September 27, 2023

Find mentors to help guide your vision

“I’ve been blessed to find people who are smarter than I am, and they help me to execute the vision I have.” ~ Russell Simmons

I am convinced that having mentors in your life for advice will help pave the way to huge successes in every area of your life. I strongly suggest you find mentors to aid you with tough issues and decisions. Their thoughts about you and your situations can give you so much meaning and clarity.

My dad was a huge mentor in my life. I started working with him at 19 years old. He taught me to believe in myself and to never ever quit. He taught me how to make sales and to learn not to always take from others but to learn to give back to others. I know he probably got so tired of teaching me how to do things because I would ask a million questions. Be sure your mentor has patience.

Another suggestion: It important to have several mentors in your life simply because one person doesn’t have all the answers and you need different perspectives. I have several mentors for different areas in my life. In making business decisions, I have mentors who are business people and strong leaders. For personal or family issues, I seek the advice of few mentors who I admire.

If you don’t have a mentor and want one, here are few things to remember in finding the right person:

  1. Be sure the mentor is someone you respect and trust:
  2. Choose wisely: You should be careful to avoid a mentor who is bossy or controlling. These people can cause more harm than good in your life. On the other hand, some people just aren’t the mentor type no matter how much you admire them. Communication is a hard thing to master for some people, even successful ones.
  3. It’s OK to have a mentor outside your career field: A different perspective on your life and career can help you see the big picture or details you may be overlooking.
  4. Always show gratitude. Let your mentors know you appreciate them from time to time. A nice gift card or treat to a meal or gift can mean a lot to let them know how valuable they are to you. This also can go a long way to helping your relationship grow. Everyone wants to know they are appreciated.
  5. Decide what you want exactly from a mentor. Have a purpose and a plan. For example, I did not have an action plan when I asked one person to mentor me. He asked me why and for what purpose. It was a good question, but I was not prepared to answer. I quickly understood that you should seek a mentor with a clear plan and a purpose.

In building Columbia Southern University, we surrounded ourselves with people who knew more than we did about various aspects of education. In those early days, I cannot remember a time where we did not call on someone to help us make crucial decisions. It is all about teamwork and finding where others fit in your life to build you up. The benefits of mentors have been immeasurable to us in creating the CSU we have today.

So, I will leave you with these questions: Do you have a mentor in your life? Who mentors you in decisions about your career? Your family?

Please comment below and let me know!

Chantell Cooley

Chantell Cooley is the vice president of Columbia Southern University Education Group and the vice president of Training and Development at CSU. Her blog Empower U is updated weekly on Monday mornings.




  1. Wanica Nixon

    I believe it is very important to find a mentor because this person can guide your spiritual and professional growth. I am currently looking for someone that can assist me in answering questions about my resume, if I’m doing this right since this new career change is so new to me and since I been in my current job for 14 years. To be honest it is scary starting over, but I know I will succeed. I currently mentor young hope that feel that have no way out and may want to venture to the less positive side. So it’s my job to motivate and empower to help ensure their success. So in time I hope to find that someone that help me become a better person for my community.

  2. Chantell Cooley


    Thank you for your post. I want to encourage you to contact our Success Center and they will be excited to help you with your resume. I like your positive thinking. We believe you will succeed!

    Your CSU Family,