Ever wonder how working with a mentor could help your business grow? Hear about the power of mentorship from a team of mentors, mentees, and small business experts.
Angela Moultrie: (00:12)
I'm Angela Moultrie, the president of Mid-Atlantic region at Santander and on behalf of the bank, I want to welcome you and thank you all for joining us today. Can I just tell you? Wow, wow, wow, this is absolutely an important topic and I'm glad that you made the time to really hear more about it. It's one of those things that can really make a difference. Quite frankly, catapult, you know, you and the success of your business and here at Santander we are committed to helping small businesses be successful. Whether that means tools to help streamline cash management, financing to support growth or fresh ideas to help plan for the future, and so forums like this make a really big difference because you can take a small amount of time, really hear some best practices, think differently about maybe your approach to your business and how you want to develop yourself. So today's webinar shines a spotlight on mentorship and its potential to help transform your business. And again, we're here to help you truly do that, transform your business. Whether you're looking for advice to tackle day-to-day challenges, someone to help you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, or even someone to hold you the boss accountable. That's one of the hardest pieces right, when you're the boss. How do you hold yourself accountable? So working with the small business mentor is an idea worth exploring. To do that, we’ve assembled a panel to offer their perspectives on mentorship and dig into some of the details on how it can work for you. So we thought long and hard about a great panel, and I have to tell you, I feel that we're going to deliver that today. So joining us for our discussion, we have Dr. Candida Brush. Doctor Brush, the Franklin W. Olin Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship at Babson College. She is well known for her pioneering research in women's entrepreneurship and her numerous scholarly publications and appearances in popular media. So what I would tell you is, if you haven't had a chance, Google search it, there are so many great things. And I'll tell you; you're really going to be pleased and excited to hear what she has to say today. We have Giselle Georgie, who is a credit analyst at Santander and recently became a small business mentor through our cultivate small business program, which we will touch on in a moment. And we're very proud of that program. It really makes a difference. And I think that Georgie, Giselle Georgie will be able to walk you through some of those aspects as well. Donna Cleary is a commercial banking executive at Santander with the experiences both a mentor and a mentee. So she sat on both sides’ folks. Like Giselle, Donna serves as a small business mentor in the cultivate program. So you can see a theme here, this cultivate program is making a difference. And last and certainly not least we have Abbie Gellman, who is a chief who is the chef and owner of Culinary Nutrition Studio. Abbie has participated in the cultivate program as a mentee, so to learn more about her business, visit culinarynutritionstudios.com. So I just want to repeat that again, culinarynutritionstudio.com all one word. So before we get into discussion, it actually may make some sense for us to spend a minute or two on the cultivate program. As you've heard, I've referenced it, you may have even seen some pieces on it. So I'd like to give an opportunity to Dr. Brush, who can maybe tell us a bit more about this and if the true mission of the program, so I'm going to turn that over to you, Candida.
Candida Brush: (03:52)
Thank you so much, Angela. I'm thrilled to be part of this event today so thank you for the opportunity to participate. I'm also the faculty director for the Cultivate Small business program. This program we're in our 6th cohort., we're just wrapping that up. The 7th cohort will launch in the spring. We started with 30 entrepreneurs in 2017 and we've worked with up to 300 at this point. The program is designed to help food entrepreneurs build and sustain their businesses. We have a wonderful group of partners; Babson is the lead on the curriculum and provides the faculty who teach in the program. But we also partner with ICIC and Commonwealth Kitchen. It’s a 100% online program. It is 12 weeks, and it works on 2 levels. It works on the level of the individual entrepreneur where we help to develop the entrepreneurs, capabilities and skills and confidence as they learn how to work on their business and not necessarily in the business. And then it also works on the business level where we help entrepreneurs to determine appropriate growth options to move forward and they evaluate and assess those options. They pick one and then they create an action plan and do a final presentation. At the conclusion of the program, they have the opportunity to compete for a capital grant, which is again sponsored by Santander Bank. It is a wonderful program; I absolutely love being part of this program and I'm grateful to Santander for launching this and supporting it for all these years. So, back to you Angela.
