I came here first, arriving from New York in August 2014, hoping that my decision to move to Dallas with my wife would be the perfect next step in my career. At that point of my life, I had a solid understanding of what I wanted to do and what I was good at. SUCCESS offered everything I wanted—exposure to a new part of the country, a strong brand and, most importantly, a talented young staff.
Related: 7 Ways to Be the Best Mentor Ever
Kelly Daniel showed up in my office in March 2015 straight from the University of Oklahoma. I was looking to fill an entry-level position that would handle tasks across advertising and marketing while offering a great opportunity for someone looking to get a start in media. As we fumbled though a conversation that was as awkward as one I might have with my daughter, I saw that she was smart and a good person. I hired her that day.
So now you are expecting a traditional story about how I took Kelly under my wing and shared with her all of my secrets to success. Only that is not what happened. You see, being a mentor is far from the cliché I thought it was. A successful mentorship is a partnership with each person playing both the mentor and mentee. While I could supply examples of things I did to grow over my long career, Kelly was able to inspire me with her thirst for learning, and her optimism and energy. Together we formed a team that found new ways to support and learn from each other, despite the difference in age and experience. Because of our shared mentorship, Kelly is one of my most trusted co-workers and someone who inspires me to find new ways to grow our brand each day.
The world is full of people you can learn from and be inspired by, and they come in all skill sets and age groups. The key is to invest fully in the relationship to get the most from it. Just ask my mentor, Kelly.
This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.