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Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-13-2005, 07:43 AM   #1
 
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Did you have a mentor?

Did you have a mentor? Someone who had a huge
impact on your career, and/or maybe on your ER? I mean someone you knew up close and personal.
I list Paul Terhorst as my ER inspiration, but I don't know him personally. Anyway, I had 2. One guy I worked with from 1965 to 1973, and later he hired me
to do some financial work "on the side". The other guy
hired me in 1976 and was instrumental in making me President of my first company at the age of 32. They were similar people. Smart tough businessmen, in the
twilight of their careers when I met them. Both gone a
long time now. I miss them.

JG
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-13-2005, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

Not me. I've always felt like I'm out there alone blazing my own trails with no guide save observing what others do and usually deciding it's not for me. An exception: ER was a eureka concept that I had never thought about until stumbling across some of these folks.

When I say "blazing my own trails" I don't mean in a heroic adventurous way but in a solitary way because I don't fit any crowd. I've come to enjoy it, though. Wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-13-2005, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

Several. They helped me a lot.
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-13-2005, 08:57 PM   #4
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

As for career, I've definitely had many mentors as I've moved from a recent college grad into someone actually capable of producing something and surviving (in a corporate-type environment).

As for the money, quality of life, economic, and "philosophy of how to live my life" themes that pertain to this board, I kind of had to feel my way through in an independent sort of way. My family, friends, girlfriends, etc, didn't really provide the ideas I now have. Although some level of fiscal responsibility and restraint came from observing my parents/grandparents. Later I came to find that many other people shared my thoughts when my (now) ex-girlfriend introduced me to the Terhorsts and the Your Money or Your Life books. That was a shot in the arm and really got me thinking about the applying the general principles espoused here towards the future and putting some sort of general plan in place.

The people posting on this board who have "been there and done that" are mentors too.
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-13-2005, 09:00 PM   #5
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

I've had a few mentors throughout my legal career, but they were "niche mentors". By this I mean they gave lots of great advice in particular areas, namely, those areas that benefited them. This, however, in no way minimizes what I learned from them.

Ideally, I would have preferred a mentor who brought me along throughout the various stages of my career. This was not to be, so many of the lessons I found that I needed to learn on my own. :-/
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-14-2005, 12:44 AM   #6
 
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

Hello Jay and all. My guys were not "niche mentors".
More like generalist entreprenuers. I only worked with
them directly for 11 years out of 35, but what an education! I had lots of admiration for both of them.
However, I don't think either caused me to become an
entreprenuer. I believe that was built in from the start
and I finally discovered it. I did not really have an ER
"mentor" although I agree this board is pure gold.

JG
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-14-2005, 03:48 AM   #7
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

Id have to say my Dad. He always set a good example and guides me to this day. He always stressed self reliance and planning. He retired at 57, 13 years ago. I talked to him about a week ago, said the fishing was good and the golf game was OK. He was self employed, no pension plan, only his own savings and investments.

He get's the ER plan. He said he should have quit sooner.
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-14-2005, 04:34 AM   #8
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

Quote:
Hello Jay and all. My guys were not "niche mentors". More like generalist entreprenuers. I only worked with them directly for 11 years out of 35, but what an education! I had lots of admiration for both of them. However, I don't think either caused me to become an entreprenuer. I believe that was built in from the start and I finally discovered it. I did not really have an ER "mentor" although I agree this board is pure gold.

JG
I suppose I didn't explain what I meant by "niche" mentors. When you go through life, you'll have various mentors at different jobs, and may have a few mentors outside of work through your hobbies or entrepreneurial efforts. What I've found, at least in the business environment, is that the vast majority of people -- even mentors -- aren't completely altruistic in their efforts to "help" you.

I am, on the other hand, essentially altruistic when it comes to giving advice, even to the point that it impacts me negatively. Why do I do this? Perhaps I've always been a bit naive in regards to dealing with people, but I don't offer or respond to requests for my help because I expect something in return. I help because I'm asked for help (or I offer it even if I'm not asked, because many people are too stubborn, prideful or arrogant to ask for help).

