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MAKE YOUR MARK WITH A MENTOR

If you’re climbing your way through the business world, you may have considered trying to find a mentor – but could a single key player really unlock the door to your success?

Entrepreneurs and business people all over the world attribute their success to having a mentor. Sir Richard Branson, for example, has said that “If you ask any successful business person, they will always have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” The idea of building your own success by capitalising on that of another is also thoroughly unpacked in chapter ten of Napoloeon Hill’s world-renowned self-help and business book, Think and Grow Rich.

In this chapter, titled “Power of the Master Mind: the Driving Force”, Hill explains that “The ‘Master Mind’ may be defined as: ‘Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.’” Hill believed that a “Master Mind team” is an essential contributing factor to success, and his book includes several case studies on successful business people who made it to the top by creating connections with those who they admired. In fact, Hill writes,

  • “Analyze the record of any man who has accumulated a great fortune, and many of those who have accumulated modest fortunes, and you will find that they have either consciously, or unconsciously employed the ‘Master Mind’ principle. GREAT POWER CAN BE ACCUMULATED THROUGH NO OTHER PRINCIPLE!”

While there are many factors that determine the success of an individual or company, here are a few reasons why you may want to add a mentor to your bag of tricks:

BUILD YOUR BUSINESS SKILLS

Creating a mentorship relationship requires that you step out of your comfort zone, engage meaningfully with a person you admire professionally and, most importantly, ask for what you want. If you are too afraid to put yourself out there and ask for help from those who can offer it, you will never be able to get where you want to go. Furthermore, as you continuously work with your mentor, you will pick up on the ways in which they carry themselves and go about their business, thus allowing you to polish up on your professionalism.

EXPERIENCE

This is the most obvious reason to have a mentor – this person has already walked the road on which you are travelling. They will be able to guide your choices when you have tough decisions to make, step in if they think that something needs to change, and build your confidence in your own ideas and competencies. It can be tough to accept criticism or change your ways of working, but having a guide by your side will make your path to success much shorter and simpler.

NETWORKING

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and business will always be somewhat influenced by networks and connections. By forming a relationship with a successful, influential and powerful person, you simultaneously strengthen your competitive advantage AND open yourself up to a whole new network of potential mentors, investors, partners and advisors.

FINANCING

While the goal of mentorship is not to raise funds for your business, your mentor may just end up as an investor if they truly believe in your ideas. Additionally, they will be able to advise you on the best funding methods and processes, as well as connect you with other potential investors and financiers. They will also, of course, be able to advise you in the financial management of your business (and even your personal funds) to ensure that you are on the right track and setting yourself up for prosperity.

WHY NOT?

While there are countless perks of having a mentor, the list of drawbacks is almost non-existent… so, what have you got to lose? Of course, both the mentor and the mentee will have to commit to the partnership, meaning that you will need to meet and engage regularly. The mentee will also, most likely, need to relinquish some control in their personal and professional lives in order to open themselves to improvement. However, mentorship is free, fun and highly likely to increase your chances of success. And even if you find that the partnership is mismatched or maybe mentorship isn’t quite for you, you still would have gained a new perspective, learned valuable lessons about the world of business, and received insight into your own ways of working and being – and that is truly priceless.

Want to meet world-class mentors and business leaders?
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HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY BALANCE YOUR WORK & STUDIES

Balancing work and studies can often feel like an extreme sport. Juggling career advancement with a healthy personal life requires thought, consideration, and a great deal of hard work. In recent years, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has found that the ‘occupational phenomenon’ of burnout has become increasingly concerning.

Authors of the 1989 self-help book, Career Burnout: Causes and Cures, Ayala Pines and Elliot Aronson define burnout as “A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.”

If you’re experiencing the following three symptoms, you may be going through burnout:

  1. Exhaustion and energy depletion
  2. Increased mental distance from your job or feelings of negativity and cynicism towards your job
  3. Reduced ability to meet your professional goals and tasks

Source:International Classification of Diseases, 11th revision (ICD-11)

We know that to be a healthy and well-rounded student, worker, and citizen, you have to look at yourself holistically – focusing on both the body and the mind.

Here are our top tips for prioritising your wellbeing while studying and working:

1. Communication Is Key

Try to keep trusted colleagues in the loop about your ongoing emotions and stressors. Stress management expert and US-based clinical psychologist, Dr Eva Stubits, explains how venting may help get negative emotions out of your system. “[Venting] helps take the feelings out from inside of yourself, it helps you to process them,” she explains. “It’s kind of like the pressure cooker analogy: If you don’t open a lid periodically, the steam can build up and cause you to feel even more stressed. If you let it out, it can help you process whatever it is you’re worried about.”

2. Sweat It Out

There’s an overwhelming amount of research that supports the fact that exercise does a world of good for both your body and your mind. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in your body. These exact hormones also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp. Short bursts of exercise can help regulate your sleep patterns, boost your immune system, and also build up mental stamina. When faced with challenging situations, exercise builds up our resilience, helping us cope with stress in a healthy way, rather than resorting to self-destructive habits.

3. Prioritise Your 40 Winks (all 8 hours worth of them!)

Did you know that your brain washes itself while you sleep? Researchers at Boston University have found that during sleep cerebrospinal fluid from your brain and spinal cord wash in and out to get rid of metabolic “trash” and brain waste – a cocktail of potentially toxic proteins that can build up and impair the flow of information between your neurons. This means that regular all-nighters and late nights could potentially impact your long-term memory and cognitive functioning. Sleep also helps fortify your immune system and can aid in regulating your mental health if you struggle with anxiety or depression.

4. Build Healthy Habits

Every job will have its stressors, but what’s essential is finding a way to channel those negative emotions into something healthy and positive. If you can learn to manage your stress effectively in the day-to-day, you can avoid future episodes of burnout in the long-run. Five to ten minutes of meditation and deep breathing during your lunch break can help you to re-centre yourself when everything around you feels chaotic. Other healthy lifestyle habits to consider adopting are journaling, gardening, reading, spending time with loved ones or animals, volunteering, or simply allowing yourself to let it all out.

5. Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries

Close your laptop at 5pm, turn your phone off at night, and remind yourself that you are more than just a cog in the machine. An older version of the International Classification of Diseases, ICD-10, recognised burnout as “problems related to life-management difficulty”. There is a fair amount of truth in this idea. Strict boundaries are key to a good work/life balance. Prioritise your time after hours and your weekends to rest sufficiently so that you can be ready for the day or week ahead. You can only give your best when you are the best version of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

10 October is World Mental Health Day – a day just for you. Take the opportunity to practise self-care, get a referral from your GP to speak to a psychologist, or simply call a friend to vent. Take your health in your own hands and become the best version of yourself.

PRIORITISE YOURSELF WITH GIBS