13 Oct Meet Erricia Bailey
Meet Erricia Bailey, YBTT Mentor for over 3 years
What influenced you to become a mentor? Why did you choose YBTT?
Why YBTT? I stumbled upon the Ad on Facebook, talking about YBTT and what they do, and they had the opportunity for persons to be mentors, to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. That sparked my interest as it was something that I was already doing in my own business, and I always had that need to encourage persons and inform persons in terms of guidance on steps they can take as young persons, starting businesses. Helping them to understand the direction, they needed to go. I was doing it on my own, so when I saw the Ad, it was an opportunity for me to extend what I was doing and be able to collaborate with others.
How would you define mentorship directed to entrepreneurs?
Mentorship in its most basic form is guidance. It is about guiding persons and sharing the experience you have had as an entrepreneur. The path that you have walked, it is about sharing that journey and taking persons on that journey with you, while helping them to understand, the lessons and the challenges. We tend to focus on sharing the mistakes that we have made, but we also need to look at sharing the positive sides, the successes that we have had. It is about having a partnership, not spoon-feeding persons, but being able to help them to understand where they need to go and possible avenues they can take to get there. When challenges come, they need to know how to navigate and how to mitigate risk. Planning is essential, how do you go about planning different aspects of the business so that you have a solid foundation to build on? Entrepreneurship is something that is very uncertain and very complexed. The more guidance that you have, with respect to unraveling the mystery that entrepreneurship can be, the greater the chance of your load being a bit lighter. Having a mentor doesn’t make it easy, but it makes the road a lot clearer.
What are some of the gains and losses of your mentorship experience?
Some of the gains are, of course, passing on the knowledge and helping the mentees to create the entrepreneurial mindset that they need and also actually being able to learn from the mentees. During the time that I have been mentoring, I have been fortunate enough to learn a lot from the different persons that I have been a mentor to.
In terms of the losses, I have not really experienced loses per se. However, sometimes you give, and the person is not able to receive, or they don’t prioritize the information the way that you would like, and therefore, they don’t learn as much as they could have. That’s the only thing I can think of when it comes to the losses, when persons don’t take advantage of the opportunity that they have.
What would you recommend to mentees to get the best out of their mentorship experience?
Communicate with your mentor as much as possible. Most times, once you have a mentor, they are usually very open, willing and accessible. Mentees really need to take advantage of this and communicate with them. Don’t be shy and laid-back, try to get the information. If you need advice on something, communicate with the mentor and let them know. Have a conversation with them and listen to what they say. Knowledge is Power, but application is Key, because if you have the knowledge and don’t apply it, then it doesn’t make sense. Turning the information into action is an important part. Don’t just take the information and sit on it, take action and apply it to your business.
What would you say to others who would like to become mentors?
Although you may be intimidated by the thought of being a mentor and having someone look up to you. Understand your value, understand your journey and understand your experience. There are persons who would be in need of guidance and would benefit from your expertise. Think of it as a way of giving back but remember that it’s going to be an advantage to you. Not only are you going to learn from your mentees, but you will also be concretizing information that you know. You are going to have to do some sort of introspection and analysis of your journey and the things that you do.
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Any last words of advice?
I admonish persons to become mentors, and young entrepreneurs to join the programme. YBTT assists you to become a better entrepreneur. The cost does not come close to equating the value that you receive.