Angela Moultrie: (05:31)
You know what? Thank you so much. Every time I hear it, I get more and more excited because it truly is making a difference, it's a wonderful program, I have the opportunity to participate, and so I just want to encourage others to learn more about it. You know, share with others, and again, it's an amazing program. Thank you, Dr. Candida, for all of the wonderful work you've done. You truly are committed, and I see the difference you're making. So to get us started into our actual webinar, and we're going to walk through some of the aspects related to mentorship. I did think it would be appropriate to start with the polling question because the goal here is to get you all engaged and involved. Again, this session is for you. I'm going to help you just understand how we're going to look at today. There's four major topics and we'll cover those. You'll get to hear from our panelists. The first is going to be on the value of the mentorship, the second will be helping small businesses, and then the third will be finding a mentor. The 4th will be working with the mentor. So we broke that out again, very intentional and making sure that you leave with some of the actionable steps. So to get started today for our poll, I want to see if you guys could please participate here. You can see it displayed on the screen and if you don't see it it's going to pop up in just a second and I'm going to ask if you can start to answer some of the questions and let's see what type of response we get. Let me just start off with the question. Have you ever worked with a small business mentor? 25% of you said yes. So that's great. We got a start, but 75% shared that the answer was no. So you know when I see it, those are interesting results. I have some thoughts on it, but again I want to hear from our panel. So why don't I start with Dr. Candida, can you share what your thoughts as you see that?
Candida Brush: (07:21)
Well, this is a higher percentage of people that have not worked with a mentor than I would’ve expected. And again, I know that as entrepreneurs, there are fewer formal mentoring programs. I mean, mentoring programs tend to be formal, informal programs. If you're working inside a business a lot of times there are formal programs where you are actually given a mentor and you have certain expectations, and it's designed to help mentor. But as an entrepreneur, it must be more difficult for you to find those kinds of programs, both either formal or informal. So I'm a little surprised that it's as high as it is. I would have expected it to be closer to maybe 60%/50% that have not used, seen a mentor. I don't know. I'd be curious to know what the other panelists have to say, Angela.
Angela Moultrie: (08:10)
Sure. And you know, Abbie, Donna, Giselle. Anything that you would add as you see those results?
Donna Cleary: (08:17)
Yes, I think my take on it is that some people like consider a mentor or like a formal mentor. But I think if you if you look to the question and then you answered it in the way of have you ever had someone that you go to for advice? It doesn't have to be a formal mentor, or you don't have to call them a mentor. And like how I view mentorship is advocacy. So somebody that gives you that like little push forward along the way and that's support or that additional confidence you need to take that next step. I'm sure like there's a lot more than 25% of people who have people like that and their lives and that's what's really like mentoring is more advocacy, I think. And if we re-ask the question, I think that percentage would be higher.
Angela Moultrie: (09:05)
You know, Donna, I have to tell you, this is an active group. I don't know if you see, but questions are already coming in. I love your response. I love how interactive this is to begin. So I'm going to just take a step back, make sure I get everyone on the same page because this team is rocking and rolling. The first thing that I want to share is that you guys are awesome. You joined; you made a commitment to this. We also want to thank you for pre submitting some of the questions. So what we try to do is incorporate some of the questions that were raised we've incorporated into the panel questions, but we also received some that may be more bank related or specific to your business and our commitment is to follow up with you on that. So I want to make sure you're getting the most out of this session and also the time you took to prepare. So we want to let you know that. And with that, I'm going to go ahead and jump right into the panel because some of these things are already coming up in the responses and I want to make sure everyone is on board. So if you have a pen, paper, a tablet, or something to record get ready because this is going to be a great session. So the first one I do want to go back just a bit on the value of the mentorship and really thinking through it. So you know, Doctor Brush based on your experience, why should a small business leader consider working with a mentor?
Candida Brush: (10:27)
Yeah, great question. So I think that there are a couple of reasons. First of all, small businesses tend to have challenges and a lot of times you don't have anybody to help advise you or to be a sounding board for what you might do. And also mentors can help provide connections and can help provide advice. They can also help you to stay motivated to come up with a way to move forward on whatever goals you may have for your business and also your personal development, because a lot of mentoring, it works again on 2 levels. It works on the business level where you're trying to sustain and grow your business, but also you want to develop as a leader and so a mentor can help you with both of those aspects.
Angela Moultrie: (11:20)
You know, you just brought up a really important point that I just want to draw out for a bit. You know, businesses will go through different life cycles. And so choosing that right time to actually engage with the mentor, is there any advice you would give on when is the right time to do that? Is it ever too late? Is it too early? What's your thoughts on that?
Candida Brush: (11:39)
Absolutely not. I think mentors are right for any time in a business in the early startup stage, it might be a different kind of mentor that you need someone to help you launch the business and figure out how to acquire the resources. And so you want somebody with launching experience at the startup stage. If your business is more mature, you may want somebody who has maybe industry expertise or coaching expertise, someone who's done it before. So different mentors at different times in your life cycle and. I'll mention too, you can have different kinds of mentors. You can have a peer mentor, someone who is an exact kind of doing what you're doing, and you can mentor each other, or you can have someone who's more senior with more expertise. And sometimes you can even have a junior mentor, maybe somebody who's maybe more technologically sophisticated that can help you with certain kinds of things in your business. So different kinds of mentors, peer mentors, junior, senior mentors, etcetera.
