“Only two there are, a master and an apprentice” – Yoda
George Lucas’ second installment of the Star Wars Universe – The Empire Strikes Back – brought us, in my opinion (along with the majority of die-hards) the best episode of the series. It also introduced us to one of the best mentors to dawn the silver screen…Master Yoda. In order for Luke to conquer his fears, uncover talents he never knew he had, learn the ways of the Force, and discover his true destiny, he needed a mentor in the form of a three foot green dude with pointy ears. Yoda pushed, challenged, encouraged, and molded Luke into a true hero.
Who is your Yoda? Remember Project Rise is all about being INTENTIONAL with our actions to move from a lower position to a higher one. Seeking to learn from individuals who are more experienced, seasoned, and accomplished than you is a vital piece of your development.
You can gain wisdom in one of two ways: by experience or by learning from others. Which option seems more efficient? Both are important. Learning things the hard way definitely creates great life teaching moments, but for my time, money, and energy, learning from someone who has already been there done that, sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
This approach is something I’ve implemented into my life and business planning for the past 3 years and let me just say, the results of this strategy have been very fruitful. Luckily for me when I was hired by my current company, I was assigned an amazing trainer named Frankie Pretzel. Frankie was a rockstar at work. He was a top performer year in and year out. I recognized that I wanted what he had…confidence, success, top earnings, all while balancing a wife and family. That initial week I spent with him in the field, I couldn’t ask him enough questions.
Frankie exposed me to the concept of the Law of Attraction and the power of positive thinking. He also shared with me a list of books (motivational, self-help, and business books). These books and his mentorship truly changed my life and for that I am so grateful.
After that experience, I made mentorship a competitive advantage for me. 5 months into my new role at a national meeting, I asked around, who was #1 in our division the year before? Once I learned who that was, I introduced myself at the airport before flying home to that person (one of my favorite people of all-time, Roseanne from Boston). I introduced myself and said that I’d love to learn from you. It wasn’t anything formal, but just a verbal understanding that I’d reach out to her a few times a month to learn what she has done and does to be a high achieving rep. Rosie taught me so much that I could not have learned riding solo.
Most people remember when they were new and were just getting started. You would be surprised how open they are to help. I’m in my 3rd year in my sales role, and I’m onto my 3rd mentor. These relationships have been tremendously rewarding for both parties involved. This has been one of the best things I’ve done and I encourage you to make this part of your routine in being the best version of you. My amazing mentors have pushed me to these accomplishments in a relatively short time:
- 2014 Rookie of the Year
- 2015 Top Performer Award
- Selected as a Sales Trainer
I could not have achieved these heights without my mentors. Here’s another thing, you don’t have to limit you mentors to just work…life mentors are vital as well. So what’s holding you back? Here are two potential roadblocks for you:
1. You are too prideful to seek mentorship
…….You either think you have everything figured out, or
…….You are too embarrassed to put yourself out there and ask someone to mentor you
Let me say that for those who bail on the idea of humbling themselves and seeking peer mentorship, need to get over it. You are never too old or accomplished to learn from someone. Execs and leaders of all levels have mentors. We all can learn and get better, no matter our age, experience, or title.
2. You are worried you are bothering someone
…….You feel like people won’t have the time to help, or
…….You will be a nuisance
You are not asking someone to do your taxes for you; you are simply asking someone to talk to you on the phone for maybe 10 minutes twice a month. My mentors lived in Atlanta, Boston, and Florida. We just connected via phone twice a month to get started and whenever we needed to catch up and connect. Trust me, people have enough time. If someone says they are too busy, then whatever…they missed out on an amazing opportunity to learn from you. There’s somebody better for you to gain wisdom from. Go into it with a positive attitude and expect this relationship to be beneficial to both sides.
Here’s my challenge…think of someone who has something you want; someone who you respect and admire; think of someone you believe you can learn from. Ask them to be your mentor and see if you can check in with them over the phone and possibly occasionally for coffee or for lunch. And just see what happens. I believe you will reach your goals faster and on a grandeur scale by gaining wisdom and knowledge from someone who has already been there. Go for it! As Yoda would probably say, “A bright future you will have, if a mentor you choose.”
We are coming down the home stretch with my series 30 Days of Gratitude and Service. My next three posts I’ll cover the 3L’s: Learning, Listening, and Love. I can’t wait! Go dominate today!