Freelance Knight

Mentors – What Can We Learn From Each Other?

Mentors – What Can We Learn From Each Other?

Mentors – What Can We Learn From Each Other?

mentor [men-tawr]
1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
2. an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

This past week has been one of sharing wisdom for me. First, I have been career mentoring a friend through Skype sessions and email discussions. I feel both of us benefit from these conversations as we discuss current experiences, furthering education, career goals and balancing all that with church, family and hobbies. Second, was some extended time on the road this weekend teaching my twin teenage daughters the art and science of driving. These sessions have been lessons in patience and knowledge for all three of us. As I think about these opportunities I was blessed to be a mentor, I reflect on mentors I have had in my life. How did they impact me? What did I learn from them? How did they impart the wisdom to me?

My life as a freelancer has also been blessed with some wonderful mentors. I am especially thankful to these three people for helping launch my career as a freelancer.

T.R. and Angus at Gen Con 2013

T.R. and Angus at Gen Con 2013

  • Angus Abranson (Chronicle City) – As I mentioned in a previous post, Angus gave me my start in the game industry. When I was curious about the industry, he listened to my questions and responded with great honesty and transparency. He encouraged me to write more and volunteer with publishers at conventions. Over time, as our friendship and trust grew, he challenged me to be more involved in the game industry by offering me a position with Chronicle City as a volunteer staff member. While working with Chronicle City, Angus continued to mentor me regarding the business side of the game industry, introducing me to some wonderful people. Angus continues to be a friend and encourager as I work as a freelancer.
  • Gobion Rowlands (Author – Gunnar Roxen) – I was blessed to work alongside Gobion at Chronicle City for a while. As a freelance author, Gobion mentored me in the business side of being a freelancer. As I transitioned from a volunteer role to freelancer, Gobion helped me develop my invoicing, tax records, and business communications. We continue to challenge each other in our creative and freelance endeavors, with hopes of working together on a project in the future.
  • Lynne Hardy (Modiphius) – Lynne has been a co-worker, friend, mentor and boss. We first met working alongside each other at Gen Con 2013 which quickly led to a friendship. My family and I really enjoy spending time with Lynne and her husband, Richard. Lynne (working with Chris Birch) gave me my first paid freelance work on the Achtung! Cthulhu line. Lynne was patient but firm as she taught me the proper procedures and standards for freelance proofreading and editing with Modiphius. She continues to give me feedback on each project so I can grow in my understanding and skills.

Who have been mentors to you in your freelance career? What is one of the best things they have taught you? Have you mentored anyone in the game industry?



6 thoughts on “Mentors – What Can We Learn From Each Other?

    1. T.R. Knight Post author

      I had not realized it was National Mentoring Month or I would have mentioned that in my post. Mentors have been so important in every aspect of my life.

  1. David Miller

    If one is lucky enough to have, or be, a mentor – that’s a wonderful opportunity. I think of mentors and mentoring as perhaps being deeply and personally impactful on your life. Another option that is perhaps more available to many is either becoming or being around a maven.

    In today’s e-world, we can form meaningful friendships online and learn from mavens or dive into a subject enough to become a maven ourselves.

    This blog is becoming that.

    T.R. is sharing his thoughts, trials, and tribulations with freelancing. He is maven of this and sharing this information allows others to learn and grow.


    1. T.R. Knight Post author

      David – You challenged my vocabulary with maven. I had to look up the word and its Hebrew origins – “trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others” (Wikipedia). Not an expert as much as a passionate lifelong learner, but I definitely seek to pass along what I learn in my experiences.

    2. Roy Campbell

      I really like the idea of a Maven as well as a Mentor.
      I find that Mentorship is often best done in the “fullness of life”.
      There’s a saying that “more is caught than taught”. That people learn more from us by observing our habits more than by formal instruction.
      I used to keep my eyes open for people to mentor and to mentor me within my sphere of technology. I’ve found more traction outside of technology.

      One of the things that attracts people to you, TR, is your ability to grasp things quickly, and readily appear “Maven(ish)”.
      With apologies, the two words that Merriam-Webster associate with Maven are: expert and freak.

      1. T.R. Knight Post author

        Roy – It would not be the first time someone has called me a freak. I really resonated with your statement of “more is caught than taught”. Much of my career, life, and freelance growth has been learning from observing others and experiencing along side them. I liken this to the apprenticeship/journeyman model more prevalent in history but gaining a resurgent today. Watching and learning from Mavens and Mentors is like being an apprentice.