Americans are universally noted for their expectations of immediate results. Whether it’s fast food, easy weight loss programs, get rich schemes, or you name it, if there’s a way to do something quicker or better, we’re up for it.
The same holds true for success. We all want to know the secrets to success. How can we get there quicker? What are the “x” steps to achieve your dreams in life?
But in truth, there are principles that we can all learn and practice that will “supercharge” our success. By “supercharge” I mean greatly enhance, improve and hasten our efforts at achieving success and reaching our goals. One such principle involves the power of a mentor.
A mentor is simply someone with greater experience or expertise than one possesses in a particular subject, and the mentor is willing to come alongside and share that knowledge or wisdom.
We often think that mentors benefit younger folks with little life experience who are just getting started on the road to success. And there is no doubt that mentors can be a great resource for the young. But in truth, we all can benefit from mentors.
Two verses come to mind that deal with mentors. In Proverbs 3:1-2 we read:
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.”
And in Proverbs 1:5 we read:
“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.”
We see in these two proverbs that a “son” needs input and counsel as does the wise and discerning person. We are all in need of counsel, input and coaching, and the more, the better.
There are many benefits to having a mentor but here are just five suggestions on how a mentor can help supercharge your success:
1. To avoid pitfalls, learn from a mentor’s mistakes
We all make mistakes and poor choices which typically lead to negative consequences, from delaying our progress to impacting our wallet. But what if you could go back and prevent those mistakes altogether? What if you could reverse the clock on those consequences? Well, frequently the pitfalls of others can be a learning experience for us. Hence, the mistakes of a mentor can offer us the opportunity to avoid the same consequences.
2. Two minds are better than one
I love the collective power of multiple minds, often called a mastermind. When you combine one mind with another, the results can be greater than the sum of the two. Brainstorming is a useful exercise that can often result in some of the most ingenious ideas or solutions that would have never been realized if only one mind had been involved. Bringing a mentor’s mind into your life can help you explore, test and secure answers to difficult questions that appear to have no solutions. When you harness the power of multiple minds, you have just supercharged your potential.
I remember one such instance in my life when my business was in a rapid state of growth. My business partner and I were at odds and it appeared we were headed for some serious conflict. At the time, Roger was an older, seasoned businessman who was also my personal mentor and I met with weekly. He also sat on the board of our company. As a result of Roger’s involvement and wisdom, he suggested some creative solutions that resolved the conflict and led us to restructure our roles in a manner that served the company well. And ultimately Roger’s mentoring contributed to the sale of our company, at a value greater than $100 million (see The $100 Million Napkin).
When you harness the power of multiple minds, you have just supercharged your potential.
3. Encouragement when needed
In business, just as in life, there are times when an entrepreneur can become discouraged. Whether it’s losing a long-term customer, a key employee’s departure, a devastating new government regulation, or a catastrophe of some sort, circumstances can arise that can dampen an entrepreneur’s spirits. At times like these it’s critical that a mentor is in the picture. When we are discouraged, it’s easy to forget the bigger picture. We can often become so overwhelmed with the immediate problem that we fail to see the obvious solutions. But having an objective mentor who seeks our best interest can help us see the forest for the trees and provide us with the stability we need during trying times.
4. Provide opportunities for networking
Networking in one’s career, business and life is a key ingredient to success. A person will never build a business or life completely on his own. There is no such thing as a “self-made” millionaire. Instead, much of an entrepreneur’s success is achieved by the relationships and contacts he forges along the way. I have personally seen the value of networking through a mentor. In addition to the wisdom a mentor offers, he can also bring an array of contacts that can frequently bring solutions to specific challenges we might face. Remove the mentor and you may remove the precise individual whom he knows that could hold the key to a major obstacle you are encountering.
5. A book can be a mentor
This last point may catch you off guard but I have found that one of the most powerful mentors in my life can be the written word. Books are simply the thoughts of others expressed in writing. The wisest man that ever lived (as well as the wealthiest) was King Solomon who lived approximately 3,000 years ago. He expressed his thoughts, counsel and wisdom for the benefit of his son and the rest of us in Proverbs, the ancient book of wisdom.
[imageframe lightbox=”yes” lightbox_image=”http://www.awaketofreedom.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Plan-Fails-600.jpg” style_type=”dropshadow” hover_type=”none” bordercolor=”#f7f7f7″ bordersize=”15px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”right” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””][/imageframe]I have made it a goal to read through Proverbs on a regular basis because the principles communicated by Solomon are timeless. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs so I like to read one chapter every day of the month. While a chapter can be read in 5 minutes, the truths and wisdom in those chapters can be meditated on for hours. I would encourage you to do the same. If you have a smartphone, you can download a Bible app here and read it each morning on your phone or iPad, or even have it read to you as you drive in your car.
So, are you ready to supercharge your success? Don’t try to do it alone. Rather, find a mentor to walk beside you. Seek out a more seasoned individual in the areas with which you need input. You won’t be disappointed and your success will be enhanced and the likelihood of your goals being achieved will be greatly improved.
The Value of Coaching
Growing up were you involved in sports or some kind of extracurricular activity? Do you remember having that special coach or mentor who greatly impacted your life? Did their words of wisdom and informed perspective provide insights to you that resulted in improvement, achievement, the ability to overcome and success? I can remember Coach J in my life. He came alongside me during my teenage years and the input he provided along with the example he lived were deeply impactful. I am grateful to Roger, a retired executive who became a regular part of my life as I met with him weekly for several years during some particularly challenging times in my business life. His steady influence and regular engagement with me contributed to much success. Find out more how coaching can benefit you, by clicking here.