Biz: What strategies have you learned from this relationship?
MA: She taught me to be very intentional in what I choose to do.
RR: Sometimes saying no is the best thing you can say, but on the other hand, something I really believe is that when someone offers you a tremendous opportunity, even if you don’t feel like you’re quite ready for it, say yes anyway. Don’t say no just because you’re not ready for it. Say no because you’re not passionate about it or because it’s not your wheelhouse; don’t say no just because you don’t think you’re ready because if you wait until you’re ready, it’s never going to happen.
Biz: What have you taken from this mentorship?
MA: If you look on the outside, Robin makes it look very, very easy, and if you try to compare yourself to somebody at that level, you think, “Man, I am not there. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there.” And [this mentorship] brings out the realness that she had missteps, and she stepped outside the box and went to a totally different industry and was willing to take big chances. It’s just a confidence that she helped me find that I'm not going to fail if I try something new, you’re going to be okay, and if I just work hard, it’ll get noticed. She’s helped a lot with my confidence. I want to be a trailblazer like Robin as I grow in my career.
RR: I’ve learned that I shouldn’t have taken myself so seriously when I was younger because seeing that in her, I know that I was exactly the same way. At her age and her stage in her career, everything seems like the biggest deal in the world and like the biggest decision you’ll ever make, and, boy, do I wish I could have had somebody to talk to about that because you can really beat yourself up, and you can stress over things that you really don’t need to stress over. It’s kind of like looking back in time in a mirror.
Biz: What advice do you have for someone seeking out a mentorship relationship?
MA: You need to make sure your work ethic matches because you have to find some common ground. You need somebody to push you, but in the end, you still have to have some common ground work ethic or personality to make it make sense, and I think I was able to see Robin’s career path and the different steps she’s taken, so I knew it matched with what my end goal was.
RR: I think it should be aspirational. It needs to be someone who is aspirational to you, but it also needs to be someone that you can trust because you need to be able to be honest and open. If you don’t have that, you’re just going to be having breakfast.