Are you a good prospect for the WIC Mentoring Program?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the need to make improvements in your business, yet you can’t seem to find the time to do so?

Have you lost some of the fun you once felt from having your own business?

And do you sometimes feel the need to have a team of peers to bounce ideas off?

If so, you may be perfect for the next session of WIC’s Mentoring Program, planned for this fall.

We’re looking for both mentees and possible mentors for the fall session of the six-week program which helps WIC members focus on and improve their business marketing and operations.

Desiree Lehrbaum, Lumen Consulting, and I worked together to create the pilot program last fall, and then led a spring session, too. Desiree focused on the marketing and business development aspects of the program, while I led vision-setting, action planning, and process streamlining.

We learned from our pilot that the program works best for WIC members who’ve been in business for a year or more. By this point, they have some experience as business owners, and have tried some things that work and some that don’t. They’re ready to make changes and improvements in their marketing and business management processes and skills.

The program is designed around a series of webinars, held once a week for an hour. Mentees have homework assignments each week that are due a few days before the next session.

We found that the homework is an important part of the mentees’ learning process. It helps them try out what they’re learning, and get feedback about what they tried. It also helps pace mentees through some specific changes and improvements in their businesses that they’ve often long been meaning to make.

Another important part of the program’s success is the 1:1 mentoring call that each mentor holds with each mentee during the last three weeks of the program. This  reinforces the learning and helps to tailor it to each mentee’s specific needs.

Because members of the spring Mentoring Group were all based in the Bay Area, we tested a recommendation the pilot group made, that we meet in person for the kickoff session, when possible. This helped mentees get to know each other well right from the start, and strengthened their sense of being part of a supportive group.

I’ll share more information about the WIC Mentoring Program in future blog posts, including an exercise or two that we used in the group so you can see if the program may be a good fit for you, too, at some point in the future.

To help you understand more about the program, here are comments from a few of the spring participants about their experience:

“This was a WONDERFUL program! I’m so glad I did it!” said Gabriela Martinez, Texto. Asked if she would recommend the program, Gabriela added, “Absolutely! It helps you view your business from a fresh point of view and allows you to find where you are stuck.”

“I would highly recommend the program. It’s reassuring to know that there are others out there struggling with the same challenges you may be struggling with,” said Mary Ann Rheinberger, MarGoMar Medical Marketing Solutions. “Sometimes just a change of thinking may be all you need to help you along the way,” she added.

“It is a great few hours in a crash course and it is well designed and taught. I really enjoyed it,” said Mojdeh Marashi, Blurred Whisper LLC.

“The mentoring program was very helpful,” said Amrit Dhaliwal, Expert Quote Insurance Services, adding, “It helps to learn from other professionals.”

“It’s a great experience,” said LouAnn Conner, Sagacious Consulting.

If you have questions about the program, or are interested in being considered for the fall session, just send me an email at and let me know whether you’re interested in being a mentee, or think you might be a good candidate to be a mentor for the program.

We look forward to seeing you, too, in a future WIC Mentoring Program group!' About Jan Richards

Principal of J. G. Richards Consulting, Jan helps companies improve profitability and revenue as they decrease business complexity and costs. This occurs in many ways, including: streamlining business operations; project management for major change and process improvement teams; coaching leaders of major change programs; creating long-range visions and strategic plans. A WIC Board member, Jan oversees WIC's strategic initiatives and mentoring programs.

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