Mentoring the next generation can be a difficult but uplifting experience. In this episode, we discover mentorship insights and experiences as our host, Samantha Postman, sits down for a talk with Justin Furtado, Co-Founder and Captain of Empowerment at EmPact. Samantha and Justin talk about mentorship, what they learned as both mentor and mentee, and paying it forward. A discussion on teachability and reciprocation is also featured in this conversation. Here is a great-jumping off episode, especially for listeners who wish to develop their mentorship skills.
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- 01:27 Making an EmPact through Mentoring
- 06:37 Mentorship Reimagined: Side-by-Side vs. Face-to-Face Mentoring
- 16:27 Being Teachable and Having Initiative as a Mentee
- 21:04 Building the Mentor-Mentee Relationship: Setting Expectations and Boundaries
- 23:37 Paying Forward: Leaving a Bit of Yourself Everywhere You Go
- 31:39 Serving And Giving: Building into People
- 40:31 The Power of Reciprocity: Receiving as a Giver
- 45:23 Building Relationships in a New City
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Samantha on Lighting The Way: Mentoring The Next Generation, Teachability and Paying Forward with Justin Furtado
Justin: In this episode of Bold Perspectives with Samantha Postman, you’re going to notice that this is not Samantha Postman. This is Justin Furtado and I am super thrilled to present to you our conversation. In our conversation, we talked about campfire mentoring, side-by-side mentoring, how to be teachable, how to set intentions, take initiative, building into people and serving and giving to others to heal ourselves. I’m super stoked and super pumped to be on and ask Samantha some questions. I hope you all enjoy this episode. The Captain of Empowerment at EmPact is me.'When you're mentoring through cohort-based, the energy of it is so much more powerful and you're more likely to step into it.' Click To Tweet
Samantha: EmPact is with an E, right Justin?
Justin: We did it differently. If you look at the word capital E and capital P. Empowering, EmPact as a pack is the reason we chose that word.
Samantha: Check it out. I saw your website. I love the way you talked about empowerment and giving back as a pack. You did a great play on the words. I love that you did EmPactors. It’s a little different and a little bit crossing over the empowerment but the impact is memorable. Great job on the new initiative there. Justin, it’s nice to meet you. I’m so glad we got an opportunity to meet. I am so excited about your new launch. You started on Memorial Day for the USA. I’m from Canada so our long weekend is Victoria Day. I heard you have this launch and I’m so excited because it’s something that’s near and dear to my heart. I healed a lot through volunteering. I know you don’t know that much about me but I have a strong volunteer background internationally like Honduras.
I’ve been all over the world doing some projects as well as a lot locally. My role is to mentor young adults. I mentored them on and off all the time but I dedicated 2.5 years. I did it weekly. We all know that for 18 to 30-year-olds, it’s not weekly. It’s whenever. It might be 2:00 AM or something like that after a meeting but it was one of my favorite times in my life. That was a volunteer position but I swear I’ve got way more out than I gave, which I am probably sure you get. I’m going to let you introduce what you’re doing. Tell me what you’re excited about. What’s going on with you?'You're not going to change your life in this next hour, but it might plant some seeds that you can then go back and water and tend to.' Click To Tweet
Justin: I feel like there’s a lot of synergies because I went to Uganda twice in a small rural village and volunteered, voluntoured or whatever we want to say. I can definitely testify that when you serve from your heart and you go and volunteer, you end up gaining a lot more than you think you’re giving out. I definitely feel like we’re in the same boat and same energy. That’s why we connected. You’re like, “Let’s get you on this show.” I love this whole mentoring aspect because I feel like I’ve had so many wonderful mentors in my life.
My parents and my grandparents are probably my first ones but I had some strong role models in my friend’s parents especially one of my friend’s dad, who was our middle school basketball coach. He and always there for me and that’s something that I valued and other people mentoring me that I wanted to give that back. I started mentoring people in college. I worked at the Boys and Girls Club. I still want to mentor youth. I’ve mentored college students for three years.
One of my students is part of the EmPact Team. It’s cool to see full circle, he was still at the University but the fact that I was his mentor and now we’re friends, teammates and colleagues goes to show and come full circle that when you give back you do end up getting something out of it. It’s not that you necessarily need to get something out of it but it seems like that’s how the universe typically works. With that, a long story short with how Better World Challenge transitioned to EmPact. In EmPact, we’re building a digital network for young professionals, people that are graduated whether from high school, community college or college and helping them transition in the real world and build out an expansive network. Especially in the digital age, we are meeting through networking on the internet. I think that is here to stay and that’s only going to grow.
I have noticed a lot of people are pretty timid of it still and I can still be timid to it. We want to help his young professional age, meet a lot of people together. Eventually, our next step is to bring in some mentors too because as you’re passionate about mentorship, having mentors whether it be weekly, monthly, twice a year and having someone to guide you along this journey of your career. One of the reasons we started EmPact is because you’re spoon-fed everything you need up to high school and even to a certain extent into college. You get into the real world and you’re like, “What in the world am I going to do?” Making a lot of decisions is difficult. Having a community to do that with is here and where we’re going to go. We launched on Memorial Day like Victoria Day. Launching on a holiday is probably not the best idea.
