Giving Back To The Community - Everybody Wins

As a business owner, giving back to your community is such an integral part of who we are and who we should be as entrepreneurs. It’s almost as though there should be an unwritten rule about giving back in the entrepreneur handbook (of course there is no such book). Although, I believe it really shouldn’t be “unwritten” and there really should be a handbook or guide of do’s and don’ts but that’s a whole other topic.
A couple of nights ago I had the esteemed pleasure of attending an incredible event. The event was put on by a woman named Katia Millar, a woman to whom I was informally introduced by a mutual friend a few months ago. She started a meet up group called Positive Fabulous Women in 2008 and let me tell you, she is positive AND nothing short of fabulous. What this woman has done for thousands of women across the GTA and her community is astounding. Her network of female members, followers and fans is 8000 plus and continually growing. She organizes monthly events with guest speakers, live twitter chats and webinars for her members. These members donate door prizes from their business, whether it be tangible prizes or one on one mentoring sessions from their individual businesses.
These events are held with the purpose of women getting together to network, discuss their businesses, goals, aspirations and most importantly build each other up, support and empower one another. Not only are they members of this network but they all give back to the community in one way or another, whether it be through mentorship or simply what they do as entrepreneurs on a daily basis. It truly is inspiring to be in their presence.
As an attendee and being one of the only men in the entire room, I have to say it was a little intimidating but the experience was without a doubt, three of the most inspiring hours of my life. What an incredible experience, listening to some of these women share their stories of building their businesses from the ground up. Sharing their successes as well as some of their failures because we all know, without failure there is no success. It was truly a magical evening. If any of my female readers are thinking about going into business or may already be a seasoned entrepreneur, I highly recommend you go to one of the Positive Fabulous Women events, I can guarantee you will walk away filled with inspiration! It will be 3 of the most valuable hours of your career. I honestly wish I could attend these sessions but sadly they are restricted to women only.

I strongly encourage all business owners to donate their time to some community cause or event, it will leave you feeling fulfilled. I know for me personally donating my time as a photographer for the event the other night, it did exactly that for me and I will definitely be doing more of that in the future.
I would just like to say thank you to Katia Millar for allowing me to be part of and the brief glimpse into her incredible world that is Positive Fabulous Women.

Mentorship - It Has It's Priveleges

Mentorship has got to be one of the greatest things ever. What else allows you to pick the brains of experts in your particular field of work or interest for FREE?

I mean first things first, you have to find someone willing to mentor you and secondly someone that has the time. The latter is probably the most difficult part as it would seem to me that everyone appears to be getting busier and busier in their lives which doesn’t allow for much time to mentor someone. That being said, it’s not a free ride, you have to work at it just like anything else you want to succeed at in life. It certainly is great, not to mention incredibly helpful to have someone to turn to with questions, inquiries or advice.

I have had a little bit of experience in this particular area with regards to my own photography career in the past year. It has been great having a couple of different people that I can reach out to in order to obtain knowledge through their expertise. Now I wouldn’t call it full on mentorship by these two gentlemen but they have given me access to their individual wealth of knowledge on photography and business when they are able to make the time for me. Believe me, I appreciate this help more than any words could ever express. The knowledge I have gained from these mentor sessions has been extremely invaluable to me.

With regards to my particular situation when it comes to mentorship, well, let’s just say it is a little unorthodox. In describing it that way, I mean we usually do quarterly phone calls or skype meetings because that is what works for my mentors and me. Not ideal by any means yet still effective and it works for all involved parties so it’s a win win for everyone.

Whatever your career choice, interest, hobbies or aspirations may be, if the opportunity should present itself or you wish to seek out a mentor, I highly recommend and advise it. You will be that much wiser for making that choice and to be honest, it doesn’t cost you a dime for mentorship!

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