You may have seen on Facebook this week that I just received my new copy of the book, “Going Supernova: The Bold Paths of 101 Superachievers.” One of my own mentors, Molly Lavik, wrote the book to share the personal stories and paths of 101 successful people.
I am incredibly honored that Molly selected me to be among the group of 101!
Molly has always a huge focus on mentoring and learning from the insights of others. In her book’s introduction, she says, “I will share with you many real stories from people who have had to face adversity and have flourished after transforming the adversity into opportunity.”
It was a very interesting experience to share my own story from such a different perspective than I typically do.
As a child, my future was a bit uncertain. Things at home were unstable, and I wasn’t sure how or if I’d be able to go to college. For years, I spent many hours in my darkroom practicing various aspects of photography. Being a photographer would give me a career I could count on if college didn’t pan out.
In middle school, I competed in science fair for two years. My teacher, Mr. Daniel, was very supportive as I x-rayed plants and measured the damaging impact of that radiation as they grew. Both years, I won the fair and the second year, I was awarded a special prize by NASA. (It continues to be my most prized award, even today.)
Mr. Daniel took me aside and explained that although photography would always serve as a wonderful hobby, it’s not what I would be doing with my life. Sure enough, this experience was a pivotal moment for me and I changed my course. I eventually went away to college and studied computer and systems engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Looking back, this experience has taught me a number of different things. First of all, I was incredibly lucky to attend such a wonderful public school system that afforded all students an equal education. I was also incredibly fortunate to have a few teachers step in like Mr. Daniel who really made a difference for me.
It showed me the importance of both mentoring, and being open to being mentored. There’s always some area of our lives where we can learn more if we’re just open to it. I have carried this philosophy with me over the years as I’ve also learned about other things like finance, public speaking, and even golf.
I seek out advice from others who know more than I do in specific areas. It helps me to both grow my own skills, and to leapfrog the competition. As I mentioned, it’s also important to be open to the learning. Sometimes it’s painful, but the long lasting results are immeasurable.
In the same way I’ve received guidance over the years, I now provide it myself. Job seeking was almost a hobby when I was younger. I enjoyed the competition of interviewing, and the opportunity to learn about new businesses and industries. After quite a bit of practice, others started to seek out my advice. Rather than turning a blind ear, I was open to helping. And ten years later, here we are with Copeland Coaching. I help job seekers find jobs every day.
As you go through your life, I encourage you to seek out others for assistance — and to provide help on things where you’re the expert. You’ll find that whether you’re the one being mentored or doing the mentoring, you’ll grow quite a lot from the experience. And, you’ll leapfrog your competition!
To read Molly’s entire book, and to learn about the other 100 superachievers, check it out on Amazon here. Special thanks goes out to Molly for being a wonderful mentor to me for the past ten years (wow!), and for including me in this awesome group!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes. Thanks.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.