Samantha: I read that on your Twitter.
Justin: That’s the thing with entrepreneurship. You learn from mistakes. One of the only days I worked for my team at all to be there. We had two people in the room. It was small. We want to build a network and we’re going to have a lot more people in the room than two, especially in the US. There’s a lot of data on the number of people that were traveling. It’s symbolizing the post-pandemic summer. A lot of people were busy point-blank and shortly. The energy in the room is great. Our team is excited. Our doors are open and we’re pivoting to June 2021 being all of the launch month. It’s having a different aspect there. I will probably ask some questions on how to maximize and make the most of the launch month. That’s a little bit about me in a nutshell and what’s going on in my life right now.'Helping people through their issues can be therapeutic for your own issues. Even if they're not the same ones.' Click To Tweet
Samantha: It’s interesting that you talked about how nervous people are about this format of mentoring. It doesn’t look what it normally did or what people think. To be honest, I don’t know that the way people think mentoring is the right way to do it either. It’s sitting across from coffee and it’s this forced face-to-face. The problem with mentoring is almost this face-to-face that we forced it into because if you look at tribal cultures, which is where we come from as humans, everything was side-by-side. You hunted and cooked with someone. As we progressed, when I look at men, especially, you would do that while you were working on a car because when you’re face-to-face, it’s a different vulnerability, there’s a different forceness to it and there’s not a lot of time to reflect because it’s a quicker conversation. I love that you do Boys & Girls Club because boys especially are lacking mentorship.
My heart leaps for joy when you were telling me you did this because we need solid men who are leading our next-gen. If you look at the age before where we are now, everybody’s in these isolated homes. Take one example I was giving of working on a car. If you worked on a car with your dad or your uncle, the kinds of things that you talked about, “Dad, what are girls like?” Maybe the dad starts that conversation, “She’s like an engine, son. You’ve got to take good care of her.” It would be better with oil. Talking about pistons and making sure that you’re careful. Using those analogies and as a side by side or talking about life. That’s so beautiful and we don’t have that now because there’s that lack of trades or even hobbies. What does it look like?
Honestly, it doesn’t look like what we’re doing now sitting at a coffee shop face-to-face. There’s a space for organized and there’s a space for organic. It’s interesting that you mentioned this too because I’m on LinkedIn but not a ton. I had someone reach out to me. I thought maybe a cold email because I get a lot of them. People see CEO or CFO and they’re like, “I’m going to check. I’m totally going to pitch this person.”
It wasn’t the typical reach-out. It ends up being that he’d read my entire LinkedIn profile all of the things I’ve done. He said, “I’d like to know how you did so much in your lifetime.” That was what he was asking me. I was like, “This isn’t the typical reach out.” He’s like, “I’m not trying to buy anything from you. We work in a similar industry so I’m not trying to sell you anything. You get what I’m doing here.” We had a conversation and it ended up being a long one. He’s like, “Would you mind if you would give me some time on Fridays for a while to talk?”
For about 1.5 months, almost every Friday at his lunchtime, we met for an hour and basically talked about whatever was on his mind and whenever I thought to bring up from our last time. It was organic. This fits well with what you were with what you’re doing and maybe it’s even that the younger ones have someone like, “Can we do it through this forum?” I like the idea of doing it through a forum with what you’re doing because there’s more accountability to it. When you’re doing this cohort-based, the energy of it is so much more powerful and you’re more likely to step into it. I love the format that you chose and that you’re stepping into a revised one. It’s like mentorship reimagined, honestly. That’s what we’re talking about here.
Justin: I love that mentorship reimagined. I totally had never thought about it like that. I think about myself a few years ago and the population I’m trying to work with. I feel like I’m developed for my age but I also have to recognize that the population that we are serving is not always super confident with going in networking and being talking to someone who’s been in an industry for 10 to 15 years. It’s creating a culture of acceptance. As we use June 2021 for launch month and we build out this networking space, I’m curious how to create a side-by-side interaction on the internet in Zoom, if you have any experience around that.
Samantha: I ended up recording a podcast called How to Do it All In Your Lifetime? If someone wants to check that out. It’s basically my answer to this young man who is asking me, “How did you do it all?” That’s how the mentorship is and we didn’t talk about all of my accomplishments if you will. It was more about how to balance everything. They were relevant questions, what was going on at that time? That’s where the side-by-side comes in. With women, if I look back to the pre-online stage when you were cooking or doing the dishes, that’s when those conversations happen. That’s another thing. We don’t do dishes anymore. We throw them in the dishwasher.
Can you imagine how much mentoring was going on during dish time? When you would do your dishes with your children or with people in your family, you would talk during that time. It was dedicated talk time. It’s non-confrontational when it’s side-by-side. It reminds me of a campfire. Maybe that’s something good to use. It’s campfire mentoring, in a way. The stuff we say in a campfire, it’s that Las Vegas thing but with campfires.
