The Quote: To know the road ahead, ask those who are coming back.
Quotes generally serve to sum up a great dose of wisdom and insight in a single lump of statement. The above quote isn’t far from the ideal. Learning from people who had gone through the same pathway you are trudging is one of the safest and shortest routes to Success. It’s not just necessary, but generally a principle to
be observed if one is to ever rise beyond himself in any life endeavour.
be observed if one is to ever rise beyond himself in any life endeavour.
When I began my business career, I had great ideas I believed would rock the foundations of the world. But I didn’t rush into doing everything I had thought I knew. I felt I needed someone on whose shoulders I would stand and build my business. Simply put: I had a feeling that I needed a mentor with more experience, knowledge base and connections. And that move paid off.
Mentors can be found at home, school, sports field, church, and in business. In fact, in about anything you set out to do in life, there is someone who has done same and succeeded. It is your duty to look out for them to tap into their wealth of experiences. I’ve personally had several business mentors who have helped me all through my business life.
Your reading this article probably indicates you want to know how a mentor is necessary for your success. Yes, you naturally would want to do it all alone and take all the credit for your success, but that does not happen. Whether you acknowledge it or not, people are always connected to you all your life on whose shoulders you have towered high. A mentor is essentially one of such persons.
Connecting and submitting under someone who has gone through your current experiences, positively, and is willing to share such insights with you, is a strong indication that you are really ready to prosper. It is also an indicator that you are willing and humble enough to learn. All these are necessary for success.
In the religious circle, he is called a discipler. Jesus Christ was one of those. He had twelve disciples who he mentored for three and half years before he handed over the church business/ministry to them.
In the early days of my business life, I mailed a business mogul I wanted to mentor me, explaining my kind of business and why I would love him to both invest and be part of the history it. In his reply, he requested I detail in which capacity I would love him to feature better. As of that time I truly needed finance to run both the necessary registrations of the business and for expansion to large scale. But I didn’t mention financial empowerment. Not in the top list.
I told him why I needed his presence, encouragement, invaluable advice and constructive criticism. I wanted to run the business under his shadow. That’s simple. And you know why I needed him far more than I needed his money? It’s because his personality will draw towards you those same human and material resources that made him who he is. I would have fallen into the trap of demanding for money, but I knew better. I needed a mentor. I needed guidance.
Definitely it would have been more exciting to have done it alone and make a fortune. But the hard truth is that I couldn’t find any single successful individual who actually had towed that path. You probably have heard about some self-made millionaires, right? Well, for whatever meaning that ‘self-made’ means, it is definitely not in terms of having mentors.
So why did I request for a mentor? Why did I value it more than finance in business? I’ve carefully explained the reasons why my choice was influenced as such.
Network beyond your reach
Have you ever wondered how many things in life you can successfully do without the help of someone? Extremely infinitesimal, if any exists at all. Sheer talents and skills rarely promote people. People are promoted because they know someone who created an avenue for them to express their gifts.
Mentors connect you to individuals in your business circle who have the necessary knowledge and resources to make you better. Successful and high-placed individuals who you couldn’t have had access to everything being equal. I especially enjoy the company of Billionaires, even when arguably better individuals are shut out. Why? Because my mentor granted me access.
Mentors in connecting you to people beyond your natural reach and level who has experience, knowledge and resources, are establishing your feet on a solid rock.
Discipline outside of you
Self-imposed discipline is very difficult. No one wants to hurt himself; we all want the easy life. And that notion of being one’s own boss has eaten deep to the point that we do not recognise that the road to the throne is through the able office of the servant.
Mentors provide that invaluable external discipline that keeps us on the track for success. They give us tasks and watch over us until that is accomplished well. They monitor our progress and make sure that the needful are always done, to our benefit.
Without their constant watchful eyes, the tendency to drift from the goal remains high and the assurance of success remains low. In other words, in a mentor, we willingly submit to a ‘boss’.
Knowledge and Insights
Everything on earth is run on principles- business included. The reason for apprenticeship is not just to learn the required skill, for instance, but to learn the required business acumen to trade such serve or goods.
Mentors offer us free live and personal knowledge and insights into our business that will help us grow. What kind of business to do. The best location for such a business in the nation, based on available resources. The best company or country to trade with and so on. These might have taken you years and lots of money to garner had you not had someone who freely shared that information.
Guidance through the path
You never can tell what you would see in the future. Wrong decisions and mistakes had cost several businesses their fortune. This had caused several start-ups to die prematurely because someone somehow did what is not supposed to be done.
The hindsight of mentors helps provide the needed guidance through which, you not only learn from his and other peoples’ past mistakes, but also avoid the consequences at no cost or pain.
Finance more than you’d wished
People most times think that the role of mentors is to finance their businesses. Well, that’s the duty of financial banks and investors. Mentors do much more than simply giving you money.
One thing I knew deep down me when I began searching and submitting under people to be trained in my line of business, is that money will come. With the right connections, guidance and free advice, I would gather towards myself the necessary material resources and massive wealth too.
The idea is simple: stay with four rich men and you are the fifth. Their aura and glory will naturally and freely rub off on you and what made them who they are will become available to you. If they are wise, you become wise. And if they are wealthy, you definitely become wealthy.
Iron sharpens iron, just like the countenance of one man sharpens another, says the Bible. God has placed humans to help humans on earth. Several people look up to heaven for help, when heaven has placed the help down here on earth. While I don’t doubt that heaven still helps people, but majority of such helps are through human vessels.
I would certainly say that the next major asset to possess to run a successful business or life endeavour, aside having a great idea, is a mentor.
And what are you waiting for? You are starting in business or already established? You need a mentor. I still have them. They are the shoulders upon which I stand tall. And having one may be the only icing you need on that delicious cake.
The Action: Take a piece of paper and write the list of persons you would like to mentor you. Write out the strategies that you will use to contact them and follow those actions through. Remember never to mention finance as the major reason why you’ve come. They receive such message every time and it scares them away.