Are You Obligated to Provide Mentorship?

When you’re successful, is mentorship part of the deal?

As someone who is a profitable, sustainable self-employed writer, I get quite a few messages and emails from people just starting their freelance journey.

I know some people may get frustrated with this, but I actually love it.

Many of these messages come directly through my website, some from Medium comments, some from Facebook groups or direct Facebook messages, others straight to my email.

I have been very public and transparent with my success, writing articles about finding great clients, how much money I make and from where, even giving away a copy of my contract for free.

I write a lot about freelancing and business and once I even wrote a deep dive on how to do your taxes as a freelancer.

I know some entrepreneurs who have said, “Isn’t that enough? If they ask questions, just point them to your blog.”

Sure, I could. And sometimes I do. In fact, most of the time when I am responding to new writers and freelancers asking questions, I often respond personally with information specific to them and their niche and then ALSO give them links to a couple of specific blog posts I think would be useful to them.

But I always respond.

Why?

I respond because I feel a small sense of obligation to help others, in addition to the fact that I have some answers, so why shouldn’t I share them?

This whole blog is premised on providing information for free to people. That’s the whole point of it.

When I started freelancing in 2016, I would do hours of research online, reading articles and blogs, watching videos, comparing pricing and offerings, and more.

And much of the time, the advice would be contradictory. Or worse — useless.

Someone might say, “I made $30k as a writer!” But then their breakdown would show it was a speaking fee and money from selling their courses — both of which are almost useless for brand new freelancers who don’t have the experience for speaking engagements and don’t have an online course to sell.

And, of course, an online course can be incredibly difficult to market and sell, plus it takes hours upon hours of writing, research, recording, and editing to make one — something most newbies don’t have time to do. They need to make money.

Mentorship

I like helping people.

I also have a platform and a business, albeit not a huge one of either.

So, as I consider myself relatively successful in my industry, I am happy to provide others with assistance and answer questions.

I did the same in my previous career. I spent 10 years in corporate sales and business development and from my very first position, I’d learn everything I could about my job. I’d become a subject-matter expert in my role. And I became a trainer very quickly.

From initially training people one-on-one, I was eventually tasked with writing training manuals for my role and in later jobs became a national trainer, training groups of people virtually and even being asked to present at industry conferences.

I have always loved being a subject-matter expert — and it’s no different in my own business. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s worse, ha!

I am an expert in what I do. I am my own expert. I use my blog to share my knowledge with others and also do so in one-on-one capacities.

Yes, as someone who has gained some success and profit in my field, I feel it is an obligation to provide mentorship and help to others.

Hoarding my knowledge doesn’t do anyone any good — even myself. I make money from my blog, too.

Also, I don’t live in a world of scarcity and competition. I don’t believe that if someone else is successful it means I cannot be. It’s not a competition. There are millions upon millions of potential clients out there, I cannot work with them all. I don’t think that it is a competition to reach success. I believe we can all be successful and that we rise by lifting others with us.

Check out my brand new book Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book and learn everything you need to know to conceive of, outline, write, publish, and market a book!

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Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

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