Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
"The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge
and the dissemination of truth."

John F. Kennedy
  An Interview with Shawn Mintz on his
eBook - MentorCity: How a few minutes
with the right person can change your life

Gordon Nary


Return to Shawn's Webpage

Gordon:  I Just completed reading your eBook - MentorCity: How a few minutes with the right person can change your life. Congratulations. This is a resource that I recommend everyone should read since mentoring can be a critical component in success in every profession. What inspired you to write this book?

Shawn:   About ten years ago, I created a mentoring initiative. And whenever it played out, I was inspired by how the mentors and mentees interacted with each other – their hand gestures, their facial expressions, their sparkling eyes and how, at the end of every mentoring event, the mentors left feeling great about paying-it-forward and the mentees left inspired to take on the world. I thought to myself that if mentoring could have this kind of impact that I wanted to be doing more of it and that's when I started writing my eBook. The book provides simple techniques on how to find a mentor and how you can make the most out of every mentoring conversation.  

Gordon:  When and by whom did the concept of mentoring originate?


Shawn:    The concept of mentoring originated in Greek methodology more than 2,500 years ago from Homer’s Odyssey. Mentor was responsible for looking after Odyssey’s son, Telemachus, when Odyssey went off to fight in the Trojan War. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, assumed Mentor’s form and acted as a mentor for Telemachus as she guided, advised and taught him. This traditional mentoring format of a junior person being guided by a more senior person continues today, but as mentoring evolves we embrace new innovative formats such as peer, group, reverse and express mentoring.  


Gordon: In your book, you describefour  types of mentors. Which type of mentor has had the biggest impact on you?


Shawn:  Project Mentors have had the biggest impact on me. They have helped me learn the secrets of working a tradeshow booth, provided feedback as I wrote my eBook and gave me tips to enhance my public speaking abilities.  However, I find Networking Mentors to be very inspirational as well because those are the people that you meet by happenstance and you receive great insights when you least expect it.


Gordon: How do you invite someone to by your mentor?


Shawn: It's not a good idea to ask someone to be your mentor. That's a very intimidating question and it can feel like a really big commitment. Let them know why you respect them and the work that they have done.  Then, give them a sense of what your goals are and why you would like to meet with them over a cup of coffee or a quick phone conversation. When done right, it will feel like an honour that someone asked them for their guidance. They will be just as excited about the meeting as you are. 


Gordon: What do you do if a potential mentor doesn't respond to you?


Shawn:  Don't give up. Strategically follow-up with them at least 3 times. This kind of perseverance will impress them and leave a positive impression about how driven, dedicated and committed you are. For the majority of my mentoring conversations, I reached out to the potential mentor several times. When we were able to connect, the conversations were totally game changing and worth every bit of my follow-up efforts.


Gordon: How do you keep the mentoring relationship alive?


Shawn:  If you both found the initial meeting beneficial, you will want to book your next conversation right there and then. Send a thank you note and keep them posted as you start integrating some of the ideas that you gained from the conversation. It's because when they see that you are progressing, they will be even more committed to helping you.  


Gordon: What is one thing that you would like our subscribers to remember about this interview?


Shawn:  I would like them to feel empowered to find a mentor or consider being a mentor. There is so much that one can gain from having meaningful mentoring conversations and there are so many people that are truly excited about sharing their stories and supporting others in achieving success. If you have a dream or goal in mind, then a mentor can get you closer to it.  

Gordon:  How can our subscribers receive a copy of your book?

Shawn: They can join our global mentoring community by visiting Once they join, they will receive a free copy of the eBook and can also start a mentoring relationship!

Gordon: I also recommend that they take advantage of this opportunity. It is a great and valuable read.



Gordon Nary is Editor of Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders Journal

© 2014 by Gordon Nary