My first mentor was my aunt. Legend has it that I hung out with her teenage hippy friends in the early 1970s and then, when I was older, my big double-digit 10th birthday was made perfect by getting a whole weekend with her and my uncle.
In college, I met Sue Shapiro, who encouraged me to move to New York, write constantly, red-penned everything I did and believed in me while telling me I could do better. It’s because of Sue that my first poetry book was published, that I got freelance journalism gigs, that I built a career as a writer.
After Sue, there was my first New York editor, Chris; my Washington D.C. editor, Eric; my Detroit editor, Phil; Barbara Jones, whom I met at the Iowa Summer Writers Retreat and boldly approached for guidance and editing; Salley Shannon, freelancer extraordinaire; and Paul Saginaw, founder of Zingerman’s.
One thing I have learned from every single mentor is generosity of spirit and the importance of helping others. When you’re confident, you don’t feel the need to be possessive. They’ve all given me cherished guidance, knowledge, and empowerment toward building my own successful career.
Last week, I launched Your People Retreats, business-building boot camps. I believe everyone can do what needs to be done to build their business – if they know how. What better way to learn than in a luxurious hotel, surrounded by an intimate group of entrepreneurs, with information and guidance to get you going?