The Story of The Teen Mentor, LLC Written by the Founder, Michelle C. Ustaszeski-Hutchinson
The Teen Mentor, LLC had been slowly brewing my entire life.
When I was in my early 20’s, I remember being heart broken because I overheard my 13-year-old niece crying endlessly in her bedroom. I recall wishing that there was something I could do. She didn’t want to talk to anyone. That night, I listened to her weep throughout the night because she didn’t want to live anymore and the pills she wanted to use in order to end her life had been taken away.
That was the night I decided that I wanted to help teens through their rough times and somehow ease their pain. And to this day, I wish I could embrace every one of them and let them know that everything is going to be OK. I want to tell them that this too shall pass and that I’m working really hard to provide them with the wisdom they need understand themselves and live happier, more successful lives.
I recall crying myself to sleep many times when I was younger as well. I felt misunderstood and alone. I felt awkward and different from the others, like an outsider.
You see, back then, we didn’t talk about feelings or why people did the things they did. I didn’t know that feeling weird and different was just synonymous with being an individual human being. I also didn’t know that actually being different was a very good thing.
I thought something was wrong with me. I didn’t know that it was OK to have different interests than most other kids had. I thought I was supposed to “fit in”. Some kids enjoyed sports, some enjoyed focusing on the other boys and girls, some enjoyed their bikes and horses (I grew up near many farms) and what I enjoyed most was sitting alone, looking up at the sky, thinking about the world and the people in it, and then writing about it.
I still remember wondering why I wasn’t interested in running around with the rest of the kids in elementary school. Instead, I preferred to sit on the sidelines, or on top of the slide, and observe the other kids while they played.
I did a lot of wondering and daydreaming back then. I actually remember the moment when I wondered if I was an alien who was sent to Earth to figure out the human race. Don’t worry, it was only a fleeting thought.
To this day, I still spend a good portion of my day simply thinking and wondering. The only difference between me then and me now is that I couldn’t be happier and more grateful to be exactly who I am. And of course, I don’t scope out the world on top of slides anymore. Now I sit in my home on the top of a hill. 🙂
We all need to accept and love ourselves just the way we are and I want to help our world’s children realize that. They don’t have to ‘fit in’. They need to know that it’s their individuality that makes them great contributors to society.
As it turns out, I did spend my whole life studying people, and as 40 some years passed, filled with some of the most awe-inspiring ups and deeply depressing downs, I felt it was finally time to share all of those lessons so that the younger generation could learn from them, and hopefully, avoid some of the pain I had to endure myself.
I would have loved to see my future self come to me during some of those deeply depressing downs and say, “Believe it or not, this is good for you. This unbearable pain you are going through, that you never imagined could hurt so bad, is going to catapult you into higher levels of happiness and acceptance in the future that you wouldn’t otherwise experience.” I would have loved it if my future self came to me during some of those moments of decision and said, “No, no, no, don’t do that! I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Here is what happened. Here is what I learned, and here are some alternatives and safer routes for you to follow.”
Of course, we all have to go through our ‘own’ pain in order to learn certain lessons. After all, it is our darkest hours that make any ordinary day feel so bright. But it is also true that we learn through the pain and experiences of others. When we witness someone getting hurt, we feel their pain. When we see someone cry, we sometimes weep along with them, and when we hear the traffic report and learn of accidents, we know which roads to avoid on our way to school and work.
In 2013, I sat down and started to write a book that I had already titled, Untouchable: Breaking Free From Negative Emotional Confinement and Developing a Positive Mindset. It is quite the mouthful, yes, but I felt it was necessary. It started out as a guide that taught teens all the important stuff that they weren’t learning in schools.
It explained what each emotion was telling them and how they could master each one using a process that I called ‘Creating a Gap.’ The second half of the book was intended to teach them how to develop a positive mindset so they could live longer, happier, stress-free lives.
I researched and wrote, and researched and wrote some more, but no matter how many chapters I added, it never felt complete. It never lived up to the ‘vision’ I had of changing millions of lives. I was only touching the surface. And so, two years and 56 chapters later, I finally realized that my wisdom and experience was limited to a single life’s perspective and that I needed more than I could possibly conjure up all by myself.
I needed the wisdom of many.
In 2015, I decided to turn my book into a 56 module course and called it, “Total Mind Development for Teens & Young Adults.” I started reaching out to experts and professionals to see if they wanted to add their own modules, and although the response was mostly wonderful, it still didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel big enough. It still felt small and limited even when I received comments like, “You don’t need my help. It’s already a monster course!” or less positive ones such as, “Teens are not going to be interested in this stuff!”
