Mentoring is NOT Parenting

Coaching and mentoring are the new way of saying trades and apprenticeships for those industries that used to use clerks. That period of “junior internship” type of arrangement that is less practical and prevalent than it used to be. 

Instead now we have many coaches and mentors, most of who are leveraging their experience in order to support and nurture a new and emerging wildcard to the industry – the rise of the indie. 

The phenomena of self-publishing has created some monsters that feed off the innocent and new, but has also led to the ability to access some true industry greats and learn from the leaders.

What is missing in many of these areas is the commercial aspects (corporate, industrial and even retail skills are all relevant here) of running a professional business.  For people who have not had that experience before and, generally speaking when one is of a creative nature, they have never been exposed to that kind of knowledge, never had the chance to learn those kinds of skills.  What is risk management to an author?  The answers should concern you.

So here is a list of what mentoring is and isn’t.  If you are in the market for a mentor – keep in mind that you want them to have their own success, not feel they need to patronise you with promise of your future success, be genuinely interested in your future success, and not at all busy talking about their own success when they are with you.  Just a few hints to help narrow down the wide market availability of those who would soon part you from your hard earned investment.

So mentoring…

  • It’s not telling you what to do
  • It’s not being upset when you don’t take action
  • It’s not showing you the ‘right’ way of doing things
  • It’s not taking care of you or your mental health by replacing any kind of medication or physician/specialist advise (and if they do – run – they are dangerous and unqualified)
  • It’s not counselling
  • It’s not training, but it can have some of those elements
  • It’s someone sitting  down, calling you on the excuses you might be telling yourself on why you can’t do anything about where you are in life, communicating those challenges and options professional and without self-interest, and in such a way that you ‘get’ it, not just get told it.
  • It’s knowing that if you don’t want change, don’t go looking for it. It’s knowing that if you go looking for change, you need to do the work once you find it, and change too.
  • It’s someone who shows you all the cock-ups they made, all the opportunities they failed to take advantage of, the ones they did take advantage of, and how they achieved the success they did, without telling you to do the same exact thing
  • It’s showing you the process of how success happens, in which you get out of your own way, changing your mindset to what’s possible instead of what you don’t want, and by sharing the lessons and ideas of performance excellence as applied to your success measures
  • It’s about support not about ‘help’, you have to do the work
  • It’s about knowledge combined with experience applied to your circumstances
  • It’s about getting the best out of your skill, knowledge experience and own personal power to achieve success in life, whatever that looks like for you
  • It’s about being really clear that you’re worth it and you can earn it
  • It’s about action. Making plans, setting goals getting clear on what you want, and action.

IT’S ABOUT YOU.

It’s still not parenting.


Becky Paroz doesn’t fit in.  She has worked for nearly 30 years in the construction industry, taking names and making one for herself.  She loves her workboots, colours her hair purple and speaks loudly with a strong and confident voice.  Bek makes her place in the world, she has never waited for a space to open for her. Moving beyond mentoring within industry for the last 10 years, Becky is now seeking her tribe to connect within and would love to hear from any fellow mavericks and nonconformists out there at any of her social media spots which you can find here

Empowering Mentoring

What’s In It For Me?

(extract from Words of Bek published October 2018)

International Women’s Day 2019 Special Release by Top Ten Women to Watch 2019 YMag Australia


“… Highly skilled women succumb to stereotype-driven expectations. It begins early when girls as young as six stop believing that girls are the smart ones, while boys continue to believe their gender is gifted. As women get older, these stereotypes discourage them from pursuing careers thought to be typically reserved for men. And, with fewer women in a field, subsequent generations  of women are deterred from pursuing them.  It’s a vicious cycle, but it can be broken. … ”
https://hbr.org/2019/02/research-based-advice-for-women-working-in-male-dominated-fields

As women, we are not encouraged by society to ask ourselves “what is in it for me” as a natural attribute.  In fact you may already be feeling uncomfortable about the question, before you even read the article. 

We are told as young women to “behave”, to support and nurture those around us.  Who has heard “nice girls don’t do that” in a response to a spoken wish, perhaps to something as personal as desire for a tattoo or even as simple as a haircut. 

When it comes to time management, as women we usually put ourselves last in factoring the allocation of minutes to tasks in our work, let alone in our personal life (and sometimes they are the same).  Add children into the equation and there is even less ability to put ‘you’ first.  Some of that is practical.  Some of that is a societal condition that we have been encouraged to believe – that we are not allowed to be selfish.  And that definition of selfish can be very broad depending on who wants your attention.  It often gets thrown around when we, as women, dare to say “NO”.

Boss wants you to stay back and work on his presentation and you have sick family to attend – “are you going to be the one to let the team down?”.  Significant other springs a surprise dinner party on you for their work colleagues and wonders why you don’t have time; between soccer, the ballet lessons and cleaning; to just whip up that 3 course gourmet meal in less than an hour.  Children forget to tell you about a project that is due the next morning and requires you to build a science project or bake a cake. 

All of these things are unavoidable and often just have to be dealt with in the moment.  However, ask yourself how many times, both in work and home life, do you get asked to do something and just say “yes”?  You don’t stop and think, you don’t know if you have the time, but it becomes easier to just say yes and worry about ‘how’ later.

What if there was a question, that if you allowed yourself to ask it, could help you, in that moment, to have a second thought and decide on your answer; instead of that instant, automatic response?

