By Shawn Johal, an entrepreneur, enterprise progress coach and member of the Entrepreneurs’ Group (EO) in Montreal, Canada. 

What’s mentorship, actually?

The mentor-mentee connection is a singular one—one which I by no means actually understood earlier than. The corporate I had co-founded in 2009, DALS Lighting, was thriving and we’d quickly have over 40 members on the crew. I felt fortunate that staff talked about they “seemed up” to me, however was I mentoring them? I had by no means been mentored by anyone in my life, and I didn’t know what it seemed like.

Warren Rustand EOAssembly Warren Rustand

In 2016, throughout my time as president of the EO Montreal chapter, I used to be accepted into the World Management Academy (GLA), an unimaginable management program. This system chief was Warren Rustand (pictured at proper). Everybody in EO throughout the globe appeared to know Warren, a world-class entrepreneur.

The 5 full days spent with Warren at GLA have been a game-changer for me: I felt myself rising—as a pacesetter, however even merely as an individual. I knew this was it: I wanted Warren Rustand to be my mentor.

The large ask

By the top of the five-day management coaching, I had mustered up the braveness to stroll as much as Warren and ask him point-blank.

“Warren, these final 5 days have been inspiring for me. You don’t know me, however we’ve a ton in frequent: ideologies, methodologies, values. I’d prefer to know in the event you could be my mentor.”

It felt like a full minute till he answered, however in actuality, his reply got here inside two seconds of my query. He smiled.

“No. I’m actually busy, Shawn, however thanks.”

Rejecting rejection

The factor is: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m extremely optimistic, I don’t hand over, and my stubbornness was not a brand new high quality. I had determined Warren could be my mentor, and I refused to simply accept the rejection. I needed to ask Warren once more.

Three or 4 hours later, I noticed him within the lodge foyer and approached him a second time.

Warren, hear, I do know you mentioned you wouldn’t be my mentor earlier, however I have to reiterate how a lot it could imply to me. Willpower is every part—I needed to indicate you that I’m decided to work with you as a mentee.”

Warren took one other pause and smiled once more.

“Shawn, I respect the persistence, however no. I can’t afford to tackle any new mentees presently, however I’m positive you’ll discover one other wonderful mentor.”

Rejected twice in the identical day. I went again to my lodge room, checked out the following morning, and caught my flight house.

Rejecting rejection—for good

I spent the following few days considering over the scenario. It had been one week for the reason that coaching occasion with Warren. I sat down at my laptop computer and punched out an electronic mail to him.

“Pricey Warren, I do know you rejected me twice in individual, however I couldn’t shake how essential having you as mentor could be. I care about management growth, and I need us to encourage others collectively. I hope you’ll rethink my supply, but when this comes with a 3rd rejection, please additionally comprehend it will get simpler every time.”

One other week glided by. Zero response.

Finally, I acquired an electronic mail again! It got here from Warren’s assistant. She requested me to finish a doc which all of Warren’s potential mentees full. By no means did an electronic mail make me so genuinely excited.

Warren’s doc was a listing of six one-line questions: All of them appeared easy however have been finally complicated. I spent the following day engaged on a 15-page doc full of my solutions.

One other month handed earlier than I heard again–lastly–with an electronic mail from Warren himself. He accepted me as a mentee, and was glad I used to be persistent. It was official: Warren Rustand was my mentor.

Loopy optimism

The years after have been transformational for me on many alternative ranges, and Warren was an enormous a part of that. My enterprise tripled in income and scaled up quick. I launched Elevation, my non-public teaching apply specializing in management growth, studying closely from Warren immediately. It felt like I had gained a superpower that no person else had. I felt invincible.

Is there a lesson for different entrepreneurs on this story? I used to be overly-optimistic and adopted what felt proper regardless of being brazenly rejected a number of instances. What appeared unimaginable in some way turned greater than doable: It turned actual, and it modified the course of my skilled life.

On the trail to what we consider we will be, obstacles and rejection will at all times be current. How we reply to the obstacles is what separates the entrepreneurs from the remainder of the world. I responded with doses of loopy optimism. How will you reply?

Shawn Johal Shawn Johal is an entrepreneur, enterprise progress coach and speaker. He based Elevation, a Scaling Up-based teaching and management growth apply, and co-founded DALS Lighting, a producer of lighting expertise. Shawn was a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Yr Award and former chapter president of EO Montreal.

The publish “How I Received Warren Rustand to Be My Mentor” appeared first on Octane Weblog – The official weblog of the Entrepreneurs' Group.


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