life. This is a similar technique to use when selecting a mentor:

Find someone who has already accomplished what you have accomplished. Winners like helping others win. They are not going to ask you what is in it for them – or say things like “I have too much on my plate”. Why? Because they like winning and want to be around other winners. They understand that helping you does not make them less successful it actually proves that their success is based on a real model that others can learn from.

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I’ve personally moved away from being a youth director to people in my programs. I’ve even stopped serving in the same capacity with my sons who are in their 20’s as I did when they were very young. In both regards I chose the mentor/life coach position. If they are wrong, I tell them why they are wrong. Not to make them feel bad, but to help them win. I play the devil’s advocate so that sometimes they can figure out the right decision on their own.

Right now there are some teachable moments going on in the world around social topics that are fueled by emotions. I have intellectual conversations now and push young people to start asking questions. Don’t just follow the crowd unless you have had all your questions answered. You should be able to ask questions without fear of backlash.

Would you take financial advice from someone who is always asking to borrow money from you? Why take advice on your life from someone who has not accomplished any of the things you want to accomplish?

Mentoring works.

-F.W.

5 Reason You Should Have A Mentor

1. They’ve been there and done that. You can learn from your mentor’s mistakes and avoid making them yourself.

2. You can talk to someone who is an unbiased third party. They see you for you. Your mentor may notice potential in you that you might not see in yourself. Better yet, they are not your boss so you don’t have to worry about things coming up in your review. And, they are not your parents so you can actually listen to them!

3. They have a whole different network of contacts and connections that you don’t. These connections are priceless and can help enhance your career in ways you couldn’t yourself.

4. It’s the best free service you could ever get. AND you’ll probably gain a life-long friend.

5. Your mentor may introduce you to a career path or business opportunity that you did not know existed before.

Credit: Excelle.Monster.Com

National Youth Pride Services,

Chicago, IL 60601

Phone. 773-YPS-8051