Back in February 2019, I had the pleasure of seeing my long time idol, Jane Goodall, speak at Florida Atlantic University. It got me thinking about inspiring leaders and the role that Jane has played (unbeknownst to her!) in my life. Looking back on my journey, I can confidently say that having a life and business mentor is the fastest way to gain the knowledge, insights and resources you need to succeed. Not to mention the inspiration!
Here are four reasons why you need a business mentor and what Jane Goodall has taught me through her extraordinary life and contribution to the world.
When I heard Jane speak back in 2019, she told about her journey. As a young woman, at the age of 26, she traveled from England to what is now Tanzania. She took a secretary job that would eventually lead to the opportunity to study wild chimpanzees in the forest. She spoke about being equipped with little more than a notebook and binoculars. And, she had no previous field experience and just made it up as she went.
Ultimately, it was her passion for chimpanzees and her determination to overcome challenge after challenge that led to a mountain of accomplishments in her field. She stayed focused on her vision of chimpanzees in the world, and she never let her path deter her.
Mentors can be invaluable for strategy, marketing, relational and networking advice. But more importantly, mentors can help you cultivate a clear vision of what you want in your life and business. Jane’s work helped me to cultivate my own vision. I wanted to raise awareness for endangered species through a wildlife photography print shop. And through that vision, Render Loyalty was born. Like all good mentors, she helped me to see what kind of impact was possible.
Sometimes, you just need someone who can see a bit bigger or a bit further than you are right now. And a mentor, a guide outside of yourself, can help you to dream those bigger dreams and set those wild goals for yourself. Jane has shown what commitment to a cause really means.
Which ties into the next reason you need a business mentor…
As an entrepreneur without a boss to turn to, you are responsible for all the decisions, vision, direction, growth, operations and execution of your business. When it’s all up to you, you have to Play Big. And ‘playing big’ starts with your mindset.
What you believe about yourself and your business determines what you will feel, which determines what you will do. A mentor can act as a mirror and a reflection of your beliefs; they can challenge you when you’re limiting yourself.
Jane Goodall is my hero and virtual mentor because she has always played big.
She didn’t let her lack of experience or qualifications keep her from making a difference. Nor did she let the limitations of being a young single female in the 1960’s stand in her way. She found a way to be allowed into the forests for her work (in fact, they made her bring her mother, which she agreed to!). She believed in what she was doing and she also believed she could be the one to do it.
If you’re going to be successful in your business, you have to Play Big with your beliefs and your mindset. And a mentor who has faced more obstacles, and walked a longer road than you, can push you past your limits toward a bigger future.
And speaking of facing obstacles…
Mentors have been where you’re going. This is the best news of all because it means you don’t have to figure every single thing out on your own or do it alone. One of the greatest benefits of having or following a mentor is learning from their mistakes and successes without having to actually experience them.
Though Jane is my hero for many reasons, she is not my only mentor. I’ve had many throughout my life. They’ve taught me everything from how to ride a horse to how to market and sell my business offers. If I had a dollar for every mistake I’ve avoided or obstacle I’ve gone around because of these mentors, well, chances are I do!
In so many ways, Jane Goodall invented the wheel. But because of her life and work, there are countless others of us who can follow in her footsteps. We can make an impact for the planet without starting at ‘zero.’
Because of the photographers who trained and mentored me, I started my professional career miles ahead of where I might have.
The bottom line is: there’s no medal for working the hardest.
A mentor can save you years of heartache and thousands of dollars just because they’ve ‘been there’ and ‘done that.’
My favorite reason to find a mentor is for the impact that’s possible. When you find a mentor that aligns with your values, goals and worldview, the possibility for massive impact in the world increases. A well-matched mentor-mentee relationship creates what I like to call ‘Worldchangers.’
I like to think of myself as a Worldchanger, but I give all the credit to the guidance, inspiration and insights I’ve gained from the mentors in my life, like Jane. At the age of 87, she still spends the majority of her days traveling the world to share her message of passion and hope for the animal kingdom. Incredible.
As a mentor myself, I now gain inspiration from my students inside The Abundance Plan. Many of them have created ways to make an impact in the world through their photography businesses. From planting trees to supporting humanitarian organizations, these photographers are truly changing the world with their vision for good. Not to mention the thriving lives and businesses they have created through our work together inside my signature program!
It’s my honor to be their mentor and to be a part of the ripple effect that happens when one person influences another, and then another.
In Jane, I have found a lifelong mentor, someone who continuously pushes me to forge into unknown and unfamiliar territory. Someone who challenges me to always bring my values and passion with me each step of the way. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
If you’re ready for a business mentor who will challenge, encourage, inspire and push you—I invite you to learn more about my signature program for photographers, The Abundance Plan.
You don’t have to walk through business or life alone. Inside The Abundance Plan, I personally advise, encourage and guide each and every one of my students. And it would be my honor to support you on your journey.
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've spent the past decade capturing love and chasing beauty across the globe, and I believe every story like yours is different and special, and deserves to be told exceptionally.
Drawing on years of experience in the fashion and editorial photography industry, my photographs are graceful, honest and boldly natural, while completely intentional. Whether it’s the opportunity to narrate the retelling of once-in-a-lifetime wedding days, or the ability to communicate issues of global importance, or all the stories in between, I look at photography as the method by which I get to leave the world a little better than I found it.
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