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Find a Mentor Today; Don’t Wait

Find a Mentor Today; Don’t Wait

 

Back when I started my career in higher education, I didn’t think about having a mentor, coach, or mastermind. They were not the rage like they are today.

Looking back, I did have those people interspersed in my professional life to guide me with better decision-making, goal setting, and life-balance. They just lacked a title. Probably the most profound influencer for me was the founding board chair of the foundation that I helped launch. It just happened. We started meeting monthly on board related issues because of his position as board chair. Our conversations evolved into his providing me guidance, support, and advice on many leadership and career related matters. He was always available for me and became my sounding board and trusted friend. He was a mentor.

Much has been gained and learned from my mentors as well as coaches and consultants over the years. They asked thoughtful questions, guided me through issues, and offered their unique perspectives. The value added has been tremendous. Here are the first three steps I recommend to finding a mentor.

First, be an advocate for YOU

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Success is continuously refining and improving who we are and how we serve.

Decide now to be your own best advocate, and advocate for yourself. If you are not on a path of growing and expanding, start by intentionally filling your day with activities and people of high frequency. Weed-out people and behaviors that are low frequency. That sounds harsh, but nobody is going to look out after you better than you.

Jim Rohn said, “A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.”

Add high frequency activities and people to your life

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

Set a goal over the next several months to add high frequency people to your circle. Keep doing this and notice a difference in your conversations. The more successful you become, the less time you can afford engaging in menial conversations and “eating bad food.”

Invest more in you and your future. “The best investment you can make is in yourself,” says Warren Buffett.

Actively seek out a mentor

If you don’t have a suitable sounding board, find one. First, observe people with attributes you admire and want to emulate. These could be people with whom you now associate, have watched from afar, heard speak, or have been recommended. Consider individuals whose opinions you value and principles align with yours and with whom you have a good rapport.

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Second, connect with that respected person over coffee to seek their opinion about a new endeavor, project, challenge, or dilemma. Don’t wait for it to just happen. Maybe you want to engage with them further. You may form a mentor-type relationship.

As my yoga teacher Martee says, “It is about progress, not perfection.” We progress with the support of others.

Be who you truly want to be, every single day. Each day that you live consistently with your values and ideals, amazing things will start to happen. You will live at a higher frequency. And you will begin to influence others in the same way.

I never saw myself as a mentor or coach. Then it occurred to me one day that I had enough experience and knowledge and a responsibility to help others in their career journey. I watched a colleague do this, and it inspired me. I became more intentional in guiding others and watching for opportunities to mentor. Maybe you are a mentor and already witness the benefits.

Who is guiding you in your professional journey? Are they genuinely interested in seeing you succeed? If so, they should be pressing you to think critically, challenging you in a way that moves you forward, and holding you accountable.

Consider a group of people (a mastermind), several people (mentors) or one person (a coach or sponsor) who can help advance you professionally. This also spills into your personal life.

*Originally published in the Birmingham Business Journal

 

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Nancy Rieves, Ed.D. of NL Rieves Consulting, LLC is an executive coach and consultant to charitable organizations, assisting them to maximize and sustain funding to support their mission. Reach her at nancy@rievesconsulting.com or visit http://www.rievesconsulting.com

Who Gets What’s On Your Computer?

Who Gets What’s On Your Computer?

How much of your important information: pictures, family ancestry, financial and medical data, business or property ownership, is on your computer or other digital equipment? Is any of it encrypted? What if automatic payments continue after your incapacity or death (and the end of your income) and your agent or personal representative cannot get to the site to make arrangements? Does your power of attorney allow your agent access? Could your agent get into the computer.

Individual privacy and law enforcement are on a collision path, and the commitment of some companies (like Apple) to prevent access by third parties to customer accounts for any reason, makes the fiduciary’s job almost impossible. If have ever you read the lengthy “Terms and Conditions”, which almost everyone automatically accepts to sign on to a new site, it probably prevents anyone else, including fiduciaries, from accessing your account. In addition, federal and state laws prohibit unauthorized access to computers.

There are some online programs (like Facebook and Google) that let you determine what happens if your account has not been used for a certain period (“Inactive Account Manager” or “Legacy Contact”). However, many of us are not aware of them, and therefore, few of us use them.
Additionally, federal and some state laws have tried to address Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets, but they do not completely solve the problem. The Alabama legislature has introduced a bill, which would specify powers and duties of a fiduciary in managing digital assets and for a custodian of digital assets to disclose the assets to a fiduciary, but no action has been taken.

Until a suitable law exists, you should be certain that your own documents give maximum power to your trusted representatives. When you do your estate planning, consider the disposition of your digital assets and be sure that your agent or personal representative will have access to accounts, including granting them express powers in your will, trust and power of attorney. More than ever you should carefully choose whom you appoint to handle these matters, and who the successor will be.

Ann R. Moses is President at Moses & Moses, P.C.
MosesPC.com

Women in Business: Beth Nigri Fitness Center

The path to getting healthy looks different for everyone. So The Fitness Center never treats two of its clients the same way.

Vic Nigri started The Fitness Center in 1994 to provide one-on-one personal training and overall health and nutrition services. At the time, his wife Beth Nigri was a special education teacher with Birmingham City Schools, but she joined her husband’s business in 2003 and provides evaluation and nutrition services for clients along with marketing for the business.

The key to a successful health plan, Beth Nigri said, is setting goals that are reasonable for each person’s abilities and finding out what will motivate them enough to stick with the plan.

“None of us are perfect and we have to realize that, but at the same time we have to learn to make healthier choices,” Beth Nigri said. “Making those healthier choices makes a huge difference in the quality of your life.”

Several of The Fitness Center’s trainers have been part of the team for a long time. That includes manager David Reed assistant manager John Crowder, who have worked at The Fitness Center for 20 years and 17 years, respectively.

Since many of the trainers and clients have been with The Fitness Center for so many years, Beth Nigri said it feels a lot like a family, so clients enjoy being around them and are more likely to stay accountable. Increasing their physical health also helps The Fitness Center
clients handle stress and become more self-confident. Clients know The Fitness Center trainers genuinely care and want what’s best for them.

Web: thefitnesscenter.org
Call: 205-870-1121

Annette Springer, CEO

1) What do you love most about owning your own business?

The buck stops here!  Every day there is always something new and decisions to be made.  It is always an easier task to make that decision when you have very dedicated and smart people working to provide the answer to you.

2) What has been the most challenging?

Being a small family-owned business is sometimes challenging when we’re in competition with large corporations that have multiple locations.  That challenge just makes us work harder. Recruiting experienced service technicians is also challenging.  The service industry requires more technical knowledge now than just mechanical requirements.

3) Tell us something no one probably knows about you?

I was fortunate to have both of my grandmothers live to the age of 99.  Both independent and strong women!

4) How has AWIB helped you?

The speakers we have at our AWIB luncheons have been so informative.  If you don’t take something away from the speakers back to your business then you just haven’t been listening!    Although it is a business group we have so much fun and make lifelong friends.