One valuable aspect of mentoring is the ability to give back as a mentor – professionally and personally. Message from the Mentor’s purpose is to give back to sales professionals via relevant sales tips and advice. Recently I was asked to participate in an event to support cancer research, and it provoked some reflection and thought about the importance of mentors. In my life I have had two CEOs and mentors who provided great insight and leadership-by-example, and who continue to influence, inspire and guide my career. Both of these individuals’ lives ended tragically early from cancer, and that, too, continues to influence me.
In addition to our personal connections, we all have inspirational public figures who have impacted our lives. In March 1993, shortly before his death from cancer, Jim Valvano (“Jimmy V’) made a now-legendary speech at the first-ever ESPY Awards ceremony, saying, “To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”
There is still great emotion around watching Jimmy V speak about hope, love and persistence; finishing his emotional speech with, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” He received a standing ovation from the ESPY crowd that night. Today, Jimmy is remembered as much for his words of inspiration as for his legendary career in basketball.
As we think about the sales profession and life in general, these words of inspiration can help us get through our moments of doubt, and hopefully inspire us to leave our own legacy that includes giving, mentoring and inspiration.
CEO, Carew International