Angela Moultrie: (12:38)
Thank you for really clarifying that because I do think it's important to think about when is the right time, what's the type of mentor and how you might engage it and utilize that relationship. So thank you for that. Abbie, we're going to come over to you. What has been the most helpful part of having a mentor for your business?
Abbie Gellman: (13:00)
So for me, you know, if you're a small business owner, you're often on your own and we might get in the weeds a little bit. So I found having a mentor super helpful as far as being able to talk about bigger picture. Having someone with an outside perspective be able to actually see what was going on. You know the forest for the trees and all of that and actually have someone to talk to those bigger ideas about and maybe things that I was kind of not seeing because I was here. Be able to help me kind of broaden my view and think about different alternatives and options and other things that we may have been talking about.
Angela Moultrie: (13:49)
You know, that's really powerful because they do think we all need someone to help us sometimes pull ourselves out of the weeds. I mean, that's great work. And I think that's the spirit of the entrepreneur. But at the same time, keeping a line of sight to the bigger picture, the vision. Where do you want to take things? It's always great to have someone support you with that. So thank you for sharing. Donna and Giselle as mentors. What's in it for you? Why do you do it? What gets you excited about doing this?
Donna Cleary: (14:18)
For me and as I mentioned like as I think back on my career from when I joined as an analyst, same as Giselle in the credit trading program, 20 years ago now, I had so much help along the way. I think maybe being a woman in some ways like I didn't have like that confidence sometimes to go forward. And when I think about every promotion or every job that I applied for along the way there was somebody else that had always encouraged me and said Donna, you should go for this like you're you'd be well capable of doing this and that feeling that I need to pay that forward I think is really what like I get out of that and being there to give that confidence to somebody else and giving them that will push up the ladder and helping them along the way. And that's really what I get from it.
Angela Moultrie: (15:12)
Thank you for sharing that and it's wonderful when you have that voice of encouragement. Sometimes things are difficult, and you need that, that little push to just get you over the edge and then you know what? Sometimes when you're flying high, it's also great to have that voice of encouragement. So you can use it at different times. So you know what, let's also make sure we hear from Giselle. Giselle, your thoughts.
Giselle Georgi: (15:32)
Yeah. So I have to agree with Donna. It’s really nice to be able to pay it forward and I'm younger, I'm newer to my career and so I'm very well acquainted with mentorship, having a mentor and so it's nice and it's interesting to kind of be on the other side of that right and have something to offer. And also connection is the name of the game. I mean anyone in business development will tell you if you don't have connections you don't have a business, right? So this is a way for us and with these sort of like tailored match programs like cultivate small business, you're able to I think. More likely, develop a genuine long-lasting relationship that if you had just went to a networking event. And lastly, it's helped me gain a new perspective which is super valuable. It's a really good exercise to do, you know, intellectually, to put yourself in someone else's shoes and consider you know how to gain a competitive advantage in an industry that you maybe formally did not have any experience in.
Angela Moultrie: (16:38)
Well, that's great. And you know, thank you. Actually it's a great transition into our second section which is actually helping small businesses because you know this is what we're in it for, right? We want to stay committed. We want to see our small businesses thrive, flourish, and grow. But we know there's going to be hiccups and challenges and we want to be able to support. So I do think this would be a great time to maybe hear from all of you what are some of the specific ways that a mentor can help a small business leader and I really call out the point of a leader because it's one thing to run it every day and we all may aspire to be leaders. But are we conscious of some of the efforts and work that we're doing to truly be the leader that we need to be for our business? So for poll 2, you guys can all see it displayed, but I'm going to read the question just in case. If you have to pick one of the following areas where mentor could help your small business, which would it be? So financial management, HR, the hiring, the benefits, people related issues, day-to-day operations, marketing, or long-term planning? OK, so it looks like the top responses are financial management, marketing, and long-term planning. So you know Donna, just coming back to you, when you see that what's your initial reaction to the responses from the from the folks on the webinar?
