THE DEFINITION OF A MENTOR:Verb: to advise or train someoneNoun: a wise and trusted counselor or teacher; an influential senior sponsor or supporter.This week has been extremely interesting for me. I have had the chance to mentor several people I never expected to get the chance to help.What a wonderful feeling for the person and myself.On a daily basis, I mentor a lot of people.Professionals I have known throughout the years. We always talk things through, examining all sides of a problem, issue or controversy.But, when you have the honor and privilege to help those in need you never, ever expected to need your clear mind and straight talk, that process absolutely has amazingly satisfying benefits for both involved.I don’t seek it out but I make sure others know I am always there for them.I am so proud of their achievements and in some very small way, I know I helped. Even if, just being there writing a “yay” in an e-mail may have made a difference. The mentor gives encouragement to be yourself, find happiness and work through the hardships as well as heartaches to achieve a goal. The talk helps.The people I help, on the most part, are up and comers in the media business. Just this week I helped a second year medical student realize an area of study he wants to pursue, a third year law student who will now intern as a clerk for a Federal Court Judge, a first year television producer interested in working for a Presidential candidate, a third year reporter who knew it is time to move on and just needed that final nudge to make the move from the West Coast to an anchor position back East where he is from and just today I advised a producer on a salary proposal so she can take the next step to run a newsroom.It helps that all these individuals are open to help. And, I make it clear, that if they ever need help, I am there for them. It goes both ways, because what you give you get back in spades.Everyone needs help at one time or another. Sometimes a traumatic experience triggers the need while often times the daily grind of life gets to a person. Being open to their needs allows you to mentor someone.Don’t be afraid to offer a helping hand and guidance. Think of all of those who helped you along your journey. This is your way of paying forward.Recall a time when you needed help and because nobody could, nobody had your back, nobody seemed to care about you, you were on your own. What a difficult time you may have had and how much you wish someone was there for you. Sure, you had to handle the situation on your own. Be honest, wouldn’t a mentor you could talk to, call, text or e-mail, who truly cares about you, wouldn’t that person have been of great help in your time of need? Even if the person only held your hand or hugged you, that puts you in the right frame of mind to tackle your issue.There are official workplace mentoring programs and I’ve been helped tremendously as well as I’ve helped others, in that capacity. Those opportunities can be fabulous. That centers all around professional work and everyone can use a guiding hand on that front, especially these days.And, the help you give others, not officially organized, can be just as important, life altering and rewarding.You don’t necessarily seek out a mentoring opportunity, as I found out this week, but when it comes, be open to mentoring someone. The rewards are significant not only for the person, but, for you, the mentor. You reach a wonderful level of purpose and personal fulfillment.So, take the time and be a mentor, Saratoga!