From Shy Girl to Fly Girl: Why Mentors Matter and Why You Might Need One Too
The first year I started editing papers for my friends, I made $400. That was twelve months of long hours poring over pages and pages of Times New Roman in 12 point font. I remember being so proud of myself. I was making money doing what I loved. Four hundred dollars seemed like a jackpot. Now I look back at that and laugh. It’s not that I hadn’t accomplished a good thing. But that’s all it was—good. I had no idea the potential I had.
Three years passed and I was floundering around with a half-assed blog and a few editing clients here and there. I figured if I’d ever make big money off my love for words, it’d be as an employee of a publishing house or magazine. Then a friend tagged me on the Facebook page of a best-selling author, journalist, and motivational speaker based in Toronto who was looking for writers for her blog. I figured I’d get some experience and get some material for my portfolio.
I got a lot more than that. I wrote my first article for Pauleanna Reid in September of last year. A month later, I joined her mentorship program, New Girl on the Block. A month in, they’d helped me define clear goals and a vision for how I could build a brand out of my editing and writing. By December, I’d done my first professional photoshoot. I spent January and February building my own website. Since March, I haven’t missed a single week of posting on my blog, I’ve expanded my list of services, picked up a ton of experience, and started charging what I’m worth.
With direction from Pauleanna and her partner Safia, I built a brand I could be proud of. It was a grind that meant staying up late nights til my eyes burned and pushing myself to try things that were way outside of my comfort zone. And the work is only just beginning, but the rewards have been huge. Pauleanna and Saf saw my dedication and growth, and offered me a role as a senior editor and content manager with New Girl on the Block. When I flourished there, they brought me on board their ghostwriting team, and I’ve had the chance to write on behalf of celebrities and high level executives.
Recently, I sat down to calculate what I’d made in the last two weeks. I couldn’t make sense of what I saw on the calculator app. I recalculated about 4 times before I believed it. In 14 days, I made over a grand—two and a half times what I made in my first year.
I don’t say that to brag. At this point, I don’t even think it’s something to brag about because I’ve stopped thinking small. Sometimes, in order to see how big you can be, you need someone else to show you what you’re capable of. That’s the value of mentorship. Having mentors who could see my potential and teach me how to maximize it was the key to getting on track to the success I know I deserve. I’ve gotten access to opportunities and resources I didn’t even know existed. I’ve been encouraged when I was feeling low, and got the tough love I needed whenever I started feeling sorry for myself. I had someone who knew both struggle and success to show me that the former could lead to the latter.
I got out of a three year rut because I had good mentors in my corner. I’ve come out of my mentorship having grown more than I could have imagined, and connecting with a sisterhood of passionate driven women. And I’ve personally watched New Girl on the Block turn other shy girls into fly girls and set them on their own paths to success. If you’re feeling stuck or just need some direction, personally or professionally, maybe you need a mentor too. I can’t speak for other mentorship programs, but I can tell you New Girl on the Block is way sicker than your average. If you’re ready to stop being good and start chasing greatness, raise your hand.