Donna Cleary: (18:06)
Yes. And I think I'm a little surprised at the responses I think I mean, so my job and prior to the current one which I just changed, when I was a mentor was the head of underwriting for the Commercial Bank. So as part of that very much focused on the financials and putting the business plans together. So this is interesting because I did think the financial management would be a higher percentage and some of this is strategic actually, which Abby and I and Giselle also when we worked through and a lot of it was more strategic. So these are very interesting results and what I would like just to mention as well like you know as your as Santander as your bank, we are here also to be a mentor to you and every day we look we see financials coming in and we deal with small businesses. So always make sure like that you do reach out to your banker, your advisor at Santander because that is a resource that that is available to you and it's free of charge and this is our bread and butter and we're here to help. So that's I guess that was my take on it, but then that's my head of underwriting hat on where I look at the credit and we give out the loans. So yeah, interesting.
Angela Moultrie: (19:21)
That's an interesting one. You know, Doctor Candida Brush, when I when I think about some of the webinars have joined for your cultivate small business program. Some of these certainly rise to the top of the list. What's your what's your thoughts when you see some of these?
Candida Brush: (19:38)
Well, I guess my surprise was there's nothing on HR here and hiring people or, you know, promoting people, delegating, you know, training, etcetera. So that was I was expected there to be some responses there. But when you think about financial management, I think there's two things in this kind of ties to one of the questions in the chat. So there's financial management and how to manage the finances, but then there's also finding money to grow your business. So there's a kind of two different buckets and I know one of the questions in the chat was what a mentor help with finding funding or future funding support for the business and the answer is probably yes. The mentor could help with that, but again, it may be that you know if the mentor has expertise in a network in that area, so your mentor needs to be kind of targeted to the area that you want to work on your business. So if you need help with finance and raising money, then you're probably going to look for somebody with the financial expertise, somebody who's grown a business before or somebody who works in that area. If you need help with marketing, you're going to want to find somebody who's got expertise in the marketing area. So what you need help with should help guide your search towards a mentor. Know we're going to talk about that in a minute, but I just thought I would make that connection.
Angela Moultrie: (20:57)
You know, actually it's perfect because that is exactly where we're going with it. So when you think about some of the relationships you've had, you know whether it was leading a program or just helping small businesses find that connection with the mentor, what are some of the specific ways that you found the small business? Uh, you know, a mentor being able to help the small business leader. So I really like where you're taking us around that people aspect because leadership and people, they go hand in hand.
Candida Brush: (21:33)
Yeah, I was just as you were talking. I was reflecting on one of my former students that I actually did some mentoring for. He runs a vending machine business in the Detroit area, and he was in the process of expanding the business. He had a couple million in sales, had about 17 employees, but he had never had official job descriptions for his employees. And so he was at a point where he needed to start opening a second location. He needed to take his current employees and allocate them to two different locations, and he was completely unsure of how to approach that, so this kind of gets back to the HR people management part and so I asked I said do they have job descriptions? He said no. I said well, why don't you just have each employee take a few minutes and write down what they are doing, what they are not doing and what they would like to do and use that as a starting point. And so he did that. And systematically with each of the 17 employees was able to come up with a better assignment of roles or responsibilities, so this was tied into growth. It was tied into how he was going to raise money and it was tied into how to approach his business over the longer term. So that's just a little story of how, you know, a mentor can help someone. It was just giving that tool, that exercise, that new perspective that I think somebody mentioned earlier. A mentor can help provide a new perspective on how business should think about how to grow and how to expand?
Angela Moultrie: (23:10)
Wonderful. Thank you so much. You know Giselle, I'm going to come over to you. So in your relationships, you know, as a mentor, even being a mentee, what do you talk about? What are some of the topics that you cover?
Giselle Georgi: (23:22)
Yeah. So one thing for me that I focus on is career growth strategy. What should my next move be? What is my end goal and how do I backtrack? And so, you know, reverse engineering to what needs to happen to get there. Who are some good people to know? Some good people to reach out to? Even you know, could you take a look at my resume? Tell me what you think. Some time management things. And sometimes even just, you know, a self-esteem boost. You're like, you know, I had a really rough day today. And then they're just there for you to remind you that that you're great and you're going to do great things.
Angela Moultrie: (24:07)
Yeah, it's always great again to have that reminder that boost, it's very helpful. Donna, how about from you? Let's, let's hear some of the ways that you know, you think a mentor can help a small business leader.
