Editors note: This post came to us unsolicited and is a true testament to the power of mentorship. Every mentor pairing produces different results, but one thing always remains the same - We can do exponentially more together than we can do on our own. Do you have a mentor story to share? We'd love to hear about your experience: email the editor. If you need help, reach out. Likewise, if you want to offer help let us know. For more information on how to do that, click here.
Why I recommend the Promo Kitchen Mentorship Program
I have been following PromoKitchen for just over 2 years, ever since I went to their mixer at House of Blues in Vegas 2014 at the PPAI Expo. Their Chefs are always informative and creative in their postings and I feel like they are doing great things to move our industry forward. When I heard about the PromoKitchen mentorship program, I was excited right away. What a great opportunity to improve my operations and connect with someone else that likes PromoKitchen as much as I do!
When I signed up, I decided to go at it as a Mentee. While I have been in and around the promo industry for about 6 years and feel like I have a pretty good grasp on how things work, who my favorite suppliers are and how to get new clients, I really didn’t know what I was going to get out of being a mentee, but I was excited to give something new a try.
After signing up, I was paired with my mentor, Ben Baker, the owner of Your Brand Marketing. Ben has been in the industry for 15 years and has a lot to teach. We connected right away after we were given each other’s contact information and were eager to start down this path of mutual enlightenment.
Our first conversation lasted about 45 minutes and it was a lot of “Hi, how are you, who are you and what makes you tick.”, until Ben turned the corner and asked me “Russ, what are you hoping to get out of this mentoring opportunity?” At that point I didn't know what to say because I didn’t really know! I just thought it was going to be a way to make myself better as a salesperson. After that great question from Ben, I decided to give it some careful through and come up with a plan; questions to ask, answers to seek, and challenges to work through.
I wanted to learn more about how to run a business, produce sustainable growth, and manage relationships that I’ve had for some time with long time clients. In addition, I wanted to learn to balance my work and family lives more evenly and learn how to go after my hobbies more, be a better person and look at how all aspects of my life fit together so that I could find a way to do it all better.
Ben and I walked down a path together that was an extremely exciting time. In the 6 months that he was my mentor this is a list of all the “things” I accomplished:
- Met Ben in person despite living over 1000 miles apart
- My wife and I had our third baby
- Competed in the Canadian Food Championships (3rd place in the Bacon Category)
- Voted onto Foundation Board of Directors with Chrysalis Society
- Started a new promotional company (The Promo Addict)
- Competed in the World Food Championships (13th in the Bacon Category)
Ben’s impact on my life was always in an advisory role: “Make sure to take time off with your family when the baby is born.”, “Make sure to give back.”, “If you want something, go for it”. He consistently pushed me to go for the things that I wanted. Did Ben push me to have a baby, quit my job, go cook bacon in Florida and join a Board? No. I’ll tell you though; it sure made these decisions easier having someone to talk to about them. A sounding board that would come back with advice is a huge asset when making big decisions. My business and personal life has been forever impacted by the decisions I made during my mentorship, and I truly believe it was made easier by my relationship and now friendship with Ben. I can’t promise that every PromoKitchen Mentorship will be as amazing as the one that I was given, but I believe you should take the time to try it out; you just may get as lucky as me.
Ready to get involved? Sign up here!