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What I learned from my mentors

On the 1st of May Robert Hruzek started his group writing project "What I learned from______(Du'oh! and don't forget to fill in the blank! - No Mr Bob, we won't) and kicked the project off himself with what he learned from a light-switch. I've been invited to contribute my own little piece and hopefully am JIT (just in time - been a bit busy this week).

So, ok, my mentors. I'm very fortunate to have met two of the most kindest persons you can imagine in times I was, well to put it bluntly, out of my debt. With hindsight they are very much alike also: both have an accountancy background, but both 'specialise' (excel) in consultancy roles, both are those special kind of persons you feel comfortable with straight away- knowing at once they have that unique integrity you so rarely meet - and both are 'quiet' givers.

Givers of knowledge, givers of sharing their own experiences, givers of trust.

I met Jos over 18 years ago when he was appointed as outside IT-consultant in the company I worked for to get the software (and hardware) up to scratch. My job (non-management) had a lot to do with the computer (I even remember those big, noisy mainframes beginning 80's - and I even still know some MSDos). My manager (old boys club) wasn't having any of it and that didn't make things easier to 'upgrade' and 'update'.
Jos made sure my experiences of the old ways and ideas for new ways were taken into account (and bless him, not even taking the 'credits' for it himself).

When we moved to the UK and our first 'venture' went absolutely pear shaped (wrong stubborn partners) we got stuck (and that's just for starters: money lost, confidence lost, jobs lost, future lost?). We didn't know where to turn, what to do, how to 'survive'.

Then there was Richard C. Accountant, business consultant, BNI Ashford member, quiet friend, quiet listener, quiet guide to a new future. He taught me to believe in myself again by showing (drawing it out even on 2 A4's) what we had done so far; that the failure of the first business wasn't something we had caused - on the contrary he even now keeps insisting, we had kept it going for so much longer than thought possible; we still had our specific knowledge, skills and talents, those weren't lost.
In short: a shoulder to cry on, a hankie given, a pat on the back received and then upwards and onwards with bright, splendid, simple, bold, workable and achievable ideas.

I owe both men a lot. What I learned most from them was believe and trust in myself - they did and do.
And if they (who I both respect so very much) did and do, how could/can I not do the same?

Not doing so would be a betrayal of everything they have given and still give me.


Robert Hruzek

What a wonderful testimony of the value of having mentors to help us pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off again during rough and uncertain times!

Very inspirational, Karin, and great job! Thanks for participating!

Karin H.

Hi Robert

You're welcome ;-)

What I still find most astounding is that at both times I wasn't looking for a 'mentor'; in both cases these great and wonderful persons just 'presented' themselves, freely and unconditional.
And both kept me 'sane' ;-)

Yvonne Russell

I agree Karin, that this is very inspirational. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story.

Grow Your Writing Business

Karin H.

Hi Yvonne

Thanks for this. Your own contribution put a chuckle in my smile.

Karin H.

Stuart Baker


This is a wonderful post. I think back to the few people in my life who by a simple vote of confidence in me or a few supportive words made more of a difference than they knew.

How nice to focus in gratitude on your mentors' contributions and then pass on the same spirit.

Say, what about the idea of thanking any of our mentors who are still with us?

Stuart Baker

Karin H.

Hi Stuart

Thank you for your kind words. Both mentors have been tremendous and as for thanking the mentor who is still with me: I'm still very fortunate to have mine 'around' and I try to thank him whenever I can
(but true to form: every compliment I give is bounced back straight away by him - giving me all the credit where he's the one that deserves it).
What do you do about that?

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