Donna Cleary: (24:18)
So I think what's most helpful is having somebody very objective who you can like have an open dialogue with because sometimes like it's just even figuring out where exactly you need to go where you want to go. I think that's almost half the battle. And when you know the direction that you want to go, like a mentor can really help you get there. But sometimes like not everybody knows where they want to go and I and I see this especially like with, you know, even within my team, I had a team Of 80 people and within that team like I had one on ones and a lot of people didn't know what their next step was. So it's very difficult to try and help somebody if they don't know where they need to go or they want to go. So having that open, honest dialogue and somebody that is a sounding board that can, that can really, truly listen as a mentor, you need to be able to really, truly listen and actively listen to what your mentee is telling you. And then just helping them figure that out as a starting point. And then once you know that, then that's where you can really like help them and add value and give them additional direction or introduce them to somebody else. If you can't particularly help them with that that point, so. I think communication is key and just that open, honest dialogue.
Angela Moultrie; (25:39)
Communication is absolutely critical to the success of any relationship, and when you really brought up a very important point. You know, oftentimes we associate communication with the person speaking, but the listener is actually playing a very important role because it can really help you, root cause, get to the true issue much quicker if you understand what are some of the challenges. And you're really listening to some of the points that the individuals bringing up. So thank you for bringing that to the forefront for all of us.
Giselle Georgi: (26:12)
Angela, if I could bring up another point that what you put in is what you're going to get out. So I think it really helps in a mentor mentee relationship to be courageously vulnerable. To open up about maybe some pain points that you're experiencing so that they can help you to the best of their ability.
Angela Moultrie: (26:31)
Absolutely. Thank you. Again, you know, and I, I'm just monitoring the chat as we're going through and some of the questions are coming through around you know what size business might value, you know, having a mentor. And I do think we heard in the opening comments that you can see different sizes of the business, different industries, different types, all really benefiting from having a mentor at different stages within the business. Another aspect I see some of the questions coming around the lending aspect. And so having a mentor also can really help you with the financials and thinking through when it's the right time to get, perhaps lending to support the growth of your business and just having the full picture. So I do think we're starting to get somewhere around the value and how you determine the right mentor at the right time. Abbie. You know, I want to hear from you. Do you think that having a mentor has changed the trajectory of your business? And if so, you know, how do you think that, and if it hasn't, that's also something we'd love to hear from you.
Abbie Gellman: (27:37)
So my business. At least the one that I worked on in this case with Donna and Giselle was very targeted. So that's let's put it that way. The customer base was very specific to dietitians, which is what I am. So when I had been working on this business for several years, I thought that was fine. And that was the, you know, the people I knew and the world I knew and what my products were created for. And then I was going to try to expand it to other healthcare professionals. But working with Donna and Giselle and kind of talking through things. There was a lot of talk about the growth trajectory, so back to that long term planning and how I needed to kind of think more to the future. We, you know, my business is changing and it's going to change because it kind of came out that it was too narrow and that's great that this is what my target market is right now. But that target market has a cap on how many people are in it. So how do we pivot to take my current business and broaden the consumer base and make it a much larger target market, which is kind of what I'm working through now.
Angela Moultrie: (29:04)
Excellent. Thank you. Thank you for sharing. You know, we're going to move into our next section where I do want to go back to a polling question. So we'll move into the third section, which is finding a mentor. So we're going to display our question here. If you were looking for a mentor, where would you look? So we have networking organizations, SCORE, LinkedIn, Chamber of Commerce, previous/existing relationships. So if you guys could just chime in, that would be great. All right, so we're seeing leading with networking organizations and then two other fast followers, previous/existing relationships, and LinkedIn. So again we're finding ways. I would say you know; Chamber doesn't seem to be as popular, but that is that is absolutely a great resource and something that you want to make sure that you have some relationships there as well and reaching out and connecting it's also can be utilized for networking so. Let's move into some of the questions related to finding a mentor. So Dr. Candida, how have you found a mentor? You know when you're speaking to some of the small businesses through cultivate. So when you're thinking about maybe connecting them to one or perhaps sharing how they might find one, what are some of the things that you help them with and making that connection?
Candida Brush: (30:31)
Yeah. And that's a really good point. Well, I think again, I was surprised that LinkedIn was a little bit higher because that is a very good resource for identifying people who have expertise in entrepreneurship or in the area that you're working in. The other things I always suggest is you have alumni networks from schools or from programs that you may have attended, trade associations or groups that you may be involved in that and that may have been covered in one of the other choices. But if you're part of any groups at all, and you are, you know, regular group, that's oftentimes ways to find the mentor through those. So anything, any groups that you're you have participated in in the past or you might be associated with are all good, good choices. And then again, you know your banker, your accountant, your lawyer, vendors, customers, any of those folks may know of somebody who could be a mentor for you, who may have the expertise to work with you on the issues or challenges that you're facing at the stage of business that you're currently in. So it's again, it's as simple as just saying, you know, I'm really looking for some help and guidance. You know, I'd like to have a mentor to help me get through the next three years with my long-term plan. Do you know of anybody that has that kind of expertise? Maybe I could chat with them and maybe they could suggest someone. So you know, really just being open and letting people know that. If you need the help, you're really looking for a mentor. I also want to just make a quick distinction too, because there is a distinction between coaching and mentoring. Mentoring is a longer-term relationship, which is a little bit more personal where you're where the mentor is advising the mentee. A coaching situation is really something that you have a specific problem with, and you really want help on a particular situation like hiring a new CEO or a transition in leadership. Or it could be just finding money to support your business. And so those coaching situations you may need somebody with particular expertise in those areas, whereas mentoring is going to go on for a longer period of time and will cover a broader range of activities and conversations. So just wanted to make that distinction.
