I went to a networking event this week where I heard an amazing speaker present. Her topic was very engaging, and I got in line to talk to her after the event. While standing in line I heard a man talking about some things I had heard before somewhere else. All of a sudden I remembered I had heard this man speak at an event in the past, so I stopped him to ask if I might be remembering correctly. I was!
He went on and on about his international motivational speaking gigs and that he had written a book. I told him I had written a book too. As he looked own at me he started to talk down to me. "Did you self-publish?" he asked. "I did, " I replied and before I could tell him why I loved self-publishing, he started insulting the self-publishing model and touting his own book.
I suggested doing a book exchange sometime. He asked me what my book was about, and when I told him it was about conversations with my mentor, he replied, "I don't need that because I am a mentor." Boy am I glad he doesn't mentor me! I don't want career guidance or career advice from this man.
So I decided to change the subject and tell him that I was interested developing my speaking engagements. To that he told me I couldn't have a speaking career because there was too much competition, I wasn't famous and no one would care to hear me. All of this was coming from a "motivational" speaker. I was taken aback by his pompous, discouraging attitude. I told him I was trying to build a speaking career by beginning small, not start off speaking to arenas full of people.
Fortunately it was my turn to talk to the event speaker so I could end this ever-unpleasant conversation. The man was so over the top that I just left laughing at his ridiculousness. There's no way I could take such arrogance personally. I guess I was mistaken to expect encouragement from a man in his position.
The point of this story isn't to hammer on the rude man, but it is to share another example of an anti-mentor encounter. I hope I remember this man forever and that I never behave like him. I aspire to be a generous, gracious person at all stages of my career, and try everyday to fulfill that aspiration!