After an attending an event in Los Angeles, and watching too many episodes of “Shark Tank,” It came to me that I don’t have any women mentors in business. As a business women, I found this to be quite a revelation. I thought through all the people that I have run to read their books, listen to them speak, or would give my eye teeth to know personally, and not one was a woman.
After tweeting out my revelation on Twitter, I found that I was not alone. Other women had male mentors as opposed to other women. Why is that? Well, it can be narrowed it down to five reasons.
1. Some are closed to mentoring unless they are being paid to do it or refuse to mentor other people at all. I have no problem with that idea, but there is only so much money to go around. As for not wanting to mentor others, that is a very real problem. Maybe it’s time, their own feelings of inadequacy, looking at you as a competitor, or they are just not into sharing the wisdom. Regardless of the reason, it is a huge closed door.
2. The jealousy of women. Sadly this is one of the worst flaws in some women. People in this group tend to be jealous of successes instead of celebrating them with you. Who has time for that? This points out a self-esteem issue on their part, and I don’t need to play that game.
3. No results. Anyone can hang a shingle and call themselves anything, but the proof is in the results. Too many women I was around talked big, but had nothing to show for all the talk. They could not point to the bottom line (money) and show why they should be a mentor.
4. Too lady like. This may just be my sales background talking, but I noticed an aversion to sales by most women in business. They wanted the easy sales, not the ones where you had to talk to people. They attended seminars on how to not sell if it was not within their “values.” My thought was and is, that is what business is. As the movie “Boiler Maker” points out, someone is being sold all the time, it’s either you or them. This does not mean I wanted to be mentored by a Leona Helmsley, but by someone with a little bit of guts to go for more than the average rent money each month.
5. Limited thinking. My goals are large, and most of the women in business which I encountered thought small. They were comfortable with that all called it a “lifestyle” choice. What that means, I have no clue.
It all comes down to this, a mentor should be or have been where the mentee wants to aim, and if they are bogged down in petty stuff, small thinking, or holding out, they can’t get that person where they want to go. Another thought is that people can’t lead you where they have never been.