One of the most valuable relationships I have had is the one I share with my mentors. They’ve been able to give me insight and direction in every area of my life. The funny thing about it is that I didn’t quite realize that they were my mentors, and the degree to which they’d impacted me.
As a younger man, I had always sought out a mentor – some one person who could give me all of the guidance and direction to do any number of things in my life. I wanted someone who could help me get really good at what I was doing and make recommendations on how to get better. Unfortunately, that never materialized for me. However, this didn’t stop me from watching and growing.
As I’ve matured, I’ve begun to realize that there was no one person who would be the perfect influence for every area of my life. I learned that I could have different mentors for different areas of my life. I also learned that mentors could be people who I have never met, but rather, have a healthy understanding of their accomplishments, the way they lived their lives or how they ran their company, for example. These could be people I’ve read about, people I’ve seen on stage, like a pastor or priest, people who I’ve heard about through others.
One of my mentors, Dr. Ike Rieghard (www.DrIke.org), tells me that I need to look at different areas of my life, and find someone who I admire and learn how they do what they do. More likely than not, no one person will meet all of my needs. However, these people have achieved some level of success in some area that is very valuable to me. For example, there are speakers who I have modeled my speech development process after. There are others who I’ve seen make and achieve bold goals and visions for their groups.
I highly recommend identifying people that you could identify with who fit into different areas of your life. Parents, friends, ministers, authors or whomever. You will find that you probably have identified them already. Now look at what it is that makes them a great resource for you. Maybe it’s their ability to make good decisions. Maybe it’s the way they carry themselves, or their ability to motivate people. You might start out by asking them a very specific question, or specific questions. I’ve had success offering to purchase a cup of coffee for an opportunity to pick their brain for a little while.
Most people are honored to be asked, and would be quite willing to offer assistance as long as you don’t become overbearing, you do what they suggest and you respect their time and authority. You may only meet with your mentor once a year, if at all. No matter – continue to push forward, taking every advantage of opportunities to implement their suggested activities. Your mentor will likely be excited by your successes.
Finally – pass it forward. While you must guard your time, try to find a way to mentor others. Make yourself open and available to teach others in areas of your life where you’ve been very successful. Sometimes, you won’t see it right away, but there are certain things you are born to do.those are the things people will likely approach you about.
Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].