That question is “What’s in it for me?”.  WIIFM.  This question allows you to take a moment and realise if the activity you are about to agree to is something that adds value to you and your life.  When it is to do with your children, the obvious answer is the time you spend with them, the joy of their achievements and watching them learn.  Similar might be said of your significant other.  There are benefits.  This question asks you to check in and see what those benefits are in that moment. 

When it comes to the work place, often, if you are an achiever, you might find that you are asked to complete tasks simply because you get them done.  Which is fantastic if you receive acknowledgement of your efforts; a pay rise, or a promotion.  How often does that happen?

Does your senior management thank you for those extra hours, or do they now just expect it?  Do your work colleagues commend you on the time spent to achieve the outcome, or do they take the credit for themselves?  Do you get any satisfaction out of what you have achieved, or is it just momentary relief another task is complete, before you start the next one?

It is not a selfish act to ask, why am I doing this – what is in it for me?  It is an act of sanity.  It allows you the space to realise that this particular task may not benefit you – and if it doesn’t – allows you to ask “Why am I undertaking it?”. 

Obviously you get paid to achieve certain things in your work role, but you don’t get paid to be treated like a slave or whipping post for others’ inability to meet deadlines.  It is a fabulous skill to be able to “get things done”, but if you are not getting them done for yourself, or for some achievement that you want – what is the point?  Why are you fixing the mistake of others?  Why are you allowing yourself to be used in such a manner?  You might have answers to these questions, or you might be wondering to yourself why you didn’t ask these questions a long, long time ago.  The answer doesn’t matter as much as allowing yourself the space to ask the question in the first place.

You might have to simply undertake the activity, but, now that you have asked the question, you can be aware that is why you are undertaking the task.  If the task isn’t important to you, then you know to spend the least amount of time on it, and not to engage in sleepless nights over the outcome.  You can let go a lot of anxiety with this simple little question.  It doesn’t mean do it poorly, it means do it efficiently.  Which gives you more time for the things you do love, such as spending time with family or that hobby you never get to.

It assists you to check in with where you are going, what your goals are, and filter out the things that do not align with those goals, whatever they may be. 

So, what is in it for you?

Becky has 5 only strategy sessions left between now and May 2019 when her other courses commence.  The 3 hours focuses on your #gladiatHER – the warrior that is passionate, fired up, focussed, high functioning and fixated on HER future. The kind of woman who wants to #getyourbootson – who has developed an addiction for success. Want more?

Drop me a line here, private message or via other means (using that amazing concept first thought of by a #woman, #hedylamarr  – wifi) and take action now.

What are you waiting for? 

Empowering Mentoring

How Do You See Yourself?

A GUEST BLOG BY: Maree Ashford of Chrome n Silver Photography

Still hating yourself in those photos?  Are you the nominated “photographer” so that you can avoid having your image recorded for a lifetime?  Do you still judge your image harshly because you aren’t happy with it yet? 

I am here today to tell everyone an important truth in regards to your self-image, self-esteem and confidence. Please DON’T listen to your inner voice telling you to wait until … you look less tired, WAIT until you have lost weight, PAUSE until you grow your hair out, STOP until you find the perfect clothing.

This applies to your personal and professional life. I hear it all the time as a photographer, “I’d LOVE to have some portraits done of myself or of my family & I, BUT I just need to WAIT UNTIL I love myself more”

They are always waiting for the right time or the perfect moment, a moment that may never come or will always be one day, someday, anyday, but not today. The time to start your path to where you want to be is NOW!  Stop putting off enjoying life because of what is not and start celebrating what is.

As a female and an artist I understand the mental anguish that comes with a lack of self-confidence, an absence of self-esteem, a low dose of empowerment which everyone else seems to have or fake perfectly.

I suffer from these things as well, as I can imagine everyone who isn’t a megalomaniac would also do so, even just occasionally.    After all we are only human. It is human to doubt.  It is when we aren’t enjoying our lives as a result, that it helps to change your outlook – or have someone else show you the worthiness you have.

I am asking you to, instead of seeing the “wait for”, seek out the things that make you worthy of reaching out for your goals.  Do it now, because there will never be the perfect time but right now if you really want to live your best life.

One of the reasons I love what I do so much – I love the response to the images of my clients once I show them how I see them, how the camera sees them.  You, the final product. It might be corny, but it truly is the essence of a good portrait to capture the authentic version of the person trusting you with their vulnerable self.  I don’t know your insecurities by heart, what I see is a strong, beautiful soul who needs to let themselves shine and tell a story of who they are, how they are feeling, their individuality.

I simply LOVE doing what I do.

The most common response to the finial result of a portrait session is the client saying “I never knew I could look like that” There is no magic involved there is just you and your inner confidence, even if you don’t feel like you have any, it shines through into who you are and what others see in you. Please don’t wait, instead surround yourself with those who see the inner confidence, those who empower who you, and those that give good welcomed advice to raise you up, and help you fulfill your dreams and boost your self confidence.

Strong Women raise Strong Women

Good women empower other women. No tall poppy syndrome here.


Maree Ashford is a photographer in Brisbane. QLD Australia. If you would love to see more of her work or contact her please click on through to www.chromensilverphotography.com.au or follow her at www.facebook.com/chromensilverphotography/

She also donates her time to various animal rescue groups to promote the lives and stories of all animals in need across the country and is a strong advocate for animal rights.


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