It’s like “Whatever said at the fire stays in the fire.” Everyone is like, “Yeah.” Everyone knows. Once you relax, you start chatting, you’re not looking straight on and you’re relaxed like, “What’s on my heart? What’s going on?” It’s a little bit slower. I’m a fast-paced person and we all want to make the most of our one hour but that mentoring is not fast-paced and we need to make sure the next-gen knows that you can’t fast-paced mentoring.
You can’t change your heart and your direction. You need time to soak it in. This is hard for me because I’m fast-paced. You could tell I talk fast but this idea of making sure they know that this is something that you have to soak in. You also have to process and make transformational changes from that. Not everything your mentor tells you is going to apply to you. A little side note for anyone, here’s something that I learned, I wish I would have learned it younger and it’s going to apply well to mentorship.
A lot of times, people are talking to themselves. You’ve brought something out in them. You might remind them of someone they were talking about it with, especially in mentorship. It reminds them of themselves. Also, you could be the space that they’re talking in after they’ve been processing something. It’s important to realize that in mentorship, some things that your mentor says to you aren’t all going to apply to you. Some things are for the mentor. They’re saying them to you and they don’t even know it. It’s a subconscious thing we do.
I’ve never thought of it in the context of mentoring. I thought about it to the point where someone comes to me and says, “Samantha, I don’t like that you did this. You need to stop doing.” About halfway through, I’m like, “This doesn’t even apply to what happened here.” I realized that a lot of times people are talking to themselves so I don’t get offended now when people say hard things to me. There’s a truth to it because when it came out around me, I listened to the parts that applied to me, take those in and the rest of them.
I’m like, “I’ll be a vessel while that person processes whatever’s going on in their mind.” With mentorship, there’s that too. The great part is they’re talking to the younger self so you’re going to get so many nuggets from them. I could go on for months on to my younger self, which is why they’re one of the biggest hits on Quora and everything else, “To my younger self.” Also, as a caution, not everything a mentor says is 100% going to apply to you. Take that as something to consider as you’re going on.'When you serve, give and build into others, you heal so much. It gives purpose to your pain.' Click To Tweet
Zoom is side-by-side but you’re looking right at each other so that’s a little different. That’ll be interesting. I don’t know if you have this but chat groups or a chat between a mentor is side-by-side because there are some things you can say in a chat that you wouldn’t necessarily say personally. It gives you a little time to process, delete what you wrote, rephrase it or not respond right away and respond a little later. The chat might be as close as you’re going to get to a side by side if you were to incorporate that.
Justin: Part of it is almost creating this in such a culture of fast talk and fast results. Fast everything because I’m in the same boat. I want things now for a wide variety of reasons. Instilling a culture of you’re going to meet, building relationships and emphasizing that now is just a talk. You’re not going to change your life in this next hour but you might plant some seeds that you can then go back to water and tend to. I’m not entirely sure how much gardening works but you can move the seeds to a different spot that gets a better sun.
Samantha: You showed your colors there.
Justin: I’m not entirely sure how to garden. The point being when I say that, maybe it’s this culture and have you seen as someone that’s probably worked and mentored a lot of youth. I’m curious, what expectations, boundaries and culture do you feel works the best to help people in planting their own seeds? Sometimes, as a mentor, you can project a little bit. I know that I definitely have done it before. I’m like, “Don’t do this and this.” I’m talking to my younger self and they’re completely different life paths but how do you give them the keys to be watering their own plants in a safe environment?
Samantha: I’m going to skirt around a little bit of what you said because one point I want to make is you have to be teachable. John Maxwell talks about this. He says, “Don’t mentor anyone who’s under 6 to 10.” I was so angry at John Maxwell for a month after I read that. I was like, “What about the 2s and the 3s? Don’t they deserve someone to help them get to 3 or 4?” I wrote a paper. I have a Master’s that I did. I started when I was 40. In my final action research project, I did a study on how to improve my mentorship skills. You didn’t even know all this stuff. It fits with what I was doing. I dedicated many months and a lot of pages to that. I did some research.
I struggled with that but now I see what he’s saying. You need to find someone who’s teachable. Two is a teachable range. If I was to say, I would say, “Pick a 6 out of 10 that’s teachable. It doesn’t mean where they’re at in their walk of life.” For example, if someone says no to them, how do they respond? Is it like, “You don’t know what’s in my life,” and getting ranty there or is it, “What can I do to change? Do you have something that will help me?” How they respond will definitely tell you how teachable they are but I’m saying this because as a mentee, you need to be teachable. If you don’t get the job you want, it’s not because they missed a good thing but you need to ask a question. What is it that I could improve on the next time? What can I learn from that? Being teachable is important.
With young adults, I’m okay with this but not many mentors would be. I’m fine with somebody calling or messaging me and saying, “Is there any way you can fit in a Wednesday night. I need someone to talk to.” I don’t do it often but I will do it. That doesn’t always work for people in professional life. They can’t move their schedules around. Trying to stick to the schedule that the mentor gives you. Personally, I have found that Fridays work well for a lot of people because we’re tired and we’re not going to get a lot done anyway. Some advice, if you’re a mentee looking for someone, if you ask for a Friday lunch or Friday afternoon slot, I think you’re more likely to get a spot than if you ask for a Monday morning or Tuesday.
