A Push Will Make You Go
If you're one of those people who hasn't had a traditional mentor-mentee relationship in your career before, say “aye.”
I'm one of those. As a 33-year-old, it does feel like I should've had a meaningful relationship like that at this point my career, but you know what? I’m OK with it. Because ultimately, there have been many influential people in my life, both seasonal and permanent, who were instrumental in my development as a human and a businesswoman.
I've noticed that I am at my best personally and in business when I've managed to cultivate good relationships with experienced business women.
During my first year in Atlanta, I took on a new design client who would eventually become a good friend and informal mentor. Our relationship channeled the vibes of this mentor-to-friend story by Forté Foundation executive director Elissa Sangster.
Myka was the proprietress behind WAX Studio (deemed Atlanta’s best waxing studio by Atlanta Magazine at the time 💁🏾♀) and BUFF Nail Bar. I heard about WAX while I was out getting my network on during a Local Levo event and after some research, decided I’d like to interview the owner as a Ladypreneur We Love.
Her story resonated with me. She was a black woman in her late-30’s who designed and owned a modern-industrial beauty studio in Atlanta’s très trendy Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. She’d attended Spelman College and Parsons School of Design, had lived in Europe, shared my love of vintage clothing and mid-mod interior design, and was a fellow Leo lady with big hair.
She liked the look of the Ladypreneur League website and hired me to redesign the sites for WAX and BUFF.
Through casual work meetings at neighborhood coffee shops and bars with Myka, I learned that I like working with women who are collaborative and have a clear vision. From time-to-time, a work session might end in us speaking tequila-soaked French to each other or me complaining about a guy I was dating (to which she’d reply that she didn’t understand the big deal and that Millennial dating was annoying).
When something negative happened at Ladypreneur League, Myka would provide a well-rounded perspective on the issue shaped by her experiences in different business industries. When I launched Ladypreneur League’s first workshop series, Myka offered her space and expertise as a workshop leader.
The friends and family discount I received during my eyebrow wax appointments was clutch too.
During that time in my life, Myka was my version of Forté's MBALaunch program. Women looking to develop their business skills by getting an MBA can use the program as a mentoring resource for support.
I was connected to Myka by women in my network, so it’s a good idea to start building one early! In addition to providing mentoring resources, Forté's platform can also help young women find mentors to navigate the twists and turns of your career.