The other day, I took Lennon shopping to spend the Christmas money he’s been saving up. To my surprise, he decided to use the money to buy rollerblades! 🛼 He got the chance to try it recently at school and turns out, he really liked it.
This is a bit of a side note, but I’m actually so glad that rollerblades have made a comeback! I used to rollerblade everywhere as a kid and now I put them on and wonder how in the heck I had the leg strength to do that. It is SUCH a workout! But I digress… 🙈
We got home with the rollerblades and of course, he put them on immediately. But then, he was a little stuck on what to do next. He didn’t have enough confidence to start zooming down the street and I couldn’t give him much advice other than “don’t fall.”
So, he thought about who could teach him and of course, YouTube came to mind. If you have a kid between the ages of 6 and 16, you get it. 😂 We found a “Rollerblading for Beginners” video and in no time, he was doing all of these cool moves and just felt more sure of himself.
We talked about how he could have probably learned these things on his own, but learning from an expert saved him so much time and frustration. Instead of practicing (and falling) for weeks or months to learn these techniques, he was able to get the hang of them in just an hour or so!
In my own experience both as a designer and business owner, I have learned a lot of lessons and techniques from people who are successful in these areas. But do you want to know something interesting? I have actually learned way more from people who are just slightly ahead of me than I have from industry “experts” who are miles and miles ahead of me.
I’ve shared this story a lot, but my dad was a teacher and when he passed away a few years ago, a bunch of his past students reached out to my family to tell us how much he had touched their lives and how great of a teacher he was to them.
After hearing from all of these people, I had a bit of an “aha” moment. I started thinking, “What if I were to build a mentorship side to my business and teach people how to become brand designers?” It would be a great way to make more of an impact with my knowledge and even though it scared the living heck out of me, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
So, I put my big girl pants on and I led a group of 30 women through a virtual design workshop. When it was done, I received SUCH positive feedback from the people who attended.
After that, I created my signature design course, The Brand Design Academy. This course is one of the main ways I am able to mentor aspiring designers. You can learn more about the course here!
It feels so good to share my knowledge and honor my dad’s legacy in this way. There are always going to be people who wish they could do what you do, and when you put yourself out there to become a mentor – or make YouTube videos – you’re impacting people in a bigger way than you realize. You might be opening them up to a new hobby or even a new career path!
Have you ever pushed yourself out of your comfort zone to teach something to someone? Share your story with me – and any lessons you learned from it – in the comments!
Karla is an award-winning designer, branding expert and mentor. She has designed for brands including BRIT+CO, Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, Facebook, and more.