Angela Moultrie: (32:56)
You make it feel like something we can all just go out and do tomorrow. You know, let's ask for the help and what I think most of us would be surprised is that most people want to help. So that's the great news, but if you were giving advice to someone who just be a little bit hesitant and they're small business leader and they're feeling a little uncomfortable with asking for the help, any advice, or words of wisdom you might share with them?
Candida Brush: (33:22)
Yeah. Thank you for asking, because I think I could do a better job on that answer there. But it again, I think you have to start with yourself and say, what do I want to achieve? Why do I want a mentor in the 1st place? What are the business goals that I have? What are my professional goals? Then what's my timetable for achieving those goals? What have I tried? What worked, what didn't work, and what resources do I need to move forward? Because that personal self-assessment is really the first step before you start to do your research and to do your due diligence through your networks to see who you might find that could help you with those particular things. So do that homework first because mentoring relationship, I mean the mentee has to do the work. Otherwise it's not going to be a successful partnership. It's reciprocal.
Angela Moultrie: (34:13)
Absolutely. And thank you for just clarifying and adding a little bit for that for the team. I think it's very helpful. Donna, were you trying to chime in by chance?
Donna Cleary: (34:24)
I just think like finding someone who has done this before, someone that you know you can reach out to that is in a similar industry that is you know further along in their career for sure. And then just I mean it's back to that theme of paying it forward and you know that's how I feel, I feel like that with every new class of analysts that join the commercial bank each year I want to help them and help them along the way like I had that help so if you can find, you know other entrepreneurs in the industry that, are further along in their career I would reach out to them as well because I'm sure they'd be more than happy to help. I know I certainly would so and that that's my take on it.
Angela Moultrie: (35:13)
Thank you so much for sharing that you know Abbie, how would you recommend that someone approach an individual about being a mentor? Is there any suggestions you might provide to the to everyone on the webinar today?
Abbie Gellman: (35:27)
About approaching someone to be a mentor. I kind of will revert back to what Giselle said before about just being open and honest and vulnerable. And I am a career changer, so I came up in my 20s in a consulting and banking situation too and was kind of taught to ask questions and be interested. So I think if you're trying to find a mentor and approaching people, do that, ask them questions, see if they're interested. Tell them what you're looking for. Ask them if they have time and want to talk about it. The worst that can happen is they say no, right? So you know best can happen is they say yes. So if you don't ask then you won't know. So just kind of do it. I guess.
Angela Moultrie: (36:23)
Just do it. Throw yourself out there, right? I think you most will be pleasantly surprised by the response.
Abbie Gellman: (26:29)
Angela Moultrie: (36:30)
You know Giselle. Anything else that you might add around approaching someone to be a mentor?
Giselle Georgi: (36:35)
Yeah, I would say it's similar to any other relationship where there's going to be this matchmaking period and you want to make sure that it's that it is a good match on both ends and. You want it to feel genuine, right? Like there's going to be a mutual respect, even though they are maybe more experienced in a certain category that you need their expertise on. But there's definitely a mutual respect and appreciation and a genuine connection because that's what makes it worthwhile. I think you don't want to be putting energy into something where, like the energy is off on the other end, right? Like they must be willing to say no, right, like be willing to say this is actually not the right personality for me. I'm going to keep looking.
Angela Moultrie: (37:26)
Yeah, having that courage right to make the right selection and choice for yourself is a really important point. You know, Doctor Brush, maybe you can expand on that a bit for us. Is it better to work with someone who has known you for a while and they know your business, or would you recommend you go with someone totally new?
