The importance of a mentor

I don’t know about you but, I tend to think I can do everything myself.

My logical mind knows that’s not true and now I am way better at looking and asking for help. 

Building my business as an independent graphic designer who didn’t (well, couldn’t really) think further than the next month to now running a team of five has been a life changing and major shift in how I look at almost everything business related.

And nope, I have for sure not done that all by myself. I have mentors to thank.

Mentors that I talk directly to and mentors I “spy” on.

Both types of mentors have been valuable to my growth, personally and professionally.

As you might know, I have always been an athlete which means I have always had a trainer or a coach guiding me. This was an instrumental part of realizing I needed one for business too. Why on earth would I try to figure everything out on my own when there are so many that have so much insight to offer?

Then the big question, how do you find a mentor?

Yes, sure there are lots of coaches out there, but which one should you connect with? I didn’t want a certified business coach, I wanted someone who has done what I want to do. I wanted to be guided by someone who knows my field and the struggles that come along with it but has figured out a way to make it happen.

Here’s what I did:

I took a step back and thought about the type of people I like to be around, those who I could learn from, and made a conscious decision to surround myself with those who are adding value to my life.

But where to begin when finding a mentor at this point in my career?

Look no further than my favorite professional tool, LinkedIn. I looked up a few different people in my field who had extensive experience and reached out to a few individuals asking if I could meet up for a coffee chat. To my surprise, one said yes!

I joined communities with like-minded folks.

I researched podcasts that would be beneficial and started listening as much as I could, when I was walking, training, cleaning the house, anywhere, anytime.

My greatest mentor, my father, has been the biggest bonus in my business journey. He is an entrepreneur enthusiast, has been a businessman his whole life, and worked in a field like mine. Growing up, I thought of him as dad flying around the world for work but didn’t really know the gift I had right in front of me. Then when I was on the hunt for people to learn from it hit me like a ton of bricks, and what an eye-opening experience that was!  

Not only do I get a gold mine of knowledge and objective opinion a call away at any time, but I also got closer to my sweet dad which probably is the best gift I could have ever asked for. I know I’m extremely fortunate but perhaps you have somebody around you that you haven’t seen in that way before.

When you start opening up to the knowledge that is already out there, get ready for some big shifts.

Business Highlight: Tahona

Is there anything better than a delicious mezcal spirit with flavorful Oaxacan eats?

Tahona does it best.

Located in the Old Town neighborhood of San Diego, the one-of-a-kind agave bar brings the spirit of Oaxaca to Southern California.

Tahona’s mission is “to educate and give reverence to the complexity and beauty of the Mexican culture through its most iconic beverage, mezcal and to become an epicenter of mezcal culture in San Diego.”

Inside their space, you get to experience unique, amazing cocktails, fill up on delicious Oaxacan inspired food, and can taste some of the best mezcals in the world. The team at Tahona has a colorful selection of over 120 mezcals, creating a tasting experience that is fun, educational, and memorable.

Right when you step foot into the restaurant you immediately feel and see the Oaxacan influence. Located next to the Campo Santo Cemetery in Old Town, there is a historic energy throughout the restaurant. With hand painted tiles and handmade rope seats which were sourced from Oaxaca, visitors get the feeling of being transported to a modern Mexican hacienda.

The authenticity of Tahona is prevalent on all levels, from their furniture choices to the mezcal selection, which was one of the reasons I chose to work with them.

Here at KHD we work with a wide variety of businesses that make a greater impact, those who use their skills for good through authenticity, education, and inspiration.

When creating their logo, I did a lot of research on the history and process of mezcal, which is fascinating. Learning the story and production of mezcal, I decided to incorporate the heart of the agave plant into the design, bringing Tahona’s spirit of agave to life. I wanted to make sure it felt rustic yet modern to fit with their vision.
As a designer, it is extremely fulfilling to see my work bringing others’ visions to life. As someone who loves interior design, it was extra special to see it in a restaurant. Another part that made this project memorable is how focused this group is on using their skills to make a greater impact while staying true to their values of authenticity, education, and inspiration.

Tahona proudly shares the purpose of taking their greater impact home to Mexico:

As a socially responsible business, we support the work that Corazon de Vida is doing with 10 orphanages and over 550 disenfranchised children in Baja California. Our first project is to open the first art center at Rancho de los Ninos, an orphanage located in Valle de Guadalupe. Just as mezcal is a powerful force to learn about geo-political and environment issues, art is a powerful medium for healing and creating a deeper connection with the soul and we are excited to be part of this project.”

Next time you are in San Diego, I highly recommend visiting Tahona and enjoying their Oaxacan influences and rustic designs! This is a project am really proud to be a part of and I think you will see why when you experience the beauty of Tahona.

Take a seat at the bar, enjoy a Corn & Chile Poblano Croqueta with a signature mezcal drink and you will be well on your way to an unforgettable evening!

How failure leads to success

Were you taught that failing was a bad thing?

For me, as an elite athlete, it was all about winning. I was very competitive (and still am! Any kind of challenge or race, I can’t contain myself 😉 )

Keeping winning or succeeding in the forefront of your mind is certainly important but failing is never a bad thing.

Failing or messing up, first off means that you have the courage to try something you are not so good at, yet…something you may be able to win/succeed at one point. Having that courage to try, and possibly fail, is a pertinent ingredient for success.

I wish I could remember where I read this, but I don’t… so unfortunately, I can’t give the author credit.

The author wrote about making a point to ask his kids at dinner if they had tried something new, rather than just asking how their day was. If they had and it hadn’t gone so well, he still congratulated them!

I love that mindset, to train your kids that it’s okay to fail and keep trying.

Adults need to remember to do that too, especially if we are going to win in this entrepreneurship rollercoaster ride. This experience is all about being uncomfortable, trying new things, messing up, and trying again.

Talking about challenges or racing… do you want to do a 30-day challenge with me?

30 days of trying something that you might (in your opinion) not be good at. Do something bold or outside your comfort zone every day.

Your challenge can be anything from making that nervous phone call, letting a stranger know about your services, following your workout schedule to a tee, or dancing in public ;).

Whatever it is that you tend to procrastinate on will push you a bit more than normal!

I did this with a friend a couple of years ago, it was one of my favorite 30-day challenges I have done.

Do you want to do it with me?!

Hit reply if you are in and we’ll keep each other accountable.

Ready to be bold, try something new, be okay with failing so you can get to where you want to go? 

Well, if you are in for the challenge, you know I am.

Do yourself a favor and hit reply. It will be fun!

(Yeah, maybe a little uncomfortable but when done you are going to feel great!)