You called yourself a captain earlier instead of a CEO, which I absolutely love but know that they might have something come up. If they have to cancel, be grown-up about it and be like, “Can we reschedule? Would you like to reschedule before then or go to our regular time for next Friday?” When you come back the next Friday, have two weeks’ worth done. That impresses me. If you’re like, “We didn’t meet last week so I kept my whatever from last week but I moved on a little bit and went and did this and this.” I promise you. Your mentor will go the extra mile for you if you show promise, you’re teachable and take initiative.
That’s what I had with this young guy through LinkedIn. He took initiative and asked me. Always ask. You’d be surprised how many people are accessible that you don’t think are. Don’t worry about the rejection. If 9 out of 10 say, “I can’t do this.” Even for me, not that I should say this on a podcast, I would have been fairly accessible. The next thing I know, my DMs are going to be massive. I’ve been fairly accessible. I’m a tax accountant by first trade. I closed my practice no but I could take way more clients. Sometimes, we want to balance it out. We want to give back. We want to help the younger generation.
If someone comes to me and makes the initiative, I’m more likely to say yes because I’m like, “This was meant for a reason this person came at this time and I happen to have space in my life.” That might be 1 month or 6 weeks and it could be both sides. Training the mentees as much as the mentors. That’s a whole conversation if you and I want to talk a bit more about that and what that could look like. I’ve done both that’s more scheduled and I’ve also done organic, where we meet in a coffee shop when it works. It might be every three weeks. I seldom do scheduled times but that’s not normal.
Justin: You’re flexible with how your approach and I like this teachability and initiative. Is that what you probably preach if someone was to approach you and be like, “Samantha, can you be my mentor?” Do you lay out certain expectations? I’ve had someone be my mentor and was like, “These are going to be all the expectations and boundaries.” I’m like, “That’s cool,” because I’ve done some informal mentoring, where I’m waiting for them to email me back but there are some things we’re not super explicit about. I’m curious how you set your boundaries and some of the intentions for the relationship.
Samantha: I’ve done both. Because of the nature of young adults, I’m organic about it. I don’t call it mentoring. If you guys hate labels so do I. It’s like, “I’d love to connect and talk about X, my life or my job.” One thing I like to keep in mind is that and they should be out at the outset. Are we only going to talk about the profession? Is it going to be a blend? It should never be about personal things like that because that can happen where it’s like you’re telling them all your problems but your problems can influence your professional life.
You could say, “I’m struggling with this in my family because I’ve got this professional pursuit and my family is having a hard time with that.” That’s a fair blend. For mentees, keep that in mind. The way I do it is I don’t do a ton of work. I will start it because I’m the grown-up in the relationship and be like, “It’s important for you to initiate response back.” “I’m busy. The last thing I’m going to do is be sending you a bunch of messages if you’re not getting back to me.” I let it go and I don’t take it too personally. I’m like, “They weren’t in a good space or in the right place. I’m busy so I’ve got other things I can do.”'That's the thing with entrepreneurship, you learn from your mistakes.' Click To Tweet
Sometimes, if I think of someone, I will send them a little note or, “I was thinking about you. I came across this article.” I’ll randomly send it to them in a DM. It’s not mentoring but I want them to know that I keep up. Before COVID, I had this coffee shop that I used to frequent quite a bit and quite a few people, quite a few young adults were there. It’s like an Apple store somewhere. I love it. It’s almost all young adults and I’m there for hours.
If I got paid to sit there and talk to young adults all day, I’d be golden. I’ll take some work there but I never work. I’m always sitting and chatting with somebody and I know quite a few of them. They’ll come in and they know me, they’ll come to sit down or I’ll start chatting up with the one next to me. The next thing you know, he puts his books away. They’re like, “Can we talk?” I love it. I’ve met some fascinating people.
My style, you’re probably interviewing the wrong person for that. I can do like I did with the lunch hour one, it was scheduled. It was an informal DM, “These are some things I’d love to talk about on Friday or one thing I’m at.” I can speak off easily. I don’t need a lot of notice. I’m fine with no notification but not many people are that way. They would want the mentee to say, “These are some things I’d like to talk about,” so they’ve got some time to think about them.
Justin: I want to shift almost to this thing of time. I know you do run stuff and talk about small business and entrepreneurship, which I’m curious about. You give so much of your time because of the fact that you read thirteen shippers’ essays and you sent probably 5 to 10 minutes of feedback. I’m not going to crunch the math but that’s a good amount of minutes you’re giving away of your time. I’m curious, that’s marketing but it’s a great way to network. As I’m doing this and I’m almost wanting to follow your lead because I see it worked for other people, as well as giving. How can you further explain your philosophy on that? It might not even be in terms of direct marketing but your philosophy of giving so much of your time?
Samantha: It’s interesting that you brought that up. For anyone who’s here, we’re talking about Ship 30 for 30. If you follow my show, you’ll hear me talk about it in other episodes. What we’re doing is publishing online for 30 days with a cohort-based community. It’s super awesome and that’s how Justin and I met. We were on a group call with people from all over the world. This is my second round. Although I’m not writing every day this time, I was listening to the hearts of everyone there. They’re like, “I’m writing.” It’s going into cyberspace and no one is responding to my writing. I too know what it’s like to get this fluffy stuff online, the cheerleading squad, “Good for you,” but no one gives you anything constructive to work on.
