By Belén Gómez Pereira
Throughout our life we have several mentors ; people we admire and who guide us on the right path. From your parents, grandparents, and siblings, to your teachers, co-workers, and partners. Everyone can be at some point. At each stage of our development we choose mentors, and if we do it well, many of them can stay for years to see us grow (whether or not they follow their recommendations).
Particularly in the business world, mentors are one of the great assets of great entrepreneurs. These people can not only give you valuable advice based on their experience – which often exceeds yours by light years – but also give you honest feedback, encouragement in difficult situations and even the connections you need to put yourself on the map of your life. industry.
Choosing a good mentor doesn’t happen overnight. Nor is it something that should be forced or come about by chance. It’s about creating strong relationships, built on mutual trust and respect. And it is that your mentor must also admire your capacity, ability and talent; otherwise you will get little from the time you spend with him.
In my case, I have been fortunate to discover several valuable mentors, and although I am not an entrepreneur, I know how important it is to have this figure in my life. Since I started college, I found my greatest mentor in my journalism teacher.
Sergio Rodríguez Blanco was not only a teacher, but also at that time, and at only 26 years old, he already had a master’s degree and worked in recognized publications. Currently -seven years later- Sergio is a doctor, art critic, FONCA fellow and won the 2009 ‘Luis Cardoza y Aragón’ Prize for Fine Arts in Literature for his magnificent essay “Alegorias Capilares. Human hair on paper in the work of Gabriel de la Mora ”. And he continues to teach foolish students (like me).
I think it goes without saying that the journalist of Spanish origin, and Mexican by conviction, is a person whom I admire enormously. Sergio has a brilliant mind, a tart sense of humor, and endless talking points. But the best thing is that, first as a teacher-student and then as colleagues, we are friends who can talk for hours and more if we are accompanied by a good coffee.
Sergio has always infected me with his passion for journalism and literary perfection, of which he is a faithful example. In fact, in my workspace I still have a postcard that refers to the book “Sostiene Pereira”, by the Italian author Antonio Tabucchi.
The work about a nostalgic writer who abandons writing obituaries to direct a cultural newspaper was the first text he asked us to read in his class.
Today, that postcard inspires me and reminds me of my vocation for the profession, but also of the primary task that I gave him (a brief analysis of the novel) of which he told me: “you write well, but you must use more points”.
Sergio always believed in me and my abilities (which coming from someone I admire means even more), but he never hesitated to tell me when something was not right or could be improved.
To this day, he continues to support me, giving me contacts, ideas, advice and words of encouragement. Although we don’t talk as much as before, when I have a question or a problem I don’t doubt who to turn to. I know that in him I still have a mentor, a guide and a friend.
If you don’t have someone like this close to you – who motivates you to be better and gives you tools to achieve it – start your search right now; if you have it, I always give him a call to chat and catch up. Never forget to refill that coffee cup.