We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how.
– Author Unknown
From the time we were little, we had role models. They taught us to talk. Showed us how to walk. And inspired us to do more. These role models eventually changed as we grew older and we found new people to look up to as we made our way through school. Perhaps they were sports stars. Movie stars. Teachers. Parents. Even friends.
Then a strange thing happened . . . We graduated to the “real” world of “grownups” and we put all our attention into making a living and being a success. And in getting “real” and in “growing up” many of make the biggest mistake of our lives . . . we forget the need for mentors. Today, we’re going to change all that because I’m going to show you the 5 mentors every entrepreneur and business person should have.
Before I tip who they are, let me at least tell you why I used the “s” word (should).
A good mentor does several things for you, your career, and your business:
1. They excite you, believe in you, encourage you, and prompt you to take action.
2. They help you to network, connect with others, and keep you social.
3. They give you an objective perspective of yourself and what you are doing (or not doing).
4. They provide you peace of mind because they’ve already been where you are and are living proof that “this too shall pass” and “you will survive.”
5. They aren’t just there to show you the way in business. They are there to show you the way to your own heart and soul.
Now do you see why I used the “s” word. How would your business life (heck, your life in general) be better with this type of support system?
So, I recommend you get yourself mentors in at least 5 areas. You can, of course, have one mentor cross-over into various topics. Just make sure they’re really the experts, coaches, and guides that you need. Don’t make excuses for them or settle for less than the best you can partner with.
THE 5 MENTORS EVERY BUSINESS PERSON SHOULD HAVE
1. Marketing and Branding. Every massively successful business or venture has a core message. What is yours? What business are you really in? How are you positioned in the world, in your niche market, in the minds of your clients and customers? It can often take an outside observer to tell you the answers to these questions. When it comes to marketing and branding, we are often our own worst enemies because we fall in love with our own ideas, products, and image. A marketing and branding mentor will play an essential role in building your ultimate image and message.
2. Working On (not in) Your Business/Career. I have gotten some very vehement pushback when I mention this but I will say it again. You should be spending more time working on your business and less time working in it. And I’m not the only one with that type of message. The truth is that many of you are stuck in a business rut. Either because you’re scared things will change for the worse or you’re ignorant of what else might be possible. Therefore, you are merely surviving at work rather than flourishing. It’s part of Einstein’s Law of Insanity . . . doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A “Working On Your Business” mentor can help you move your business forward.
3. Business Plan. Your business, to be successful, has to create value for others and capture value for yourself. When is the last time you actually created a written business plan that outlines both of these aspects? Do you have a strategy and tactics for solving your clients’ and customers’ problems? Do you even know, with specificity, what those problems are? A business plan mentor can help you discover the value you provide and how to implement what you have to offer. But that’s just the first step. The same mentor can then help you determine a strategy and tactics to create profit for yourself.
4. Staying Restless. Jeep has a great new ad campaign that goes like this: “Restlessness is the feeling you get when you deny your curiosity too long. It’s the drive to keep going, to keep running and to keep acting on your passions. Restlessness is what fuels your ambition.” This type of mentor will keep challenging you to get even more than you thought possible. Indeed, once of my most cherished mentors made a real impression on me when he told me to “stay restless” as to the key to everything.
5. Refine and Redesign. I call this my “rinse thoroughly and repeat” mentor. Find someone who can help you constantly and consistently restyle and fine-tune who you are, what you want your business to be like, and where you are going. Once you achieve a goal, you change. Once you achieve a goal, your business changes. Despite the wishes of many, nothing in business is permanent. You must find someone who can help you alter course as needed.
By the way, always stay real when it comes to mentors. It’s time to get a new one when:
You outgrow them.
They don’t get your “message” anymore.
They try to fix you rather than provide you with choices.
I am excited for your adventure in finding and selecting a mentor. They will change your life. Guaranteed!
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