To be honest, I purely did it because of that. There was no marketing agenda. I wasn’t trying to network at all. I was like, “I know what this is like.” I love building into people because I know you don’t know a lot about my background but I had to work hard to get to where I am. I didn’t get opportunities. I had to work at McDonald’s for four years to get a job after that to prove to people who were like, “If you can do that, you can do it. You’ve got some grit and perseverance.” I loved it. I had a few people along the way especially in the nonprofit organizations who built into me. If I wouldn’t be where I am, if I didn’t have people who took that 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 1 hour or whatever it was, talk to me like a person. I’m a valuable person in the world.
My pitch was, “The first ten people to DM me, I will go through your essay and give you some honest feedback.” I was saying, “I want you to be seen.” That’s all I was doing. Ten people, I’m going to see you. You are going to be seen 100%. Once I started doing it, I started reading through these essays. I have bad arthritis, autoimmune disease and it takes me a long time to type. Unfortunately, I’m of the age where typing was coming into computers when I graduated so I don’t type well. It was taking me forever to write comments. I went and did a Berrycast which is like Loom. I did the first one and I was like, “This is awesome.”
I wrote a positive comment on their essay online so everyone could see it and something deep for most of them. It wasn’t like, “Great job.” It was like, “Here’s something to add to that.” “This made me think of this.” “I love that you said that.” In the DM, I sent this Berrycast. They’re about between 6 and 10 minutes. It took me four hours because I had thirteen of them. A lot of people are new to Twitter and I’m new to Twitter too. I started in 2018 or something. I honestly made an account and was never there again. I was like, “I’m not going to penalize the last three who didn’t know how to go on to Twitter while we’re on our Zoom call because the other ten simultaneously did it while we’re on our Zoom call.”
They sent me a DM and said, “Please, can I meet you at TED?” I was like, “I’m not going to penalize those three because they didn’t know how to crossover.” I did all thirteen in one day. I thought it was going to take me two days but we had a campfire that night with a bunch of company. At 10:00 PM, I’m going to get them done because they’re waiting on them. I know what it’s like. Getting feedback right away is important. If you wait two days, it’s still nice but it’s not the same. I was so surprised about how that turned out. I can just give and let the magic happen. You don’t have to do it because you’re going to network or meet people. When you go in with that intention, one, you could be disappointed that people don’t respond in the way you’re expecting.
A few people were like, “Thanks.” Other people are like, “You sent me a video back? You’re the only one. I was super impressed.” Another one went through my website and said, “Here’s how I can help you with your About page. I hope you don’t mind.” I was like, “Thanks. I haven’t had the time to make the changes yet.” I didn’t expect that. Sometimes, you get nothing back when you help the universe but quite a few people asked me, “What can I do to pay you back for doing this?” Every single one of them I said, “Honestly, I didn’t do it for that. Pay it forward. Do this for someone else. Do this when you’ve got a slot.”
It’s important to encourage them so that they don’t have to reciprocate it to me. Reciprocate it to someone else. Pay it forward. Do this because someone did it for you. It’s partially because I used to be part of the Lethbridge Photography Club. I still am but actively I was there for about a couple of years and something that we did is we had these field trips. I’m a Nikon shooter so I was starting out with this fancy professional camera and had no idea what I was doing. We were on a field trip. Someone comes up beside me. I was a newbie at everything. I didn’t know anyone in the cloud or anything. We were taking pictures of this cool bridge that we have down in Lethbridge, hence the name Lethbridge. He’s like, “Let me help you out.”
Pretty much the whole night goes by. I got some good shots. In fact, one of them has been sold in some magazines that I took that night as a newbie. I took them myself and he taught me how to do it. I did the composition. It was getting close to the end of the night and his bag was unopened. He didn’t take any of his gear out. I look over and I’m like, “You didn’t take any of your gear out. You help me the whole night.” He says to me, “Someone did this for me on my first field trip so I’m doing it for you and you’ll end up doing it for someone else.”
I loved it because it leaps and bounds off of one whole night of having a private tutor, essentially. My photography I went straight in. I’ve even done this with Ship 30. I had one guy reach out to me right away. That’s what I mean. You don’t know how inaccessible people are. Only one shipper directly said, “Can you mentor me?” He didn’t use those words and I was giving them tips on Twitter and everything. I’m like, “You need to put the ship there. You need to put a bio in because I’m not going to follow you back with no bio.”
I gave him a whole bunch of tips and he said to me, “You probably cut two months off of my learning on the tips you gave me.” It’s sort of like that. We’re not all going to have someone that does that for us but you want to leave a little place in the universe, a little piece of your fingerprint somewhere especially young adults. I’m going to say this is going to be a little out of left-field but I told you I mentor young adults a lot so I hear their hearts and a lot of them aren’t getting married, getting married later or potentially facing not having children. They will talk about it behind closed doors.
