Every now and then I use this blog space to highlight an individual or company that’s doing good work in the digital marketing, sales, or active lifestyle space, or that in some way is benefitting others through their expertise and ability to pay it forward. This is one of those times.


Let me introduce you to Mike Irwin, a business leader and 10-time marathoner, who founded Bottle Rocket Advisors in 2016. In addition to being co-founder/president of a start-up, Mike was executive officer of a $1.5 billion company, global strategy officer, public company CFO, VP of Marketing, head of sales, and board member over a 20-year career during which he built a broad perspective in business transformation and an understanding of consumers and markets across the globe, spending time in 40+ countries.

Nowadays, Mike uses his diverse background to help companies grow sales, improve profitability, and to scale up. One unique expertise he brings to the table is that of “mentor,” a role he’s served through Chairmen’s Roundtable, San Diego Sports Innovators, and for San Diego State University Entrepreneurship Programs.


A recent blog published by Mike struck a cord with me. In You Can’t Gift Someone A Future But You Can Help Them Prepare for It, he talks about how, early in his career, he had
“the good fortune to tap the expertise of a mentor.” His mentor believed that there were three stages in a career:  learn, earn, and return. “Learn your craft, earn a living, and then return it by sharing your experience with others,” Mike writes in his blog. “I’m grateful that Bob (his mentor) was in return mode for me.”


Earlier this year, I wrote about mentoring in my blog, Be a Mentor: Share Your Expertise and Pay It Forward. It’s a topic near and dear to this King Monkey’s heart.

Mentoring is not only rewarding to those receiving the benefits of your insight and experience, but also to the mentor him or herself. There’s something invigorating about helping less experienced and often younger entrepreneurs and business men or women begin to realize some of their goals and their dreams.

  • Do you have someone in your past who acted as a mentor to you?
  • Is there someone you know now that could benefit from having you mentor him or her?


Through his career as a business leader and mentor, Mike has met many “incredibly effective entrepreneurs and leaders,” the best of whom shared several of the following characteristics:

  • Be Willing: A willingness orientation is healthy because it opens up opportunities to look, to listen, to learn, and to collaborate with others to achieve mutual goals.
  • Be Wondering: The people who tend to follow through on their ideas are those who wonder what could be, what could be better, what should be, and what they need to do to make it all happen.
  • Be Welcoming: A welcome approach to questions, people, ideas, challenges, responsibilities, and expectations leaves people open to learning and adapting…or to staying the course after considering what they’ve heard.
  • Be Working: The most effective folks work hard, they work consistently, they work selflessly, and they work well with others.
  • Be Wandering: Certain people personify the curiosity that fuels an interest in exploring but also retain the focus to be searching for something specific or the awareness to connect what they find to an end. They engage in aimful wandering, observing problems and generating ideas to get what they need, to find answers, and to see how they can help.
  • Be An Owner: Achievers tend to have an overdeveloped sense that they’re personally responsible for their choices, their actions, their time, and themselves. Regardless of their official role, they take ownership.


As a mentor, you can serve as a role model, teacher, and guide who is willing to share his or her experience, insight, and know-how so that others can benefit. But mentoring is more than simply giving someone advice. Mentoring is about teaching and sharing your knowledge so that the person being mentored is able to take that knowledge and insight and apply it to his or her unique personality, talents, and situation . . . or as Mike Irwin puts it, to help him or her prepare for the future. Read his full article here.


Let Barrel O’ Monkeyz provide a free assessment of your current digital marketing and social media strategies to help you answer the question, “Are my efforts contributing to my success?”

You can also check out Barrel O’Monkeyz white papers on a range of topics, from social media and inbound marketing and website development, to digital marketing, brand development, and design. Each white paper is full of ideas and steps you need to take to turn your ideas into reality.


Barrel O’Monkeyz is a San Diego-based strategic marketing agency specializing in Sports and Active Lifestyle markets. We serve as a seasoned, outsourced marketing team for companies looking to ramp up sales and launch new products. Our barrel is full of talent and creative arms ready to prove we don’t just monkey around! Contact Barrel O’Monkeyz Today