Thank You: Mentorship
Over the years, I’ve been in position to answer various questions, in various interview formats. Whether a feature in a publication, a sit-down interview on video, or a contribution to a keynote presentation or seminar at an industry function, I’ve been fortunate enough to cover a variety of topics throughout these experiences. There has however been, one, internally glaring, omission from my areas of discussion. Until, a question was asked in one profile feature in 2018 that opened the door to this topic. I provided my answers, and was a bit relieved to finally be able to cover it. As with all publications, ultimately, publishers and editors decide which answers make it into an article, and which need to be trimmed down. My answers on this oft-omitted topic were cut. I was highly disappointed. As much as I love indulging my ego (relax, we all do – it’s human nature), I find it very important to give credit when credit is due.
The topic that I’m referring to is mentorship. As much as we all acknowledge the importance of mentorship and guidance, it’s mainly overlooked as we continue to self-promote to further our careers and/or businesses. As we all know however, one cannot attain success purely on their own, without the proper support and guidance; particularly from those that have the proverbial “blueprint to success”. “No one is capable of self-improvement if one sees no other model than themselves”. “Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can”. “If your mentors only tell you that you’re awesome, it’s time to find other mentors”. Yes, the platitudes are plentiful…but they’re all true.
The following is an excerpt from a 2018 print interview, with the omitted question referenced above:
Question: Do you have a business mentor? What one thing have you learned that you always fall back on?
Answer: I'm a huge advocate of mentorship! I've been fortunate enough to have amazing mentors in my life, personally and professionally. Although he may not realize it, Kash Sree had a pretty big impact on the way that I saw business and advertising. Kash is a highly accomplished advertising executive who happened to be my first copywriting instructor when I was chasing my advertising dreams. His brutal honesty was sometimes tough to handle for my classmates, but I loved it because I knew that honest feedback would be the only thing that would help us all improve. He also positioned storytelling, aspiration, and communication in a very interesting way, and it's something that I still keep in mind when I create any advertising or messaging for business. Once I entered our industry, I was welcomed with open arms by many, from Mike Walter, Jake Jacobsen, Sean “Big Daddy” McKee, Adam Weitz, Jordan Marshall, and Randy Bartlett, to Randi Rae, Jack Bermeo, Anthony Venerra, Stacy Zemon, Johnny V’arvolis, RayMar, Gregg Hollmann, and my friends at the New Jersey DJ Network. But the guidance that I've received from Marcello Pedalino and Mike Wieder has been unequivocal. They not only lead by example, but also offer, what I call "sugar-free" feedback...nothing is ever sugar-coated. They tell it like is it, and they tell you what you need to hear. That was, and continues to be, essential in my growth as a performer and business owner. I greatly admire both; their accolades and accomplishments, as well as their positivity and approach to life.
I always fall back on patience and gratitude. Everyone always wants more; I think that's a natural desire, but it's so important to evaluate situations and infuse gratitude into everything. Patience is important because it certainly takes time to create quality, and gratitude makes you fully aware of how far you've come, and to keep enjoying “the process”.
About Kash: A wildly successful and industry-acclaimed advertising executive, Kash Sree has worked in advertising agencies on nearly every continent. From judging advertising competitions, to guiding his staff as an Executive Creative Director, and mentoring up-and-coming creative minds at AdHouse NYC, Kash embodies the modern-day advertising legend, with a side of humility and sense of “giving back” to the advertising community. Whether seeing his work on television, print, or perhaps Madison Square Park, Kash is responsible for some of advertising’s most respected (and likely your favorite) pieces.
About Marcello: Marcello Pedalino, is a celebrated event entertainment industry titan, Certified Fitness Trainer, author, public speaker, and entrepreneur. A 3-time “Entertainer of the Year” (previously monikered as “DJ of the Year”), author of “Celebrate Life”, lifestyle expert, and keynote speaker, Marcello not only has “celebrate life” trademarked, but he talks the talk and walks the walk. Mr. Pedalino delivers meaningful keynote presentations that help individuals, and companies, prioritize “Work-Life Integration” and recognize the importance of “Energy Management”. Above all else, he holds himself, and those around him, to a high standard, delivers on promises, and continually looks to self-improve.
About Mike: Mike Wieder is an internationally recognized event entertainer and author of “Be The Difference Maker: A Blueprint For Transforming DJs Into Entertainers”. A true “tell it like it is” critic of all things status quo, Mike continually influences the event entertainment industry through his self-evolvement, seminars, and leadership. For over three decades, Mike has been an industry leader, and mentor, that many event entertainers turn to for advice; from technical support to performance guidance. A veteran contrarian, Mr. Wieder is known for his outside-the-box ideas (a box which he admittedly wants no part of), as well as his penchant for adjustment. His personal focus on a positive mental attitude and ever-comical approach to life make Mike a difference maker, in various ways.
The efforts of the gentlemen listed above are certainly never overlooked, are appreciated daily, and valued extremely.
**Please note, this post was intended to focus on professional mentorship; while my personal mentors (my Mother, Grandmother, Brother, and like-minded friends) continually motivate me to self-analyze, evolve, and push myself towards constant improvement.
With sincerest gratitude,