Mentorship is moulding

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For five years, EXPOSURE photo design publishing (pdp) has been a solo journey. I initiate many of the projects that come to fruition. As much as I believe in advertising, I have only put my first dollars into a paid campaign recently. I make decisions based on intuition, internet research, college business course material, and great advice I have sought from trusted colleagues.

First, I set up a meeting over coffee with Bill Given, in 2006. He was the only creative entrepreneur I knew of at that time. I shared my intentions of owning a photography and graphic design business and asked if he had any advice for me. Bill is a leader, then owner of Greater Than Graphic & Web and City Counselor, and now Mayor of Grande Prairie. Next, I sought out a chat with Doug Hare, Associate Publisher of the Daily Herald Tribune, in 2008. I wanted to know what skills I needed to acquire to become a publisher. In 2009 I spoke with, recently deceased and greatly missed, Editor-in-Chief, Fred Rinne, of the DHT newspaper. Again I was looking to focus my efforts. Fred suggested I look into page building. I loved his advice and love layout design. I never would have developed the idea that I could create books without Fred’s advice. Lastly, I took a chance by emailing Margot Austin in 2012, a Twitter connection and then Senior Design Editor of House & Home magazine. I was planning the PEI food book and knew she would have marvelous advice on a few different aspects of the build.

Fast forward to this spring. I had an amazing experience listening to a webinar, hosted by Melinda Edwards, of http://www.melindaedwards.co . Hers was an ad on Facebook that I signed up for. She spoke of entrepreneurship, self confidence, psychological dynamics, resiliency, being down with the odds against you and still finding your way to success. To say I felt aligned was an understatement. Something about Melinda made me want to reach out and thank her. There have been a few times in my life when I’ve felt truly compelled to do something, and writing to her was one of those times.  I felt I would greatly benefit from learning from this lady. She straight-talks, she curses, this girl keeps it real! I sent my appreciation for sharing her story, what she said really resonated with me, and that I wished to keep her course in mind for the future.  Talk about surprised when I heard back from her. I felt touched that she felt touched by my words. But not only that, she wished to work with me.

Over five sessions, Melinda has Skyped with me for an hour at a time. After each session, she has assigned me three action steps to perform over the following week. They’ve been perfect for me! The actions never feel overwhelming or daunting, so I never put them off. I was excited to do each one because I recognized their relevancy and knew how they would bridge to my goals; these were steps that made so much sense, but I never would have thought of doing, myself.

Care to know what some of her action steps were? Connect with me to start the conversation. Better yet, connect with Melinda and seek her out for your own mentoring – http://www.melindaedwards.co (site in progress) and sign up for her newsletter.

Entrepreneurs all have goals and dreams and know how to do their jobs, but can sometimes lack the support and guidance provided by having a team. Always know that you can ask for help.

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Coach, conduit, curator

Am I a coach?

I think I am. “Coaching is a useful way of developing people’s skills and abilities. It can also help deal with issues and challenges before they become major problems.” Encouragement is one of my greatest skills. I guide people, entrepreneurs, to explore their goals and ambitions. I familiarize myself with their niche to provide insight, better help them help themselves self-promote effectively, define and attract their target market, to grow. I find satisfaction in helping others improve. Effectiveness. Performance. Potential.

Am I a conduit?

I help people articulate their ideas. “Someone or something that is used as a way of sending something (such as information) from one place or person to another”. I’m open to inner guidance, and share it when compelled. Many associates will have heard me utter ” I just had a thought…”, then I elaborate and we go from there. I get into the mind frame of their quest. The right conversations happen between us; the right questions are asked, and they see answers and solutions for themselves. Dreams. Passion. Joy.

Am I a curator?

“The act of curating, of organizing and maintaining a collection of artworks or artifacts.” When I look through an assortment of things, my mind’s eye starts to group what belongs together. Yet, I can also feel what is missing. This is most helpful with graphic design and desktop publishing projects. Lists, images, paragraphs, directories, artwork, interior design, makeup artistry, it doesn’t matter what I look at, I start to pull pieces together that share some element. Gather. Categorize. Organize.