In every career I have had, I have been blessed to have someone that was always ready to offer advice and guidance when I needed it. These mentors have spent time with me and shared with me the benefit of their experience. Many times, they saved me hours of heartache when I would have been doing something twenty times if not for their well timed information rescue. Sometimes, they helped me to focus my energies on the right task or in the right direction. Occasionally, they told me I wasn’t ready for something. In every case, I was better off for having them in my life.
I am writing today to encourage you to find one or more mentors. Look around your cake club or city and see if there is someone who can be your guide. It is possible that you will have one or more Facebook friends who act as mentors. There is no right or wrong person to use as a mentor. The person does not have to be older than you…they just need different or more experience than you on the subject.
You may not even need a mentor from the cake world. If your friend is great at using social media, let him advise you on ways to improve your use of that form of advertising. If a friend is a great writer, see if they will help you rewrite your web pages for better impact. If your friend is great at numbers, ask for their help with your budget.
The perfect mentor for me might not work for you. Think about who you can speak honestly with, who you can trust and who offers realistic encouragement. Remember that if everyone of you seeks out Mike McCarey ( who is a great mentor, btw) or someone “famous”, know that they might be pretty busy and unable to get you quick answers. I know I get questions a lot and try to always answer each to the best of my knowledge, but I am rarely instantaneous about it these days. The best mentors are going to be people who see you regularly and know your situation.
I almost wish that there was a cake guru at the top of a multi-tiered cake mountain somewhere who had the answers to every cake question, but I am realistic enough to know that no one in this industry knows it all (although some act like they do!). We all have strengths and weaknesses. Find the balance for your weakness by finding your mentor.
How do you get a mentor? Remember when I said that you needed someone with whom you could be honest? This is part of why. You need to feel comfortable asking your questions and, more importantly, in asking for help. Be brave and reach out. I promise you that there are mentors all around you right now. Who will be your cake guru?