These Thank-You Notes From Female Entrepreneurs To Their Mentors Are Pure Gold

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Success can be defined in a million different ways, but no matter what you’ve achieved — a recognition award, a promotion, or the go-ahead to start your very own business venture — odds are, you didn’t get there alone. Behind every successful woman, there’s likely an equally ambitious and deeply knowledgeable mentor, advocate, or personal cheerleader who’s been there every step of the way.

Not only can mentors share wisdom that only comes with experience, but they can teach new skills, provide resources, expand networks, lead by example, and help develop communication skills. Despite the critical benefits a mentor can have on one’s career, surveys show that women are hesitant to reach out to prospective mentors. Whether they fear rejection or assume a prospective mentor just doesn’t have the bandwidth to help is unclear, but the unfortunate side effect is that by failing to ask, women are missing out on a huge opportunity to grow. That’s why Bustle is partnering with Your Local Ford Stores to share inspiring thank-you notes entrepreneurs and successful self-starters have written to their mentors.

Read below to see the incredible impact these mentors have had on their mentees, and get inspired to seek out your own mentor (or become one yourself!).

To Alex,

"To my first female mentor — my sales director in my print advertising role in Sydney, Australia. Alex, I am so grateful for you. You taught me the importance of human relationships, the gift of caring personally, and the power of thinking creatively and outside of the box to overcome roadblocks. Thank you!" —Noa, Co-Founder of The Nook Online

To Aditi,

"Thank you for being my best friend and mentor for nearly two decades. Although I don’t always listen to wisdom — even when I know it’s probably right — I’ve learned to always listen to yours. You are my emotional guru, financial advisor, strategic planner, disciplinary master, and occasional matchmaker. Now that you have started a company dedicated to helping young couples with money, I get to share you with the rest of the world. Most importantly, thank you for being my rock as I went through a deeply grieving time, so that I could remain strong and hopeful for myself and for my teammates." Simone, Chef & Founder of Little Tong Noodle Shop

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To Rachel,

“Thank you for believing in me from the very start. When I was nervously contemplating taking the plunge into full-time business ownership, you gave me the encouragement I needed to push past my fears. You’ve always been a huge supporter of Runstreet Art Runs and offered invaluable advice for growing my business and making it into a mission-driven organization that promotes fitness and health, art, community, and giving back to the causes I care about. Whenever I get stuck or frustrated, you offer insight by thinking outside of the box. Your sharp entrepreneurial mind always yields incredible ideas. Thank you so much for continuing to believe in me, and for leading by example with your own successful business ventures!" —Marnie, Founder of Runstreet Art Runs & Runstreet Media Marketing Consultancy

To Dylan,

“You’ve played a few roles in the success of Dana’s Bakery: My first-ever wholesale client, and after eight great years of doing business together, you carved out a home for my first macaron counter inside your Upper East Side flagship so people could experience my online bakery IRL. Because of this, I’ve also had front-row seats to your leadership skills and finely-tuned attention to detail, which is something I’ve always admired. To see you succeed has been really inspiring to me because we both went into business doing something we’re both so passionate about: bringing people joy with candy!” Dana, Pastry Chef & CEO of Dana’s Bakery

To Susan,

"I’ll shout out to my activist mom, Susan, one of the most radically honest and deeply caring people I know. Also, myself: For sitting down and doing the hard work." —Rachel, Founder of RVD Communications

To Maureen,

“You’ve inspired me (and dozens of others) in countless ways with your perseverance, tenacity, and innate ability to develop people into leaders. Thank you for pushing me outside my comfort zone, instilling in me the importance of self care, and for making sure I never settled for anything but the best.” —Melissa, Communications Director at Lutron

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To Dorrit,

"As Zulily celebrates its ninth birthday, I was looking back at who had an instrumental role in getting me to where I am today: a chief merchant at a growing and exciting e-commerce company. I immediately thought of you as someone who had a meaningful impact on my career. In my early days as a buyer, you taught me the art of negotiating and the importance of listening to, and serving, the customer. What I value the most is that you taught me there’s both an art and science to being a successful merchant and business driver." —Lori, Chief Merchant at Zulily

To Karole,

"When I think about those that have impacted my career, nobody stands out more than you. You have been with me every step of the way — you hired me as an intern and you took me on as your counselee when you didn’t have any other counselees at my junior level. For many years we didn't work together directly, but I knew you were supporting me behind the scenes and always accessible to give me the advice and guidance I needed. Thank you for all you have done to support me and countless others. I am honored to call you my mentor and friend." Amy, Partner & Global & Americas Advisory Risk Leader at EY

To Dale,

"The truth is the best mentor is not a coach that pushes you to do more. The best mentor is the one that reminds you of the humanity that must exist so we can all be more. And you, Dale, have taught me this since the moment we met." —Adrianna, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Director at M Booth

This post is sponsored by Your Local Ford Stores.