An Open Thank You Letter to My Mentors
By Rachel Wolfson, content marketing consultant and a blogger for The Huffington Post.
The English novelist, George Eliot once said, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” In other words, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve waited, there is always time to make a change and strive for more. Sometimes, however, we need a bit of encouragement from others to drive our own ambitions. This in mind, having someone else believe in you and your path to success can go a long way. Emil Eifrem, CEO of Neo Technology, even explained in his recent article featured on TechCrunch that “mentors are the real gold in Silicon Valley.” I couldn’t agree more – but why?
How Did I Get to Silicon Valley?
Looking back over the past few years, I’ve come to realize just how fortunate I am to have had some wonderful mentors in my life. Growing up, for example, I looked up to my older brother for advice and guidance. Avi had always been a whiz kid. He was the youngster who repeatedly won the chess championships throughout grade school, the college student who scored a full scholarship to MIT to earn his Masters Degree, and the genius who even had an award named after him at The University of Texas at Austin, called “AVI,” which stands for Action, Vision and Integrity.
Being exposed to my brother’s success early on taught me that anything is possible, as long as I work hard. Although at the time I didn’t know it, my older brother was my very first mentor. His achievements encouraged me to pursue my own passions, thus giving me the strength to move to Tel Aviv, Israel when I was twenty-four years old.
During my first year abroad, I earned an MA in Security and Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University. Not sure of my next steps, I applied for a content marketing position with a tech startup based in Tel Aviv. Being hired as the Content Marketing Manager for SQream Technologies opened a number of doors for me. SQream’s CEO, Ami Gal, quickly became my next mentor. Ami told me an endless amount of times how much he believed in me. Not only were Ami’s words meaningful, they ultimately allowed me to move to San Francisco to advance my career.
The SQream Technologies Team
I came to SF with just two duffle bags, the clothes on my back and the knowledge I had acquired during the years I spent living in Israel. I knew only one person in the Bay Area, a place that I had never even visited before deciding to make my big move. It took me a good eight months to start finding myself. As time passed, however, more opportunities came my way. I was eventually invited to speak at a conference to advance women in tech, which took place at UCLA. It was during this event that I met Mylea Charvat.
As a woman CEO for a tech startup based in San Francisco, Mylea demonstrates qualities that female founders need in order to succeed in a male dominated industry. She is confident, believes in her company’s vision and doesn’t take no for an answer. After meeting Mylea, I almost immediately expressed that I wanted her to mentor me. Since then, Mylea and I have met a numerous amount of times. She has provided me with advice and knowledge for building a career. Mylea has shared stories with me about the struggles she’s encountered as a woman CEO and the gender bias she has faced along the way. Yet she has never given up, and has only continued to pursue her passion and grow her company, Savonix. Mylea’s determination and success have greatly impacted me, proving that determination goes a long way when it comes to career success.
Why We Need Mentors
My personal journey aside, the point I’m trying to make is that mentors are inspiring people who know what it takes to succeed professionally. I never would have been so driven to succeed if I didn’t have my older brother to lead by example. I never would have entered the world of tech and understand my writing capabilities if I didn’t have someone there to take a chance on me and offer encouragement along the way. Finally, I never would have continued moving forward in San Francisco if I didn’t have another strong woman to look up to. Fortunately, my determination only continues to grow as a result of the influential people who I have met over the years. Whether you know it or not, we all need good mentors in our lives in order to advance ourselves.
I want to hear from you – Do you have a mentor who has influenced your professional career? Leave your feedback below, or send a tweet to @Rachelwolf00
Rachel is an avid blogger, writer and fitness buff. she enjoys writing about women in tech, life in Israel and new and innovating startups. Content Marketing Enthusiast @ Moogsoft | Tech Blogger & Huffington Post Contributor. Follow Rachel at @Rachelwolf00