A Mentoree Experience

Gangplank’s guest-blogging series illustrates the array of personalities and experiences embodied by our community. All invited participants – past brownbag speakers, anchors, new members, City of Chandler employees and others – share their Gangplank stories. Interested guest posters should send a draft to our Director of Operations.

By Craig Keeling, co-founder of Bright Pattern Design

I’m certain that the few hours we’ve spent with the mentors at Gangplank have saved us some massive mistakes—mistakes that would cost a lot of time, money, and possibly business relationships.

We’re starting our business for the same reason I imagine most people do: We want to get paid to do what we like doing. Putting everything in place to make that possible is a lot of work. And when you’ve never done it before, it can quite easily crush all the enthusiasm and momentum you’ve built up to get things off the ground.

It’s obviously important to work with people who motivate, inspire, and push you to do good work, but internal dynamics aren’t enough. Mentoring for us has turned out to be a crucial step in our formation process. Our organizational structure is now more stable and our marketing strategy is heading in the right direction, thanks to Akira Hirai, Ed Nusbaum, and Francine Hardaway.

At the most recent Phoenix Design Week, the designer Von Glitschka talked about the importance of being well-read. His presentation included the quote:

“Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else’s head instead of with his own.”
–Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788–1860

Imagine being able to think with a smart person’s head AS WELL AS ask them to elaborate! Unless you’re well-connected and can go back in time, that’s not very easy to do.

We hope to meet with as many of the mentors at Gangplank as we can. The more smart people we can borrow to further our understanding of business, the smoother ours will function in the future, and we’ll be able to focus more on doing what we love—the reason we started in the first place.

One thought on “A Mentoree Experience

  1. Craig – thanks for the kind words. I’m happy to hear that you got value out of the process. These sessions are very fulfilling for mentors too, because your enthusiasm is infectious. I look forward to hearing more about your success!


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