I haven’t heard a lot of them talk about it publicly but this whole idea of leaving a legacy is so strong in the young adults compared to almost any other generation because potentially you are not going to have children to pass your ideas and your thoughts on or your fingerprint, essentially. There are small ways to leave a little bit of yourself. Everywhere you go, you leave a little bit of yourself. What they do with that, they might take a little bit of that and grow it.
The next thing you know I help someone who helps someone who has someone who helps someone and you don’t need to know that. You don’t know who that is but sometimes it’ll come back. That can be 100 people by helping one person. You were part of InspireOne. I was like, “You are my man.” We should go for a long coffee sometime because I almost named one of my organization’s Impact 361. The one was about how one person can make a difference around the world.
Justin: There’s so much wisdom that you all put in there but something that stuck out to me is building into people. That’s a philosophy that’s been implemented into me because it comes from my parents and I’m from a rural area. I went to a kindergarten through to eighth-grade school that only had 120 students. The value of giving back to your community AKA our school was so drilled into me in sixth grade. We were mentoring the kindergarteners.'Not everything your mentor says will 100% apply to you.' Click To Tweet
For the eighth-graders, we were mentoring the fourth graders. You had to build into them because we could see ourselves in that. Our school from K through eight was like the kindergarten classroom was here. The eighth-grade classroom is here. It was 200 feet away from each other. That has given me into the mindset of you. I went home so I got to spend some time in nature in the redwoods, which is much needed to root into, “I’m here to give.” I’m here to connect with others. I’m here to make others feel good because that’s what the universe gave me good skills at. It’s so easy especially I’m not sure how caught up you get into Twitter.
It might be because I’m super young as to, “How many followers do I have? How many likes am I getting? Am I making income from my startup because I want to do my startup and I don’t want to work a day job?” I got a little too caught up in the numbers and not into this aspect of giving and building into people. Going home, I had some great conversations that rooted me into this giving. It’s funny you bring up InspireOne because my buddy who founded that, I’m mentoring him on his new venture in business. We went live on Instagram. We go live every single Tuesday. It’s so cool to see that we’re the same people that inspire and build into one person at a time. You can build into people whether it be photography or big basketball. I love coaching youth for basketball. I build into people wherever you see fit.
Samantha: Something that people will discover along the way is this healing. To be honest, I don’t love the word volunteering very much because we see it as we’re going to go to this organization. It’s serving and giving. I prefer those words instead. When you serve, give and build into others, you heal so much. It gives purpose to your pain. There are times where someone shares a hardship that they’re going through at home, family or work. I’m able to use a painful past, one to empathize and be compassionate, listen because I understand and also to help come up with some ideas about how to navigate it then I feel like my pain was worth something.
Whenever you invest in something that’s bigger than you, it’s not good for us to all be about ourselves. When we give a gift to something that’s bigger than us, we become smaller, which is important and we see the bigger picture. I’m going to use the word for volunteering purpose. Seeing the bigger picture is important because you volunteer to a nonprofit organization and let’s say for the Boys & Girls Club. Let’s say you volunteer there. When I told you about this plight of young boys, you knew exactly what I was talking about because you’ve been there.
Had you not volunteered there, you probably wouldn’t understand this hole in North America for young boys. When you see this bigger picture, these problems or these things that you can be a part of a solution or they’re bigger than you, it starts to help you heal and because you realize that your own problems although it is bigger than to you, it becomes relative, I suppose. Dwelling on your own issues isn’t good for you but helping other people through theirs can be therapeutic for your own issues even if they’re not the same ones.
Justin: There’s so much truth, merit and beauty to that. Even as I’m working with 1st and 2nd graders, honestly, even for the girls because half the class or maybe 3/4 of class, the dads aren’t even present or it’s separated families. The situation is not well and I know that as a positive male role model. That’s the reason I started. Sometimes the 1st and 2nd graders drive me up a wall. They’re young but I sometimes have to remind myself why I’m there.
Once you look at the bigger picture, you realize it’s not about you and not taking things personally because some of them don’t know how to interact with adults especially with males because they don’t have healthy relationships. Being a first grader is completely different from my life experience now. I love serving, giving and healing. One of the reasons we started EmPact is because I’m in a similar boat. I got to go to University and I made the most of it but I didn’t have a family network. I had to bootstrap it myself. That was a pain point that I had.
I love bringing people together. Almost selfishly, the universe is wanting me to bring people together, not necessarily for me but it’s something that I felt like a need for myself especially the year of the pandemic. I live alone. All my friends left college. I’m still in my college town because my girlfriend goes to college. I’ve been here for a year. The universe is coming together to almost help me heal through EmPact as well.
Samantha: I love that you mentioned about male and female and for girls to have good role models for men too. That’s in the business world as well. There’s value in both genders that both genders offer to each other crosswise. This reminds me. I was in this young adults’ group. The way it turned out, I happened to have all guys in my group that night and I was the only female in the room and mentor. It turned out that the other guy mentor had all girls in his group that night so we switched it up. I’m like, “Ask me anything that you would like to ask a mature woman. Maybe you want to ask an aunt or somebody but don’t want to.”