I'll probably continue doing so for the rest of my life, simply because that's who I am. As I noted above, many of the lessons I've learned were learned the hard way, which makes my experience ever so credible when passing those lessons on to others. Would I have liked a mentor who shepherded me through the trials and tribulations of the working world up to this point? You bet, but then again, I probably wouldn't have learned as much.
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-14-2005, 04:36 AM   #9
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

I had a cousin from Minneapolis, the big city. When I was 17 she introduced me to alcohol (I know, a late bloomer), a few controlled substances, radical politics, and seriously good music. As a result of her basic common sense I didn't over compensate for a sheltered childhood.

Now you guys are my mentors.
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-14-2005, 05:17 AM   #10
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

I've had several mentors in my life and a few of the proportionatly opposite types....like Dilbert's boss. Valuable life-lessons can be learned from both. How to do things and how NOT to to do things.

My fave mentor-boss was a bare knuckled, cigar chomping, whirlwind Purchasing Agent with a politican's finesee to smoothly influence others. He taught me a radically different concept in the early '70s. Treat supplier's (then called vendor's) with courtesy and respect and above all be fair. With that inspiration I think I could write the book, "How To Get What You Need From Any Salesman and Make an Allay In The Process". or "Business Relationships For Dummies". Made me a better buyer then later salesman.

Probably wouldnt be a best seller but the anecdotes...priceless!

BUM
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-14-2005, 05:47 AM   #11
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

Quote:
Now you guys are my mentors.
I'll drink to that. 8)
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-14-2005, 09:32 AM   #12
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

Quote:
Ideally, I would have preferred a mentor who brought me along throughout the various stages of my career. *This was not to be, so many of the lessons I found that I needed to learn on my own.
20 years after the fact, I'm realizing that I had plenty of mentors whom I ignored. *Luckily one or two of them didn't give up that easily...

The mentors I truly remember as such were, with one exception, negative. *Most of my thoughts were "When I'm running the show, I'll do it differently!"

One of my worst bosses in mid-career-- the kind that makes you happy to go back to sea duty-- was actually put in charge of my last command for my final year. *We even let him know that several of his old "shipmates" were here and that perhaps he'd want to take a different set of orders or at least find us a transfer. *Yet things worked out better than anyone had expected. *We all got along (mostly by ignoring each other, a challenging tactic when you're ignoring your boss) and I realized that "my" problems were his self-imposed issues. *We're both retired now, and I've heard that his transition has been a lot harder than mine. *At this point I feel mostly pity.

You "more experienced" ERs are my mentors now-- in a positive way! *Clearly I've finally found my avocation...
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-14-2005, 10:21 AM   #13
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

Quote:
One of my worst bosses in mid-career-- the kind that makes you happy to go back to sea duty-- was actually put in charge of my last command for my final year. *We even let him know that several of his old "shipmates" were here and that perhaps he'd want to take a different set of orders or at least find us a transfer. *Yet things worked out better than anyone had expected. *We all got along (mostly by ignoring each other, a challenging tactic when you're ignoring your boss) and I realized that "my" problems were his self-imposed issues. *We're both retired now, and I've heard that his transition has been a lot harder than mine. *At this point I feel mostly pity.
Umm, hmmm...Haven't been around that long, but long enough to believe what goes around, comes around.

Mentors? Definitely my parents.
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-14-2005, 12:13 PM   #14
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

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20 years after the fact, I'm realizing tht I had plenty of mentors whom I ignored. Luckily one or two of them didn't give up that easily...
I can certainly identify with the foregoing statement. It's amazing how a little (or a lot) of naivete and/or "know it all" attitude can keep you from seeing that in many cases more knowledgeable people are actually trying to teach you something. Yet instead of listening, many young people (including me) ignored their advice and often alienated them in the process.

Sometimes, of course, more knowledgeable people are trying to use you for their own purposes, but isn't that the price of knowledge? You go to work for someone, and they teach you what they know, all the while making money off your back. Some people resent working for "the man" from the very beginning, while others learn what they need to know and eventually leave, much wiser as a result of their patience and attentiveness.
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Re: Did you have a mentor?
Old 01-16-2005, 11:52 AM   #15
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Re: Did you have a mentor?

I have one mentor, hoping that she can stir me to the "proper" path or direction. In the past, I relied on my intuition. It would have been helpful if I had have more mentors. They may have directed me to a different career path.

Spanky
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