Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a mentor or run
a mentorship program? Mentoring can be a fulfilling job that can positively impact
your life. In fact, recent research shows that helping others can increase your
sense of life purpose, happiness
levels, and even your lifespan.
We talked to Cathy Goddard at Lighthouse
Mentor Network in Whistler, British Columbia to find out what it’s really like
to be a mentor, what goes into running a
mentorship program and if it really makes you happier.
How did you come up
with the idea for Lighthouse Mentor Network?
I have a human resources background and started an employment
agency in Whistler in 1995. After selling that business in 2008, I saw an
opportunity to help people cut through the huge amount of information out there
to streamline their businesses, better use their energy and carve out their own
unique entrepreneurial venture. There was also an amazing opportunity to link
dynamic, engaging and insightful women together and help them share their own
unique business wisdom that also builds confidence…. and voilà – that was the
start of Lighthouse Mentor Network.
Why did you choose to
be a mentor?
I have a lot of experience and know the challenges of
running your own small business. My personality is a great fit for listening,
understanding and giving straight forward advice (always has been!). I am known
as a straight shooter because I believe in honest and open dialogue.
Do you need certain
qualities to be a mentor?
Most definitely – listening skills, the ability to
understand a problem and offer different ways to look at it and helping guide (mentees)
to the proper solution to solve it.
What qualities are
you looking for in a mentee?
Someone open and willing to learn who shows up to do the
work, listens well and is open minded. For Lighthouse’s mentor groups, they
must also be willing to adhere to the programs values: respect, support,
generosity, curiosity and accountability.
What has been your
best experience as a mentor?
Too many to name, but honestly I walk out of every mentor
group meeting (at least 50 meetings a year) in awe of the women and their
willingness and ability to take information and implement it. They are smart,
tenacious, determined, understanding and supportive - too many things to
describe. Also, one exercise I do at the end of the year is ask that they share a word to describe
their mentoring journey that season.
What is the most
challenging part of being a mentor?
If people show up having not done the work, it’s
frustrating. I believe in people and when they don’t stretch their potential it
is disappointing. Having said that, it’s also necessary to understand that life
gets in the way sometimes. It is an important part of a mentor’s role to
dissect why that might be happening and open up the conversation to better
Do you think
mentoring makes you feel happier than when you weren’t mentoring? Why?
Absolutely! When I
sold my employment agency in 2008, I thought that 13 years of running that successful
business and then selling it was a career highlight, and I’d never be able to
match it. I was wrong! Starting and building Lighthouse into a well-respected
coaching and mentoring resource has been fulfilling beyond my dreams. It pulls
on my best qualities, stretches me, uses my organizational skills and allows me
to bring people together to make a huge difference in both professional and
personal lives. I’m delighted (to be) a connector.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, visit Mentorship
program directory, and contact a mentorship program for more information
about requirements and criteria to become a mentor in BC.