Behind the Boutique Kristina Nissen Finding a Mentor

Hey all! Since stepping away from my other work and starting Ellie & June, I’ve been approached so many times from people with great ideas who just want to take that dive and are looking for advice. Originally I planned to write a post on how to create the supportive infrastructure to take that leap of faith. I came up with about 10 items but quickly learned I wanted to speak to each of them in more depth. As a consequence, I decided to break each item up into individual posts 🙂

When I first bulleted my list, I wrote “Find a Mentor” first.  To me the word “mentor” isn’t a phrase I use lightly. Here’s where I want you to pay attention: my mentor is not my exceedingly supportive husband. It is not one of my parents. It isn’t the most knowledgeable person I know. It isn’t my most successful friend. For the purpose of today, I say mentor in a professional context. This is someone who will inspire you to see the world in a different way. This is someone you work closely with, perhaps often. Think The Devil Wears Prada… except ideally in a healthier context.

My experience with my mentor had three characteristics that I’m writing about today: 1) My mentor didn’t appeal to me whatsoever in the realm of “failure or success”; rather his personal attributes exceeded the maturity of mine. 2) I offered to work for this person for free. I figured the rest out. 3) My mentor has no idea he was (and still is) my greatest mentor. For real.

Now let’s break those down. View Post

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