What They Taught Me: Recognizing the Mentors Who Will Take You from Dream to Done

What They Taught Me: Recognizing the Mentors Who Will Take You from Dream to Done

by Kelsey Chapman
What They Taught Me: Recognizing the Mentors Who Will Take You from Dream to Done

What They Taught Me: Recognizing the Mentors Who Will Take You from Dream to Done

by Kelsey Chapman


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“You don’t have to do this alone.”

Entrepreneur and podcast host Kelsey Chapman thanks God for the wonderful mentors who stepped into her life to give her the wisdom, inspiration, and support she needed in each season. In What They Taught Me, she’ll show you how to find a mentor who will help you reach your dreams—and how you can become that person for someone else.

As she recognizes ten women who changed the course of her life, Kelsey passes on the expert guidance that enriched her perspective, helped her live out her passions, and kept her hopeful and optimistic about the process. This book will help you…
  • identify your goals along with the steps needed to achieve them
  • partner with women who have already walked the road before you
  • encourage others by sharing the insights you’ve gained from your own experience
God uses an entire community to shape you into the person He made you to be. Join Kelsey in celebrating mentorship, and learn how you can cultivate meaningful relationships by investing in others and welcoming them to invest in you.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780736980623
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication date: 02/09/2021
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,130,774
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Kelsey Chapman is a rising thought leader and online educator who helps creatives and entrepreneurs build their brand, steward their influ­ence, and work from a point of freedom. She is host of The Radiant Podcast, and empowers and equips women through her Radiant Retreats and Dream To Done online mentorship program.

Table of Contents

Chapter One Lynell: Unconditional Love
Chapter Two Mentors Lean In When It Hurts
Chapter Three Michelle: Showing Up
Chapter Four Mentors Play the Long Game
Chapter Five Emily: Investing without a Return
Chapter Six Mentors Pour into Their People
Chapter Seven Kay: Stories Have Purpose
Chapter Eight Mentors Get Comfortable with Pain
Chapter Nine Harriet: Mentoring with Legacy
Chapter Ten Mentors Foster Community
Chapter Eleven Lucy: Prioritizing Relationships
Chapter Twelve Mentors Lead at Home
Chapter Thirteen Karen: Thriving in Hardship
Chapter Fourteen Mentors Can Look Different Than The Mold
Chapter Fifteen Catherine: Living Abundantly
Chapter Sixteen Mentors Fight for Your Future
Chapter Seventeen Anne: Pairing Passion with Purpose
Chapter Eighteen Mentors Propel Your Career
Chapter Nineteen My Tribe: Learning while Leading
Chapter Twenty Mentors Need Mentors

1. Lynell: Unconditional Love
Lynell is a fixture of the author’s childhood, her best friend’s mother, and, in many ways, the mother she didn’t have. Lynell’s daughter and Chapman experienced a falling out as teenagers when Chapman became overly judgmental in her newfound faith, but Lynell was able to encourage Chapman through her immaturity and extend to her the grace that she wasn’t giving to her friend, Lynell’s daughter. Readers will learn how to recognize those who are patient with our immaturity and how that grace can be extended to those in our own circle of influence.

2. Mentors Lean In When It Hurts
Chapman’s childhood was unstable in so many ways that she regularly escaped to the houses of friends and neighbors for some sense of stability. Lynell mentored Chapman through the pain and confusion of her teenage years, lending support and encouragement without complicating the situation. When Chapman became a Young Life leader in college, she was able to pull from the lessons Lynell taught her about how to maintain a constant and unbiased presence in the lives of those you love. The reader will learn how to identify those who have led with unconditional love and will be encouraged to look at how they lean in when stepping into the role of a mentor.

3. Michelle: Showing Up
At the height of Chapman’s mother’s dysfunction in high school, her Aunt Michelle became the calm place in the raging storm. Every Thursday after school, Chapman would go to her Aunt Michelle’s house, where she was greeted with a place at the table and quality time. Michelle invested in Chapman, saw the places of neglect, and was able to speak into the wounds of their family without alienating either side. The reader will identify those who have shown up with consistency and discover the importance of investing in those you lead consistently.

4. Mentors Play the Long Game
Every family has ups and downs, but not every family recovers. While Chapman’s Aunt could have turned a cold shoulder, she chose instead to pour into the author’s story, even if their beliefs didn’t align on every issue. The reader will discover the value of gathering people around the table to focus on relationship, rather than places of disagreement.

5. Emily: Investing without a Return
Mentors don’t always come from a place of authority. During the author’s high school years, she became involved in Young Life. Emily was her Young Life leader, and every Monday night hosted twelve bratty teenagers with a seven-layer cheese dip. Emily used her time and limited finances as a student to invest in a room full of girls who were more concerned with their budding social calendars and driver’s permits than learning to love others. She also planted a seed in each girl, including Chapman, that would grow over time. This story invites the reader to ask themselves: “Are we willing to invest in those we are mentoring without an immediate return?”

