Dear New Millennial Broker, 

So you know I love to give advice by now, right?  I recently spoke at Baruch College, a business school in NYC where I serve as a mentor. I didn’t go to school there — I mentor there because the students inspire me. 

The theme for the night was:  Dream Big, Do More.

How powerful!

I find we so often start thinking about how to improve ourselves or start off the New Year right, but oftentimes we forget to go back to the basics of what got us to where we are today.  Dream big, do more.

The people in our industry didn’t get where they are by themselves; there was someone there giving a hand to pull them up.  Someone mentored each of us, serving as an example that we could dream big; that we could do more.

When you take the time to mentor, you often hear people say, “I got so much more than I was given.”  Do you know why?  Because they are focused on you.  Being a coach or teacher is job-focused, as people in those roles are impartial and work to improve behavior and knowledge. A manager or boss is results-focused, because how well you do affects their bottom line. But a mentor is person-focused. They act as a guide and a sounding board. A mentor volunteers their time and shares their knowledge without a tangible reward.  It’s a selfless act to get you to dream big and do more.

Have you mentored?  Isn’t it time for you to step up and look behind you.  Who can you help?  Who can you pull up?  I know might be thinking, “What do I have to give? No one wants to listen to me.”  Or you might feel nervous and uncomfortable.  A mentor of mine always said to me, “Susan, if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing.”  I have been uncomfortable a lot!  A few months ago, I finished serving as the youngest National President in the 80-year history of WIFS. Talk about uncomfortable!  But I had women who stepped up, looked behind, reached out and told me that I could be a visionary. I could help the industry. I could dream big. I could do more.

I had another mentor who told me, “Susan, at all times in your life, you need to have something that is bigger than you and that makes you stretch.  If we do not have a “stretch” in our lives, we cease to grow.”  In business, we sometimes call this a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG). This forces us to face the future. This forces us to dream big and do more.

I was recently listening to someone who was giving advice to students and she said, “Don’t roar after the kill.”  I sat there thinking, “Are you freaking kidding me?”  Why be ashamed when you do something great?  You never know who is looking at you, or who you are inspiring, and dammit, if you don’t roar, who will roar for you?

So take it in, let it wash over you.  Reflect on your life. What is working for you right now to help you achieve success?  Push your limits, make yourself uncomfortable, find your stretch and above all, dream big and do more!