It's time for Round IV of the Sensei/Grasshopper Challenge!
The Sensei/Grasshopper challenge focuses on two of the things the ActiveRain community does best - sharing skills and making connections with other members.
ActiveRain is an information-rich environment. The skill sets of the membership, along with the millions of blog posts in the archives, many of which are how-to articles relating to things like technology and real estate marketing, ensure that if there is anything in real estate you need to know, the odds are pretty good you can find out about it here.
But sometimes reading about how to do something isn't quite enough. Sometimes a bit of background is needed, or more detail, or a one-on-one walk-through, or maybe just a friendly bit of support and encouragement. Sometimes, having a mentor can make a huge difference.
So the Sensei/Grasshopper Challenge is about encouraging AR members to make productive connections and to share skills, techniques and insights. It's about becoming better - as individuals and as a community - at what we do, whether it's selling, staging, lending, inspecting, constructing, repairing, or providing title for our clients.
There are three ways to participate in the challenge:
1. Grasshopper: Get a Mentor
Join the Sensei/Grasshopper group. You can write a post in this group requesting help with a specific subject. Or you could find someone posting an offer to help. Or, when you see someone doing something you want to learn, you could contact them directly to ask for help. However you choose to do it, go ahead and make a connection.
Be as specific as possible in describing what you want. And be practical - we're all busy, so if someone is going to take time to help you, don't ask for something massive and general, like "help getting leads".
This is a short-term commitment - whatever it is, your use of a mentor will only be to set you on the road and show you the way. It wouldn't surprise me if you developed long-lasting friendships and connections from this contest, but that's not a requirement.
To qualify for points, you will have to write a blog post describing your experience - tell us what you learned from your mentor and how you're using it. Post it in Sensei/Grasshopper.
2. Sensei: Be a Mentor
Join the Sensei/Grasshopper group. Look for someone who needs to learn what you already know . Or write a post offering to teach someone a specific skill. Make a connection and help them get started. Set up a short-term timeline for your assistance.
To qualify for points, write a blog post describing your experience - tell us what assistance you provided and how it's going to be used. Share some detail about your assistance - maybe it can help others as well. Post it in Sensei/Grasshopper.
3. NEW!! Sensei: Share with Everyone
In past years, we have had members offering assistance that were unable to make a connection, yet what they had to offer was valuable. We're modifying the structure of the challenge this year to accommodate those who wish to share their expertise in a general way.
To qualify for points, write a "how-to" or explanatory blog post, and teach everyone a valuable* skill or share some useful* knowledge. Use graphics and pictures to illustrate your text, and provide a thorough explanation of how to use what you are teaching. Post it in Sensei/Grasshopper.
"Valuable" and "useful" are subjective concepts. If you write something relating to real estate, blogging, technology, social media, etc., that isn't totally obvious, trivial, or already covered thoroughly, you'll be fine.
We all look for ways to game the system. It's built into our genes. Avoid that tendency with this challenge, because if you don't deliver value, I'm going to be a jerk about your points. If you want some ideas of what valuable how-to posts look like, check out these examples from Debbie Gartner, Craig Daniels and Sharon Tara.
If you have a question, e-mail me.
That's the structure of the challenge this year. Here are the rules:
Dates: This challenge runs from Friday, May 1 through Sunday, May 31. All posts qualifying for the challenge must be posted by 11:59 PM, May 31 in the Sensei/Grasshopper group to qualify for points.
Mentor/Mentee: You actually have to establish a relationship with someone and do something for this challenge. That seems obvious, but there have been attempts in previous years to claim points for making a comment in a Grasshopper's request for help post. That didn't fly then and it ain't gonna fly now.
Any ActiveRain member can be either a mentor or mentee, or both, as many times as you like, but you're only going to get one points award for this challenge. We're thinking that this is basically a one-on-one experience, but if you'd like to try something a bit different, e-mail me and we'll see if it makes sense within the general idea of the challenge. In the past, we've had Senseis with multiple Grasshoppers on a specific subject.
Everyone qualifying for points must write a post, as described above, in the Sensei/Grasshopper group. A request for help post or an offer of help post does not satisfy this requirement.
Important!! When you have posted your final report to Sensei/Grasshopper, send me an e-mail (email@example.com), with
- a link to your post,
- your name
- your AR username,
- and the name of the AR member who you worked with on this challenge.
Please put "Sensei Grasshopper" in the subject line. Just posting in the Sensei/Grasshopper group or leaving a link in the comments on this post will not get you points.
1. Grasshopper: Get a Mentor: 2500 Points
2. Sensei: Be a Mentor: 2500 Points
3. Sensei: Share with Everyone: 500 Points
Best of luck, and remember - have fun!