6. Mentors Pour into Their People
It is because of Emily that the author became a Young Life leader in college. As Chapman dealt with the same type of crazy, rude, immature, and broken high schoolers during her time as a leader, she realized for the first time the sacrifice Emily had made for her. Sometimes, we don’t see the longevity of the sacrifices we make, but they often come full circle.

7. Kay: Stories Have Purpose
When you grow up in a broken family, it’s always a comfort to find someone who actually gets it. Kay was that person for Chapman. Though the author remembers nothing about the Bible study Kay led, she does remember everything about her connection with Kay. Through Chapman’s friendship with Kay, the author highlights that while our stories are not unique, they often allow us to use our pain for purpose, to speak into the lives of those we mentor, and to relay the message “You are not alone in your pain.”

8. Mentors Get Comfortable with Pain
You can’t effectively mentor someone else through a painful season until you’ve worked through your own pain. Through Kay, the author was able to see an example of someone who had done the hard work to heal from a traumatic childhood and use their story to be a light for the next generation of women. She helped mend pieces of Chapman’s story and inspired the author to use her testimony for something bigger. The reader will be invited to ask the questions, “How can I use my pain for purpose? How can I use my story to walk alongside women navigating similar issues?”

9. Harriet: Mentoring with Legacy
With the weight of leadership heavy on Chapman’s shoulders, she began to learn the value of seeking out the kind of life she wanted and asking for help. Enter Harriet. Harriet was the mother of a high school friend, but her role in the author’s life became pivotal when Chapman mentored her daughter, Laura Grace, in her Young Life group. Harriet and her husband were central figures in the author’s neighborhood and were known for fostering community and having people around their table. When the author invested in Harriet’s daughter’s life, she turned around and invested in Chapman with weekly dinners and coffee dates. Harriet understood the value of encouragement so that Chapman could give back to others.

10. Mentors Foster Community
Mentors aren’t afraid to offer advice and ask questions when they don’t know the answer. When Chapman became a mentor herself, Harriet taught her that it was still okay to not know everything and to seek counsel to be a more effective leader. Though Harriet was the author’s senior, she leveled the playing field by forming a relationship and inviting Chapman into her world. In doing this, the author was given an example of the type of mother and community member she desired to grow into.

11. Lucy: Prioritizing Relationships
Lucy showed the author that she could have it all. As a young Christian woman, Chapman felt the societal pull to choose either family or career. Lucy was the attentive mother of a little boy that the author babysat throughout her college years while also being a career woman. Lucy had her doctorate and excelled in every area of her life, but her relationships were her primary focus.

12. Mentors Lead at Home
Lucy taught the author that the most important work a person can do begins with their own family: their own inner circle. When she wasn’t out conquering the world as a college advisor, she was busy being a dedicated wife and mother of three. Chapman witnessed firsthand what a healthy family looked like, one that didn’t shy away from communication and brush uncomfortable topics under the rug. When we’re responsible first with what we’ve been given, we develop the resilience and capacity to grow our leadership outside the home.

13. Karen: Thriving in Hardship
Newlywed Chapman and her husband had been attending a highly dysfunctional church, but they felt that God had called them to stay for a season. Karen and her husband were on the church staff, and she knew of the author’s pain. Instead of rejecting Chapman for not feeling at home in that church, Karen shared with Chapman her own struggles and taught her not to sit on the sidelines, but rather, to get involved when you want to create change.

14. Mentors Can Look Different than the Mold
Meeting Karen was like a breath of fresh air; Karen showed the author that she didn’t have to fit the mold to follow Jesus and that one can successfully live in the world without being of the world. Not only did she walk the author through that hard season, Karen prepared Chapman for the next big leap she would take.

15. Catherine: Living Abundantly
In December of 2015, the Chapmans packed up their tiny apartment in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and hauled their belongings to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they felt called to plant roots in their best friends’ church and community. Despite her adventurous approach to life, Chapman quickly realized the move was exposing holes in her marriage, lies she had been listening to since she was a child, and feelings of anxiety that felt too big to wrestle. The author met Catherine in a season that was crucial to her destiny. It was through Catherine that the author realized, more important than carrying out our calling is how our hearts are positioned in doing so. This chapter poses the question to the reader, “Do we have someone who will lead us to a place of wholeness so that we can lead with longevity and steward our souls in a spiritually healthy way?”

16. Mentors Fight for Your Future
The start of the author’s time in Colorado was marked by a horrific job for a Christian public figure who had created a toxic work environment. During the same time she held this job, the author was building her online business-coaching career and debating the leap into entrepreneurship. Catherine helped Chapman experience spiritual and emotional healing, and Catherine fought for Chapman’s future with surety that gave the author the confidence to heal wounds of the past, so that she would be healthy enough to step out on her own.

