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You Are a Badass!

mentoring Mar 18, 2021

You may remember that a few years ago, Staples launched an ad campaign where they had a “Easy” button.  The campaign asserts that by shopping at Staples, your life is easier; in fact a male voice comes on to say “That was easy!” when the button is pressed. 

I have a Badass Button.

That’s right, this yellow button sits on my desk and when pressed, it cycles through several phrases;

“You create your reality.”

“You can DO IT!” (in a really high pitched yet encouraging voice!)

“Do what you love.”

The requisite “You are a badass!”

And my personal favorite - 

“Feed fear a suck-it sandwich!”

 

If I recall correctly, the button accompanied a book by Jen Sincero titled You Are a Badass at Making Money.  Clearly, I have not read the book yet, or at least have not mastered its principles, as I am not living on a beach in Mexico while watching my bank account grow (I just revealed a secret fantasy!).  But the button intrigued me right away.  I admit, I love having it on my desk.  It feels like I have a personal cheerleader. I frequently push the button to see which phrase will come up at that moment.  Truthfully, I think the phrases only appear in a given sequence but since I don’t push the button every day, I haven’t committed the sequence to memory so I am surprised each time.  I have discovered something magic about it though -

The button knows just what I need to hear and delivers the right phrase at the right time.  Now this probably isn’t really magic as much as it is my bending my need to fit what is being offered, but I like to feel good so I believe the button knows….

…and isn’t that special?  The BADASS button is a gimmick that makes me feel good – in a temporary and impersonal way.  (You can buy your own button here!) To have something, or even better some ONE to know what you need and offer it to you at just the right time? – now that would be really special.  

What if you had access to someone who could really foster change, accelerate growth, and hold you accountable?   You can have that if you have an effective mentor.  Now, re-read the last part of that sentence “if you have an effective mentor”.  Too many people are engaged in “meet for coffee”  instead of real mentoring.  Or in our pandemic world, avoiding the mentor relationship all together.  To be an effective mentor requires skills that are gained through experiences, that can be shared with and ultimately benefit the mentee/protégé.   That is the power of having an effective mentor.  Mentors can share their wisdom and experiences to help you advance whatever objective you have agreed to. 

Mentoring is a little bit different than coaching – but there is some overlap too.  The biggest difference is that a mentor is typically in your field, has already walked the path that you seek, and can share their experience.  Coaches use different tools to help you remove things that may be holding you back.  A coach may help you feed fear a suck it sandwich while a mentor may help you create your own reality.  Sometimes you get both approaches in one person and sometimes you don’t.  If you don’t have a mentor or a coach, you may want to consider it. This is not a plug for LaunchPoint's services, although we offer this.  It is a plug for you to know yourself and identify your own development goals. Don’t let your goals be driven by some corporate development plan...you know yourself and you alone can choose if, how, and where you will grow and develop.  Others may make suggestions, but you have to do the work. So get to it – there are tons of assessments, groups, books or blogs that offer resources, if you just pause to think about what you need, who you are, and what you want to change. 

When I pause for that exercise, I can’t help but think about a few women that have mentored me.  March is Women’s History Month, so I like to pause and remember my grandmothers.  One was a preachers wife who had five kids by the age of 24.  One was divorced with three children at a time when divorce was scandalous.  I admired them for different reasons while acknowledging that they didn’t have any where near the resources or opportunities that I have today, and yet, they did mentor me.  Their mentoring wasn’t just the way you may expect with teaching me how to make those secret family recipes, but also how to deal with gossip, scrutiny, shame, disappointment.  When I think about them in modern context, I can confidently say that for their time, they were badasses. No one told them any of the things that my magic button tells me, but I am sure that my one grandmother was constantly feeding fear a suck-it sandwich, and the other was constantly training a voice in her head to remind her that she “could do it” when times were so hard for her.  What is your badass self telling you?  Do you need a button or better yet, do you have a mentor?  

In my experience, the mentor:mentee (or protégé) relationship is enhanced when the mentor is skilled in building, managing and ending the relationship.  You don’t want to be stuck in a “meeting for coffee” relationship instead of a mentoring relationship.  The LaunchPoint team has been working to put together online training to help mentors be more effective.  Check out our booklet here to find out if YOU might be a good mentor! 

And always remember, YOU ARE A BADASS! 

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