Free Mentoring for Your Business


By Phil Harwood

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) offers its members an opportunity once a year to spend a full day with a successful landscape professional with years of experience. This short-term mentorship program/opportunity is called the Trailblazer program. 

Trailblazers are nominated and selected according to their experience and qualifications. Each member of NALP may request a Trailblazer visit each year. There is no additional cost to participation in this program aside from NALP membership.

This is my 10th year as a Trailblazer. It has been such an honor and a rewarding experience to be able to help others as a mentor, with no expectation of anything beneficial coming back to me. Of course, in these situations, the giver often is blessed more than the receiver. 

Last month I had the opportunity to spend a day with a business owner and several of his key people. These are always quick trips with one overnight. But because of flight schedules, we had almost two days together for this Trailblazer visit. The owner of this company was a prolific note taker and by the end of my visit, he had several pages of notes. I cautioned him not to become overwhelmed by all of the ideas and action steps he had written down. I encouraged him to pick one item from the list to focus on. He was to get started by: identifying the objective, determining what the next step would be in order to move toward that objective, then making a commitment to getting that next action step done. 

Mentors serve a different role from coaches and consultants. Tapping into the mentor’s experience and knowledge may be a very powerful thing. If you have not sought a mentor previously, I highly recommend doing so. If you are an NALP member, check out the Trailblazer program. If you are not a member of NALP and are interested in becoming one, please email me to learn how you may qualify for a one-year free membership. 

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