Life lessons from my mentors

When has mentorship played a role in your life?

I’ve never had a mentor.  Well not a living breathing one that I could call over the phone. The mentors in my life have come in the form of books, which provided me with endless inspiration and guided me closer and closer to becoming the woman I was created to be.


If books have served as my mentors, then my first mentor was Now Discover Your Strengths, a book we talked about during a 2017 Women at Work book club meeting. This book completely changed the way I work. It gave me the confidence to concentrate on my strengths, putting a plan into motion, strategic planning, and creating initiatives which allow my clients’ to stand out within an overcrowded marketplace.  This approach, in turn, led me to feel happier and more fulfilled.


My next mentor posed the question: “Why do you do what you do?” In Start With Why, author Simon Sinek talks about how great leaders inspire others to take action and the importance of integrating who you are into the work you do.  This book changed the way I talk about my business. It caused me to go deep, really look at what matters to me - to tell meaningful stories, create experiences that create community, find authentic pathways for growth for my team, myself and my clients. The book and Sinek’s message inspired me to take what others might call a risk.


Next came Seth Godin and All Marketers Tell Stories. Mind blown. It was after devouring this book that I finally realized my calling. I had been telling stories for as long as I can remember, even working with imaginary friends to help bring these stories to life. But, up until this point, I had never seen a way to integrate storytelling into my work. It was Godin’s words that lead me to put my passion for storytelling into practice. I created a line of street-art rugs with Retna and Shepard Fairey, and the rest is history. Well, not really. But, as all journeys go, this step into the unknown ultimately lead me to launch GC Collaborative and Women at Work.


Now I find myself working with my incredible GCC team and Women at Work members, and it recently dawned on me: I have become a mentor. To see Gintare from my GCC team tagging be inspired on a graffiti wall in Austin, and to recieve a thank-you note from a WAW member describing me as a magical unicorn, brings tears of joy to my eyes.  It is this work, this role of being a mentor that is the most meaningful for me. It is important to me because of my why and my desire to empower people to not only do their best work but also live their best lives. While we are always a work in progress, I truly am becoming the woman I was created to be, and I want to continue to help others do the same.

Ginna Christensen