I am often asked what I would do differently if I had a chance to start over again. The thought that almost always immediately comes to mind is find a mentor. I did not even know what the term meant 20 years ago, and I surely wish I had. If I had, I am certain I would be much farther along than I am now. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m doing okay, but I could have done better. And what better way is there to get better than to ask someone to help you who has done what you’re trying to do. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Well, it is.
A mentor is someone you enlist to help you achieve your goals. A goal in my mind is defined as a dream with a deadline. I’m sure that everyone reading this has a dream or two. And I would hope all of you want to accomplish some of those dreams. To improve your chances of being successful and to cut down on the time it takes to hit your targets, find an expert in the area you are working on.
Here are a few suggestions to find some help: Did you meet another business person that has impressed you? Did you like what a speaker you heard said about financial planning? If the answer is yes, I’d be asking those folks if you could periodically ask for their help and advice. Some mentors charge for their services; this is common. Others do not. In fact, I have had several mentors through the years who charged me a breakfast or a cheeseburger for their words of wisdom and I’ve had others charge me thousands for their advice and counsel. Only on very rare occasions did I not feel the investment was worth the time or money I put into it. My mentors have all been business men and women who take chances and have knowledge in some areas that I am lacking. I have learned a ton from them about finance, accounting, marketing, management, human resources, and even about being a dad and a husband.
So, my lesson and message is this. One of the best ways to cut down the time it takes to reach success is to find someone who has done what you are trying to do and ask them to help you. You don’t know if you don’t ask and there is nothing to lose by asking. Get a mentor; you’ll be glad you did.