This didn’t stop me, however, because I knew there were teens out there who needed me to find a way to get this wisdom to them and who would be interested in this ‘stuff’. And after hundreds of hours of sitting and entering content into my course template, I realized that no matter how many modules I added, it still wouldn’t live up to the ‘vision’ I had.
But I was getting closer!
As with most things in life, because that didn’t work out, a door opened to something better.
That is when the idea of The Teen Mentor, LLC came to me; a home where an endless amount of wisdom could be shared and stored without limit… a ‘Portal of Wisdom’ if you will.
Even though the book and the course didn’t work out the way I initially wanted them to, they were necessary. They were stepping stones to something bigger and better.
You see, everything you do in life ultimately leads you to the next best thing.
You transform and you evolve into a better version of yourself, and I firmly believe that when you finally capture and live your purpose and mission, your business evolves with you. And I also believe that the route to true wealth comes when you aim for people’s hearts, rather than their wallets.
The Teen Mentor, LLC now publishes the articles of top experts and professionals from around the world and the ‘Portal of Wisdom’ is where all of our articles are stored and searchable by title, author, topic, or keyword. They are synonymous.
The ‘vision’ I had for so many years has finally been fulfilled.
And now, we fill it.
This is what I do today.
It is my passion and my purpose to facilitate wisdom and find experts and professionals who want to share their experiences and knowledge with the world’s teens, and as the business grows, so do my positions.
At this moment in time, (May 2018) I am the ‘everything.’ I am the website creator, the graphic designer, the editor, the secretary, the recruiter, the scheduler, the accountant, the ads manager, and the social media expert.
I recall spending 4 hours the first night when I created the website trying to figure out how to add a second page. It felt like a mountain. I told my husband, “I’m not going to bed until I figure this out!” and although it consumed four of my hours, I NAILED hitting that “Add Page” button. And yes, I chuckled to myself once I realized how easy it was.
No matter how old we are, we often believe things are more complicated than they truly are. It’s one of those lessons we tend to forget, but when you are on a mission, there is no such thing as giving up or failure.
You have no choice.
Today, my husband is my biggest supporter and deserves an award for patiently listening to me talk about The Teen Mentor day in and day out. And aside from him, my grandson (3), and my three children, Samantha (25), Nicholas (21), and Andrew (11), it is the love of my life.
Each morning I set my alarm for 4:00 AM, anxiously make my cup of coffee, put on my Soundscapes music channel, light my candles, turn on the fireplace, slide comfortably into my recliner, extend the foot rest, and pull my blanket and hand made wooden desk on to my lap.
It is here where daily articles are shared with the world and where daily quotes and words of wisdom become inspired. It is my “happy place” and my way of embracing the world’s teens.
I believe that by building The Teen Mentor from the heart, while considering the number of teens I am impacting as my income, that someday, it will attract other compassionate individuals who would like to support the movement as well.
I never intended for The Teen Mentor to be like the average publishing company. As a matter of fact, and truth be told, I never even researched how to build a ‘traditional’ publishing company. Rather than collect emails and consider our teens a “target” audience, my goal has been to simply share wisdom with the followers we accumulate and populate teen social media news feeds throughout the world.
I don’t want anything in return from our audience.
I want all teens to feel free to sift through the wisdom TheTeenMentor.com site contains without being bombarded by pop-ups or advertising. I want to create a learning environment that is not invasive or distractive and only share links to our sponsors and the article authors themselves, whom I am deeply, deeply grateful for.
For this reason, I had to create a way to bring in funds so that we can reach even more teens in under-developed and under-privileged areas around the world. This is how The Teen Mentor Circulation Sponsorship Program was inspired.
I am currently finding ways to reach out to individuals and companies who would like to sponsor news feed circulation throughout their countries, states, and communities as well as under-developed areas around the world.
I believe with all of my heart, that someday, millions of teens will go on to their phones and see one of our quotes or articles that just may assist them in going down the right path much sooner in life.
I believe that eventually, we can help pull back the self-help and personal development industry in order to finally encompass them, and rather than fix social and emotional problems when we are adults, we can do our best at trying to help prevent those issues to begin with.
And finally, I believe that by doing all of this, we just may help society evolve and view teens from the perspective they deserve… as powerful members of society worthy of our reverence and dedication. After all, they are our future.
As of today, The Teen Mentor has captured over 141,000 social media followers by simply seeing our content within their news feeds and we currently reach the eyes of approximately 1.6 million teens each month.
And it is only the beginning.
The future is going to be very bright.
Thank you for being here today!
I am grateful that you found your way.
-Michelle C. Ustaszeski-Hutchinson, Founder of The Teen Mentor, LLC