There was like, “This is awesome.” That was pretty cool because the questions they asked floored me. I got the typical “how far is too far” questions and those ones. The one that surprised me the most was I feel called to stay home with my kids and marry a career woman but I feel that if I tell a woman that my masculinity is at risk, she won’t be attracted to that. I haven’t been telling anyone that. There were two guys in the room who said that. The other guy was like, “That’s me too.”
That caught me off-guard I was like, “For the right woman, if you’re vocal about that, she was going to be like, ‘I want you,’” because there’s a lot of career women looking for men who are saying, “I would like to be the one to raise the family and be the main caregiver at home.” Especially a woman who puts a lot of years into a university and thrives in a professional career environment. It is important sometimes to have those abilities for cross-relationship things. Ask things. In that particular context, it wasn’t a professional one so those questions are a little different than in a professional one.
As a female, you could ask a man, “How do I navigate a predominantly male leadership? Is there anything that I can adjust?” That’s a little bit of a sensitive thing, probably to ask oneself or to ask somebody you have to find a good place for that where else do you get to ask those questions? We try to find the answers to these questions. We Google everything. That’s our mentor now. We Google everything online. How should I do this? Although, it’s not specific to you.
What you can learn from paying someone or being with them for an hour or two when it’s specific to you would be equivalent to ten hours of searching online or some coaching course that you took on how to be a better you because it’s quite generic. One thing to keep in mind for giving is when you are a giver and it seems like you are one too, we get a little high from it. We glow inside. That’s why we give. I can see that you’re like, “I glow inside when I give.” I love doing it. I have to keep in mind, like, “I gave those four hours that Saturday but I have to remember I have the family at home too.” Giving also has to be in your own family. It’s easy to give for the greater good. Also, remember that your greater good is at home too.
I’m going to go back to the three tips for doing it all in your lifetime. One of my tips was to build into your family. That could be a spouse or a good friend. It doesn’t necessarily have to be blood. Family can be redefined as well. Some of us have complicated families so I never expected that at all. Find someone that you see yourself doing life with for a period of time. It doesn’t need to be forever. Invest in them because they will give you the energy when you need to go somewhere. When you’re always a giver, you don’t always have people giving to you.
I know you didn’t ask me about this but it’s important to say if we have a lot of givers that are reading, you have to be able to receive and that’s a hard thing to do when you’re a giver because you’re so self-sufficient. I’ve had to be in some relationships where I intentionally make sure people give to me as a reciprocation because it’s healthy. Also, I’ve been burned by giving away being a giver and I was in big trouble. I got super sick. I couldn’t take care of my family. I almost died and I had little help from all the people I’ve been giving a ton to.
I had to analyze why I was not worthy to give back to in my time of need. I’m not a needy person. What I took from that away was that I had built relationships where I was always a giver and they were the taker or the receiver. Some were both, some are takers and some are receivers. I had to keep stock of who in my life were takers, receivers and could reciprocate. The few relationships that I keep tight now are people who will reciprocate to me and I’m healthier for it. You can get burnt out by giving a lot but build somewhere people give to you.
Even if you’re not in need, make sure that you have a couple of relationships where people are giving to you even if at the moment you don’t need it because that’s going to build a pattern for when you do need it. It’s going to be there. You can’t ask for people to reciprocate to you and your time of need if you’ve never built that pattern up before. It’s not your relationship. It’s the same with mentoring too. As a mentee, you should be giving back whether that’s appreciation. You don’t always have to do a shout-out, depending on who the mentor is. Find a way to give back and it doesn’t have to be money. I have someone who gave me some time and I bought them as a Starbucks gift card and sent it to them. They’re like, “You didn’t have to do that.” I’m like, “You spent half an hour with me and I know your time is super valuable.” They’re like, “No one’s ever done that before.”
It doesn’t have to be every time but do those little things that count. Order them a book that they like and send it to their place if you happen to know their address or buy them an Amazon card and say buy a book of your choice if you can. It’s little things to reciprocate back. It’s important for you as a pattern, even if the mentor doesn’t take it the way you want them to. It’s a good pattern for you to create. I know in that case that mentee is the giver but in your EmPactors and mentees are the reciprocates so they need to be giving back or find ways to give back.
Justin: Building in ways that they can give back is easy. It makes it simple for them to give back. I also want to walk back a little bit and talk about the importance of receiving as a giver because I’ve been burned and I’ve learned the hard way, even as a young person. In high school, I can think particularly of this one friend who always had money. My dad would give me money for lunch and he would ask for it. I’ll give it to him. In hindsight, in 2020, he had it. He knew how to gain me, who’s a giver and a nice person.
Eventually, I learned not to do that anymore but that’s a super simple example. I try to keep people in my life that give back to me as well. It’s hard especially if you want to have a friendship with someone and you’re giving a lot of your time, your energy and you’re always hitting them up but they’re never hitting you up. At a certain point, you have to evaluate the energy. You then need to have that conversation with someone and be like, “I noticed that I’m driving a lot of this conversation. I would like for you to give a little bit more but maybe take a little bit more initiative.” You do have to watch out for yourself because I definitely can feel if you’re giving, you can get burned. Giving without expectation means of return in some ways helps too. As for you, you spent four hours sending things. If you expected everyone to give you a Twitter shout-out and to get 50 followers for a shout-out, you’re going to be disappointed because that probably wouldn’t happen.
