Can I be Completely Honest? – A Short Mentoring Story

Posted on July 17, 2020 by Riccardo.

Can I be completely honest?

I bombed it. I knew as soon as Grzester started the feedback session with those words. But this was great news. I wasn’t looking for a pat in the back, I wanted to improve.

Recently, I started considering non-technical videos for my YouTube channel. The goal would be to work on my public speaking. In other words, no post-production, no special effects, just my voice and body language. I’m still not sure if it’s genius or silly to use such a medium for that. But I guess there’s only one way to know.

In my experience as a mentor, I don’t like when somebody comes to me asking to solve their problems from scratch. This is why I reviewed my video multiple times before sharing. To be honest, modulo some minor things, I thought it was great. As a matter of fact, I was not expecting such a different opinion.

This story is the perfect reminder to reach out more. I’m surrounded by a ton of inspiring folks. Everybody got their secret sauce, including the ones who think they don’t. In this case, I need help with recording videos. Grzester is a filmmaker, no wonder he is at the top of the list. But there is no reason I have to stop there. Since I’m working on my storytelling, I can ask an avid fiction reader (thanks Gosia!) or an improv actor (thanks Rusiłko!). And so on and so forth. Actually, the stranger the angle the less conventional the feedback.

In the past, I turned down some requests to mentor because I felt used. Thus, even if I’m aware most people want to help, I also know it’s not their duty to do so. This is why, I always make sure there is something in it for my mentor. Also, I never expect anybody to help me. Because of that, I start small and give the choice not to follow up. Even then, I want to make it super duper easy for them. Most importantly, I treasure their feedback. I always make sure to thank them by showing how awesome they enabled me to be.

Grzester is the one who taught me how to produce the videos I post on YouTube. But don’t take my word for it, in the upcoming PinkLetter I’ll include a comparison of a video before and after talking to Grzester. I’d share it here but it’s probably best for the world if it stays private, in an email to you.

During our feedback session, Grzester didn’t hold back. Now it’s time for me to metabolize and rock it. The best part is that he wrapped up the chat with the following words:

I’m happy to watch more from you

Permission to bomb again: GRANTED.


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