Candida Brush: (37:40)
Yeah, that's a good question. I think there are advantages to both. Someone who's known you for a while, it might be a shorter ramp up because they would have an understanding of your business and be able to sort of dive right in and really understand the intricacies. But on the other hand, if you're working with someone who has not known you for a while, they may ask more objective questions and it may help you to move forward because as Abbie was saying, you know, the whole idea of asking questions. The mentors are going to ask the mentees questions as well, and that's one way of helping to shape your thinking. So I think there's benefits to both to some degree. I think it kind of goes back to this comfort level. Are you comfortable with someone that you don't know who you kind of have to build that relationship with that might take time or are you more comfortable having someone that you already know is kind of a known quantity? Again, when you're looking for a mentor you, and somebody mentioned the personality aspect, but there's also you want that mentor to be honest with you, you want that mentor to ask tough questions. You want that mentor not just to validate what your own thoughts are. You want them to be an objective kind of person that's really going to help you to move forward, not just agree with everything you have to say.
Angela Moultrie: (39:03)
Thank you. Again, having that courage right to hear it, accept it, decide what you want to do with it. So you know one other thing I want to make sure that everyone is aware of. We've compiled some helpful information on Business First and there's a link in the resource section on your screen that you can also go to. There's a lot of helpful tips, suggestions, we also can take any follow up questions related to it. What we want you to know there are many resources available to you. I hear a theme. Speak up, you know, share with others where you are on your journey and ask for help. Most want to help you. So we're here to help you and I think you're going to find that most people want to help you with your business and to be successful. So we're going to move into our last polling question of today. On the following options, which do you think is the best cadence for meeting with a mentor or mentee? Once a week, once a month, once a quarter, other/as needed. So I'll give you a few seconds here to respond. So feels like, you know, we're hearing that once a month feels about right after that is once a week, and then other/as needed. What's established, I'm sure, is as the relationship, you know, continues to bloom and blossom. You might find that you may need to change it. And then once a quarter. Thank you so much for participating in the polls today. I want to just summarize three of the topics that we talked about before we go into our last one for today. So we've talked about the value of mentorship. We've also talked about helping small businesses and we talked about finding a mentor. Now I really want to talk to you a bit more about continuing on that theme of the mentorship, but it's about how do you work effectively with your mentor. So I'd love to hear from our panel. You know, and I'm going to ask everyone about this. How do you see your mentorship relationships working today? So whether you are mentoring someone, or if you're being mentored. How often do you meet? Is it in person, by phone, online, any of the tools that you might say could help and making sure that it's effective use of time. So I will get started with Donna on this question.
Donna Cleary: (41:32)
Right. I think it's really important to set the stage from day one like the expectations at either end and every relationship, every mentor relationship is different. I have a lot of mentees that just would call me up, or they put 15 minutes in my calendar, and we just check in if something comes up. And I'm also a mentor for the Santander Advocate Aspire program. So I’m called an advocate, and they're mentees. And that's more formal. And it's one hour each quarter that I meet with them. I have two mentees and it's a really great program and, but I think if it's if it's a small bit as part of a small business mentorship program. Especially it depends on the life cycle of the of the company as well. Are you very early stages? Because if you are, you might need a lot more hands on support from your mentor. I think setting the stage day one and then putting a plan in place like Abbie when we met day one was very clear that she and I thought I was bringing, I’m an accountant. I thought I was bringing my finance expertise and then Abbie’s like, I've got that covered from her to her time. So I'm like, OK, right, now we're talking about, the food industry. Interesting. OK, like, so let's we had to. We had to pivot. And I think that took me like I had to recalibrate my thinking. But then from there, like, we just like we pivoted, and we created a plan around that, and it wasn't even as formal like as it could have been. And based on just what how it evolved the mentorship evolved so. I think having that set the stage day one put your plan in place and then just ask what are your expectations and then you know mutually agree like what you're going to do and try and set some goals along the way to make sure that you're just staying on track, and you know you're getting what you need out of your mentor.
Angela Moultrie: (43:25)
You know thank you for sharing that experience, because that's definitely a learning, you know, sometimes you think individuals have it all mapped out and other times it's a little bit less or it's a little bit more anything that you would just provide as advice to a small business leader in the preparation for the first mentoring session.
Donna Cleary: (43:45)
Of course I mean a business plan if you can, right, if you can, if you can put pen to paper not only like does it, it helps you to actually do that ahead of the session. It's like as I prepare for any meeting that I go into just putting my thoughts on paper, it forces you to actually start putting pen to paper and putting a plan in place, even if that meeting with your mentor never happened. It's still better, very useful, you know, time you have to put, you have to put a plan and you have to put your goals. And try and put timelines to those goals and so make sure that your first meeting out of the gate is really meaningful. And I think having, taking that time ahead of the meeting, putting pen to paper, writing your plan and your timeline, your projected timeline. And if you can put numbers to that then even better. But if you if you can't then your mentor can potentially help you with that. Again it's back to where you are in the life cycle of the company, but just pen to paper and then sit down and be prepared. This is my plan. This is my goal and be able to communicate that up front.
