In the wedding industry it can sometimes seem like the best information is hidden; almost like a secret society.
Many new and soon-to-be wedding planners actively look for a mentor whom they can reach out to for guidance and help in launching and starting a wedding planning business. And maybe you’ve gone this route, too.
Inside this Episode
A mentor is described as someone with experience who guides and advises another. The ideal mentor is someone who truly wants to help you grow as a professional wedding planner.
The person on the receiving end of this advice and guidance is known as a protégé or mentee (isn't that a strange word?).
A Few Mentor Pointers…
- Working with a mentor is a private 1-on-1 relationship.
- It's possible to have more than one mentor. Maybe one person is in the wedding industry and the other person is not.
- Are you a person who is truly willing to take advice and also willing to withstand criticism? Remember, it's your mentor's role to point out where you're going wrong.
- Looking for a mentor is similar to dating. There has to be chemistry. Do you both click?
- Be prepared to lay out what you're looking for and hoping to accomplish from a wedding planner mentor. What are your goals? Be very specific. This way your mentor can determine beforehand whether or not your timeline is in synch with theirs.
- Mentors aren't limited to a certain radius from your home base. And, don't expect local and experienced wedding planners to welcome the idea of mentoring you with open arms!
- Mentors don't always have to have more experience than you (although most do). If someone else has traits that you currently don't possess but need, even with limited experience in the wedding planning industry, this person may be the ideal person to guide you (i.e. mentor you)
And, Do you Even Need a Mentor?!
Alternatives to a wedding planner mentor include:
- An informal board of advisers. Schedule a group session with a 4 or 5 people, with varied backgrounds, who sincerely want to help you.
Arrange to meet, maybe, each quarter. Provide lunch or dinner and share the same things I mentioned earlier, your goals.
- An accountability or mastermind group. Similar to the informal board of directors except in this instance you get to take turns being a mentor, too. You're receiving and also providing advice to each member of the group – basically trading ideas.
Each person is allotted a certain amount of time to share while the others in the group listen and then provide advice. Knowing that you have to ‘present' to your accountability group usually pushes you into first gear.
Whether you opt for a board of advisers or you form an accountability group, select individuals who display traits that you admire and possibly aspire to have yourself.
Put it Out There!
Let family and friends know that you're looking for a wedding planner mentor and break things down by being specific.
Once you find a mentor, be ready to implement what's been suggested to you. Not implementing any ideas made by your mentor is a HUGE waste of their time! Remember you came to this person for 1-on-1 advice. Mind your manners and whatever you do, don’t take this person for granted.
Mentoring shouldn’t be an indefinite commitment. Decide on the duration for the mentoring sessions. 90 days of mentoring is fair, perhaps, meeting twice a month.
If your mentor request results in a ‘no', don't use that as an indicator to stop asking. Keep going!
Just know that if you're unable to find a wedding planner mentor, you may need to pay for coaching and consulting, instead. If someone offers guidance for a fee and this is a person you believe you NEED to communicate with, see if paying for consulting and/or coaching might be an option.