17. Anne: Pairing Passion with Purpose
Chapman had grown her online business to a place where she could match her salary and quit her terrible day job, but she was running hard in a million different directions. When she joined Anne’s business mastermind, she was given a safe space to bounce around ideas, seek counsel, and hone her craft with the help of someone who had gone before her. It was Anne who allowed her to see that often our passion can be used in a way that is purposeful and beneficial to others. The reader will benefit from reflecting on who has helped them to uncover their passions, and ultimately their purpose.

18. Mentors Propel Your Career
Anne taught the author how to mentor in the business space in an open handed way. Rather than adopt a mindset of competition, Anne generously gave Chapman new information and best practices, so that she could work effectively from a place of rest, rather than constantly striving.

19. My Tribe: Learning while Leading
The women the author listed thus far have been some of the biggest influences in her life to date, but they will not be her only mentors. Chapman has mentors in friendship, mentors in business, mentors in marriage, and hopefully, future mentors in parenthood. None of them made an impact in her life because they were perfect or had everything figured out. Instead, they taught Chapman the value of support, consistency, and accountability through their vulnerability and willingness to learn. In her own spheres of influence, the author aims to lead from the standpoint of linking arms with other women because of the examples she has seen modeled for her.

20. Mentors Need Mentors
If there’s one lesson the author has seen time and time again in her mentoring relationships, it’s that mentors need mentors to be effective and continuously grow. Without emotional stability and agility, women won’t have the tools to pour into the people God places in our lives. So, as the reader stewards the influence they have been given, the hopes of the author would be that she will continue to seek out advice and leadership from those who display the qualities she wants to embody, in hopes that she can pass that wisdom along to someone else down the road.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

What They Taught Me is a beautifully engaging guide on how to learn from the wisdom of those who have traveled the path before us. In a time where many of us are longing for deeper and more meaningful connections, this book will help you realize that it’s still possible. Kelsey Chapman’s storytelling and applicable steps will help you realize the value and power of mentorship.”
—Morgan Harper Nichols,poet and artist

“Kelsey's journey with the mentors in her life shows us that eventually as we grow and expand, we all become the mentors at one point. This book is a refreshing and healing reminder of the hard and the beautiful that shapes our becoming into the people God has orchestrated us to become. Being able to walk through and with Kelsey’s healing and her pain was the beautiful remembering of the connectedness we have as women that is often threatened. Kelsey’s words remind us that there is healing in togetherness and allows us the graceful permission to reflect on the ‘what they taught me lessons’ from our own lives and how they shaped who we are today.”
Arielle Estoria, poet, author, speaker

“In What They Taught Me, Kelsey speaks with honesty and vulnerability, something we all benefit from when it comes to sitting at the feet of others who have something to teach us. Her insight and wisdom woven through each page prove to be a rich blessing for anyone ready to live a life of wholeness, purpose, and joy.”
—Tiffany Bluhm,author of She Dreams and cohost of the Why Tho podcast

“Kelsey is one of the most generous women I have ever met. She oozes wisdom and leadership, and her work is both accessible and worthy of investment. What They Taught Me is a powerful reflection on the village that raises us—the people who decide to love us through difficulty, who show up to lift us up, and who teach us to give to others as they have given to us. Mentorship often lacks clarity and boundaries, directives and care, but Kelsey clarifies practical steps, wisdom for relating, and the right balance of personal connection and excellence necessary to seek mentorship—and to provide it as well. I want to give a copy of this to every young woman in my life, and you will absolutely be encouraged to do the same.”
—Ashley Abercrombie, author of Rise of the Truth Teller, speaker and host of the Why Tho podcast

“Kelsey is a mentor for a new generation of young women craving both success and impact. What They Taught Me is a must-have resource and inspirational guide to not pursuing your dreams all by yourself. It's a must-read for entrepreneurs, grads, and anyone ready to turn their dreams into reality.”
—Anne Samoilov,podcast host, business strategist, author

“One of my favorite quotes ever is this: ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader’ (John Quincy Adams). Most people wonder if they even are capable of mentoring, but the reality is we all do in some shape, form, or fashion. Whether you are a reluctant or ecstatic mentor, within What They Taught Me, you’ll see Kelsey dive deep into this thought of being a leader/mentor with intentionality and consideration for others. It’s a book I personally will underline, highlight, and return to often. Love it!”
—Candace Payne,author, speaker, joy evangelist

"What They Taught Me is a must read for all women! It so beautifully portrays the power of women investing in women. Kelsey shows that mentorship and championing others doesn't have to be complicated and transactional—it can be even more powerful when you simply step into who God has already called you to be, exactly where you are, with what is in your hands in the moment. The book is enjoyably witty with relatable stories. What They Taught Me has empowered me to evaluate how I can better use what God has already given me to pour into my two baby girls so that they can go and someday do the same!"
—Kate Crocco, LCSW, author, therapist, business coach, podcaster

"An incredible timely message! Kelsey paints a beautiful (and funny) story of support, encouragement, love and leadership. It’s easy to think we need to lead extraordinary lives to be impactful, but this book reveals the profound impact of the everyday friend and leader.  I highly recommend this one to all women!"
—Polly Payne, founder of Horacio Printing

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