Angela Moultrie: (44:51)
Thank you. And I think we've heard that there's another theme throughout today. You know the work you put in is what you'll get out of it. So again, putting some of that, that required work up front can really pay off for you. Abbie, how do your mentor, mentoring relationships work today? You know, same question, how often do you meet? Is it in person? Do you do it via phone, online?
Abbie Gellman: (45:15)
So we did a pretty formal program when I was doing it with, Santander. So we did 2 via like a Zoom virtual platform and then we actually met in person and had dinner, which was wonderful. It depends on like what on your relationship with the person or the mentor. If it's casual or more formal, how often you really need to talk to them or how often it helps you to talk to them. It kind of depends.
Angela Moultrie: (45:49)
Those are important questions right that we can ask and as you get to know the person a little bit more, maybe it can become a little less formal, but in the beginning it's good to start off with some standards and rules of engagement and go from there. So thank you, Giselle. What would you recommend in preparing for the mentor meeting? You know who should set the agenda and how should it be set? Is it done together, individually? What's your thoughts?
Giselle Georgi: (46:15)
I think it depends on the prior experience that you have with that person. I'm not sure if this is exactly like the template for this, but I really prioritize my friendships and I can think of my two strongest mentors who are really impressive people. But I also just consider them my friends, right? So that in those instances we would be working on what we should talk about together and it's really informal and I can just call them up whenever I have a question. But if it's someone who, let's say, was a former supervisor or you know, has a lot of influence as higher up in management. I think it's better to defer to what their expectations are, what their time is, how much time do they have? And just to be super considerate of what the capacity that they have.
Angela Moultrie: (47:13)
Thank you. Thank you for sharing. You know, Doctor Brush, I'm going to ask that you close this out. So when you're thinking about again the power of the mentorship. What would you share with others on establishing expectations for one another? Do you recommend that they're ground rules? You know, rules of engagement, and how do you determine, you know, what's the right cadence for the relationship you're trying to establish?
Candida Brush: (47:39)
Yeah, good question. And I think what everybody has already said is really, really helpful. But I think it also starts with kind of a basic understanding, you should talk about well, how do you want to work together, do you want to meet weekly? You know, do you want to meet monthly? You know what works for both of you, so to have that conversation up front is really important. Again when I'm mentoring entrepreneurs, I tend to let them set the agenda because they're the ones that are expecting the help and need assistance with something. But then as it evolves, sometimes I will set the agenda and say, well, let's talk about, you know, a timeline for this. And let's talk about how we can do this together. It also all depends a little bit on what you're working on. If you're working on, you know, raising money, it might be a slightly different relationship than if you're working on a new strategic plan or if you're working on a branding change or if you're working on changing the systems in your business. So what the nature of the, the situation the mentee needs help with is going to some degree dictate the nature of the relationship, and so that's important that that kind of be they figured out. I always like to tell my mentees that I will be your mirror and I will help you, you know, sort of reflect back, you know, what you're seeing in your business and through that reflection, you will hopefully gain insights that will allow you to move forward.
Angela Moultrie: (49:09)
That's awesome. Awesome. I have to tell you this has been an amazing hour for me when I think about wrapping up the month of November, which such a special month for me when I think about Thanksgiving and just coming together with friends, family and truly appreciation for all that I get to do every day because I truly believe I have the best job helping consumers and small businesses prosper. And really, you know, achieve their financial aspirations, it's really a gift to be able to do that every day and be able to really add that value. So with that, you know we're going to be wrapping up today, that's all the time we have. We want to respect your time. We know that you put the work in. This is absolutely an investment in yourself and your leadership and overall your business. So I want to thank our speakers, Dr. Candida Brush from Babson, Abbie Gellman from Culinary Nutrition Studio. Donna Cleary and Giselle Georgie from Santander. For more information about mentorship, including a list of resources to help find a mentor, please click on the link in the resources section on your screen or visit our business first website at businesshub.santanderbank.com and I'll just repeat that again. You can click on the link in the resource section on the screen or you can visit our business first website at businesshub.santanderbank.com and thank you again for joining. I hope you all took something from today. You know pay it forward pass it on to others. Share some of these things that you're hearing about in the webinars, and again, we invite you to invite others. And with that, thank you and enjoy the rest of your day. Have a great day all.