Do you have three mentors who you can call — easily, quickly, without a lot of formality — when you need advice?
One common thread I find, whenever I meet someone who has enjoyed tremendous success in their career, is that he or she has been blessed with great mentors and role models, often early in their life. The truth is that wisdom is a hard thing to earn. It often comes with the price of a lot of mistakes, pain, and suffering. If you make too many mistakes financially, in your career, or in your personal life, you can find yourself in a precarious position where the dominos no longer line up, where none of your options is optimal.
Great mentors are one great lever that can help you make wise decisions, see new possibilities, give you the guts to take the right risks, and give you the confidence and will power to see tough times through.
The picture above is Guy Kawasaki. I’ve read all his books and I find him wise. If I ever get the chance to meet him, I would love to recruit him as a mentor. If you don’t know Guy, here’s a nice intro to his thinking. The cool part though is that there are a number of wise guys that have published some of their best thinking, so reading the right books is a great idea if you can’t develop that personal connection.
Do you have three great mentors? If not, start asking the right people for advice. Ask others who is the wisest person that they know. Make an effort to meet these people, and plan a gift of an idea to make the right first impression. Most people that have had a substantial life experience will share advice readily if they perceive that you are sincere and respect their opinions. Having five mentors is better than three, and seven is better than five.
It is never too late to start.
I.M. Optimism Man