2020 Evergreen Mentoring Program

This past year, I wrote an article that required all the vulnerability and bravery I had that whole month. It was about being a woman in data visualization and some (just some) of the shit that has come with it. It was exhausting to recall the experiences I discussed in the article (while also bracing for the reactions I knew were forthcoming) and in the process of writing it I found myself mourning the fact that I didn’t have female mentors in my life at the time to help me through those situations.

I’m here to rectify that – to be a mentor for other women and to establish future mentors, in turn.

2020 will usher in the third cohort of mentees. This past year, the second cohort has been digging deep, even when life is busy, to construct a business that has some legs, that is off and running. One said, “Basically, I went from burning out to building a business up.” And you know that’s right.

Past mentees have said this about their experience:

Stephanie never ceased to amaze me with her leadership, dedication, accessibility and overall kickass ability to help each of us recognize our strengths, build our focus, and develop skills for entrepreneurship. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this mentoring group over the last year and know the other talented women professionals in our group will continue to support and strengthen each other as we grow our businesses. 

Robin

Stephanie’s guidance and the support of the women in this cohort were invaluable in helping me with the operational aspects of starting and maintaining a business (e.g., pricing, branding, clients, marketing); however, it was the mentorship around what it means to be a female business owner, dealing with feelings of imposter syndrome and anxiety around change that really made this an unparalleled experience for me and built my confidence as a business owner. Michelle Obama said “People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.” Stephanie has created something truly powerful in this mentorship experience.

Amy

What it will involve

A 1-year commitment, starting March 1, 2020.

Regular communication (meaning daily, weekly) on Slack (I’ll show you how to set up) around a new topic each month. The exact agenda will be set based upon the needs and interests of the women selected for the program. Right now, the agenda includes: figuring out your focus, knowing what to charge, branding, marketing, all the dirty behind the scenes details of running a business, centering your ethics, choosing clients, project management, hiring a team, and what to wear.

Really brutally honest conversation. I’m going to challenge you a lot. You’ll need to be comfortable sharing private details like your hourly rate, for example. Likewise, strict confidentiality is absolutely non-negotiable.

Quarterly virtual group conversations on Skype. I don’t have time to waste and neither do you so it won’t be a bunch of chit-chat on Skype, it’ll be critical check-ins where we discuss recent monthly topics, how you are progressing in these areas, and how business-building is going.

A $20 per month financial commitment. This isn’t so you pay my bills. This is so you have a little skin in the game and are more likely to make the commitment to participate regularly.

Scripts, email templates, and other forms of support to set you up for success (based off of the very same things my mentors gave to me).

Who should apply

You identify as female and are in the early stages of starting a business. You should have more than a dream of starting a business. It can’t just be your hobby project. You should be on the ground, running it, or ready to do within the very near future. It doesn’t have to be your full time job right now, but you should be planning that move within the year.

You should be interested in learning how to run a successful business. I WILL NOT teach you how to do data visualization. That’s not what this is about at all. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. You do not necessarily have to be a running the business by yourself. This does not have to be your first career. I don’t care how old you are.

You can commit to regularly asking questions, doing a bit of homework, and responding to others. Perhaps up to 30 minutes a week. Each week. Even when you think you are on vacation.

How to apply

Send me an email, in which you tell me:

A little about you, your background, your identity

The stage of your business (there are not hard definitions around this, so just describe where you’re at)

Why you want to be a part of this

That you can commit to the time and financial expense I’m laying out here

Email it all to me by February 14.

Then what

I’ll select 4 women by February 28. Everyone will get a reply from me no matter what.

The 5 of us dive in on March 1.

With gratitude for the mentors who have come before me and with hope that we can build a better world,

Stephanie

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