Samantha: I didn’t even think about it. It happened. I was like, “That’s cool.” I’m like, “A person could do that intentionally next time.” I don’t operate that way. You can set yourself up for disappointment and maybe it turns out wonderfully but if you’re giving for those reasons, are you giving anymore? That’s marketing. There’s value in that too. In business and entrepreneurship, you do give a lot of away. That’s how it works.'Your mentor will go the extra mile for you if you show promise and you show you're teachable and take initiative.' Click To Tweet
I did get some shout-outs, which was pretty cool. In all fairness, I didn’t expect a follow back because I’m like, “If I’m going to invest in you. The least you can do is follow back.” To be honest, I probably would have thought less of them if they did. I’ll be honest there. I wouldn’t have liked that much but I definitely didn’t expect any shout-outs or anything like that. We’re going to wrap up here pretty soon. Is there anything else that you wanted to ask?
Justin: I’m about to move to Los Angeles. I’ll go a little more personal here. What is the best way for me to start building some relationships as I move to a new city?
Samantha: I love coffee shops. It’s the new bar. At a bar, you’d have the people who frequented it all the time and you’d go there and see your buddies. It wasn’t about the actual alcohol. It was about this hangout place where a majority of the same people that you see over and over. Those are the coffee shops, at least around here. You can find a coffee shop that has a lot of local-ish people that hang out there a lot. There are a lot of freelancers, which you’re going to find they gravitate to these places and they will often keep going to the same place.
I recommend that to be honest so you get to be a familiar face. You’ll get to be familiar. There are lots of freelancers in those shops and I know you’ll gravitate to the right one just by how you look, talk and everything. It’s the one I go to and you would fit perfectly. A lot of them are in the same boat. They’re all got startups or they’re freelancing. That’s the best place for you to go and you’ll find people who are in the same boat as you.
Ask the manager or whatever. When you see a whole bunch of people with computers there, they’re standing and chatting to each other. You’ll know right away that’s probably the local coffee shop hanging out. That’s their slash-office. That’s where I like to go. I could go to other coffee shops in town but then it’s a whole new people. It’s a different vibe too. If people frequent the coffee shop that I like, it’s got a certain vibe to it.
People are attracted to it or a certain vibe so that’s a little easier for me to step into because I know how to talk in that space, what’s expected and where they’re at for the most part. That would be my recommendation. Find something that’s not too far from home. Other than that, there’s a church too. I don’t know if you go to church but there’s a young adults group or some people in your age group. That can always help too. That’s for people your age but to find people of different ages, if you’re looking for a cross mentorship because that can be a cool thing, too, that’s a different coffee shop.
Where do all the accountants, lawyers and all those kinds of guys or women hang out? That’s a different coffee shop. Those ones don’t always sit in a coffee shop the same way your generation does. That’s what I would do. Ask around, find out where those people hang out and sometimes be in those spaces because there’s something to be said about the energy of when you personally meet somebody. It’s like, “I have a little time.” I’m sitting here and you start chatting up. The next thing you know you’re meeting weekly. That’s how it happens a lot of times. That’s how a lot of my stuff happened. I met somebody in a space, we jived and next thing you know, we’re meeting weekly, bi-weekly or DMing here and there.
Justin: That’s cool. That’s definitely what I miss about the pandemic. I do all my work at home. When I do go out, it doesn’t seem like people are trying to meet. I live in a college town and that’s pretty much it here. I’m trying to start networking out with some professionals. My girlfriend and I are touring apartments. I’ll make sure to find a good coffee shop that’s close to where we ended up signing a lease. Thanks for having me, Samantha. I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot about building into people, Campfire, mentoring, building and being a giver in authentic spaces. I appreciate this and your time.
Samantha: Now that I think about it. That’s probably why Basecamp uses that campfire. Isn’t their chat thing called Campfire or something like that? I haven’t used Basecamp but I’ve seen the app. They have something called that might be why. Justin, it was so great to have you on. I am super stoked to talk about mentorship because it’s something that’s near and dear to my heart. I love giving back to the community. I love that you’re doing that too. It was a great time talking about side-by-side mentoring, talking about campfire mentoring and what that’s like in the new modern world with the online changes that we’re seeing in our communities.
Also, the value of when we give the healing and the therapeutic value that comes from giving back and giving to others. We did talk a little bit about paying it forward and the value of paying it forward. I loved our show. I’m glad to have you on. I hope we get to chat and have another show sometime because I feel like you and I could talk for a long time and provide a lot of value to people. Thanks for being on the show. This is Samantha Postman and I’m glad you joined us.
Justin: Thank you. I loved being on the show and I hope you enjoyed the episode. Samantha, you rock. Peace out.
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About Justin Furtado
Co-Founder and Captain of Empowerment at EmPact.
Justin loves watching other humans grow and develop into becoming the best versions of themselves. He has a great passion for bridging communities and coaching youth sports as well.
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