Friday, 6 August 2010

Mentees and Mentors...

…Hushed sounds from the stream nearby, dimmed lights and the constant chatter from fellow diners characterised the evening.
Making good my promise to T, I had met him at his Hendon Central office. He had had one of those days and was feeling very discouraged. I wasn’t usually worried about him, T was strong, more than your typical dose of the average 34 year old, owned his own business and grossed £200,000 mark annually (after the tax man’s cut); his lifestyle spoke for itself. We’d had worse conversations (in my opinion!); once he’d called me on a Monday morning;

Ade: 'hey' 

T: 'Hi', he’d returned very solemnly 
Ade: 'What up, you?'
T: 'Just lost £8000' on the stock market
Ade: 'What?'
T: 'Yup! hey I guess it evens out huh?', made £13,000 last month. Damn! Still hurts though! 
Ade: 'Oh! that’s not too bad then…'
T: Anyways! How are you?, He chirped)

The conversation went on as though he’d just mentioned that he’d misplaced a bag of ‘maltesers’. I wonder fleetingly what age I’d be able to absorb an £8,000 loss. Hmm!
This time it was different...very different; whatever was going on had left him somewhat distraught. His words were ‘I feel like packing it all in and walking away’. That concerned me predominantly because he was clearly questioning himself.
I gently reflected on what I knew about T, he was determined, driven and had a penchant for the finer things of life. He had been growing his business actively for the last few years (approximately 6), and I had a very vague idea of where he was headed in his mind. But I knew he’d get frustrated, his current network was simply not big enough, (in my opinion), he’d grown it to the point where he alone could, and now needed a fresh pair of hands and eyes.
I arrived at the metal gates sheltering his office at 19:07….

Ade: ‘What up? I’m spending an hour discussing you, your business and where it’s headed and then you’re taking me to dinner’. I greeted

T: ‘Why do you always have to demand, what’s wrong with asking? You look very nice by the way! ’ He retorted
Ade: ‘Whatever! Thanks! My time’s precious. I need the rest’, I replied, unsure as to what question/statement I had responded to first.

Agreeing and disagreeing a million times over the next hour, we eventually  reached a calm compromise on what  level he was currently operating at, where he was headed, clarified his vision and thought up new ways to breach the gap between those two distinct stages. T was going to network with more relevant people and find a mentor ( I was in an absolutely horrific state of shock when i realised one of MY mentors didn’t have a mentor!!!... some teacher huh? :)) .

Mentors, for me, were crucial, they were there to guide you, introduce you to new circles, see further than you’d ever be able to (at least, within their field of expertise), it was a no brainer to engage in the almost parasitic relationship.
The mentee being the parasite as well as the bigger beneficiary, of course. It’s an almost divine opportunity to draw from tried and tested resources, techniques and contacts; all you have to do, really, is be willing to learn, be taught and be accountable to the mentor. Fantastic!
T thought I was a great 'sounding board' and had some fresh ideas. I disagreed, I had simply taken him to where I was; the exciting start of my business, one of the many facets to my current journey. All he needed was to be reminded.

Dinner! We embarked on the half hour drive to Formosa Street. I had called the Water Way just before we left in a hurried attempt to reserve a table.

‘Oh we’ve got nothing till 22:00, but you’re welcome to try our first come, first served section’

T can sometimes be a bit of a ‘Diva’ ( he was being an uber twat of a diva at this stage - 2 mega divas, not cute! as I'm a diva amongst divas), he really wanted to go somewhere where we definitely had a reservation, but I won! (diva extraordinaire!) We did go, winged it and got a pretty cool table! The gods were ruling in my favour yet again! It was beautiful! Great food, (They do the best ever ‘char grilled squid), great company, superb conversation,more importantly,T relaxed and had fun (he’d been there once but not eaten)…
Towards the end of the night, his  phone rang. He politely excused himself and took the call…

Wow, what a day! Just signed up a new client, he’s transferring £20,000 into my account now, didn’t think he was going to do it today!’ The golden, golden smile broke through the stress lines etched on his face only  a few hours ago as he related an abbreviated version of the call he'd just taken.
You could tell he'd once again being reminded of the reasons he had chosen to run his own wealth management consultancy…
I smiled… again… chuffed, grateful (my time had been well worth it!)… I neatly tucked away another memory  and filed it for safekeeping! As I knew for certain that I too would some day be able to absorb an £8,000 hit… 'mentees were indeed as important as mentors afterall!'  I silently thought...

ten minutes ago... Cute Guy Alert :) - Tall... very tall, Jesse Eisenberg, indie - type, shoulder length, dirty blond curly hair, tattoo neatly done (inner arm - read Truth) made a pair of skinny jeans and a grey rock n roll, loosely fitted (don't ask - best description I've got) t-shirt look ultra sexy! hmm! he decided to get a coffee while I was getting one (after smiling at me twice)... The goddess in me took over (i did try to quieten her... I promise!)... but she asked his name and introduced herself (aaargghhh!!! she totally embarrasses me most times) ... he played along pretty well entertaining her charm!!! Blissss!!! (hey! its Friday, got my weekend head on already- Blame that!) ;)!... Yet one more thing to look forward to on Monday Morning! (the very hot D!) Yaaaay!!!.... *sigh!* I finally get paid Monday (victory dance), would probably give my darling bank manager a well deserved cornorary! hehe!!

*I'm terrible... I know...*


Anonymous said...

Mentors and menteess...refreshing piece for me on why we truly need to have mentors in our lives.
Have an awesome weekend!

Morgs... said...

oh, thanks for the blog comments.
lets be friends?

inStilettos said...

@Fish - Thanks
Morgan.. definitely! x

Dipo Olasemo said...

I like your writing style..
its pretty captivating... i almost felt like i was reading a best seller.....

T.Notes said...

Gosh you write well!
N i'm 1st on IVANNA. I smell something brewing over there.

inStilettos said...

@ Dipo... Thanks! Kind Kind words
@ T-notes: you're my biggest fan! Thanks.! Appreciate it... About Ivanaa
, Not sure I'll have the time.... *sigh*