Way back when I was 15 years old, I made two major discoveries that changed the course of my life forever . . . and for the better.
And now I’m certain that the discoveries helped me achieve more success in a shorter period of time than most people.
The first major discovery was that I hated going to high school. So much so that I never graduated. I didn’t care about what others thought about it because leaving school made me happy . . . And it felt like the right thing for me to do.
The second major discovery was that I loved to learn. And after I dropped out, I found a new way of learning that excited me. It wasn’t in the traditional way that most young people learn in schools . . .
As a teenager, I had a part-time job at the local community center, and one of the perks was free access to the health and fitness club. I took full advantage of the opportunity and night after night, in the sauna, I listened to highly successful men talk about their journey to success.
I started to learn so much through interaction and discussion rather than by reading an assigned book in school and trying to memorize its contents. I got the opportunity to listen in on conversations between highly successful men about health challenges and triumphs; the ups and downs of their relationships with their spouses; their money-making stories; how they overcame the highs and lows of making and losing money . . . starting a business and making lots of mistakes.
What started happening to me and for me, is that for the first time in my life, I had hope that maybe—just maybe—one day, I could become successful in each area of my life.
My new “mentors” at the fitness club gave me hope and perspective on what’s possible.
I learned that, even without a diploma, I could still achieve any goal if I took the right steps. And I learned another very, very important fact:
Almost every one of them had a mentor or served in some kind of an apprenticeship with other successful men and women who taught them the mindset, the skillset, and the actions they needed to take to rise above their challenges and achieve success in their lives.
One evening, my mentor Charlie shared a little secret with me that I’m forever grateful for.
He admitted to me that he was a very lazy man, but that he learned the secret to success from one of his mentors in the clothing business. He said to me, “John, if you want to succeed, just do exactly what the people who are already succeeding and achieving what you want to achieve.”
He said that was the basis of all apprenticeships from the Middle Ages, to the tribes of Africa . . . all the way to modern times. And I learned quickly that smart entrepreneurs understand that success is not a one-person show.
"Learn from those who know,” Charlie said, “the successful teach the young and the willing. It’s smart and efficient so stop wasting your time trying to figure out for yourself what to do.”
Here are 3 reasons why entrepreneurs should consider working with a mentor to coach them along the path toward success . . .
Mentors go way beyond personal life coaching.
Being an entrepreneur and starting a business is challenging enough, so if you can skip doing things the hard way, why wouldn't you?
A mentor has already been right where you are . . . and has made numerous mistakes that they can now use as a basis for helping others to skip the devastating effects of not knowing.
According to Richard Branson, a large reason entrepreneurs don’t get mentors is because they feel it is a sign of weakness, but this is a big misconception.
In an interview with American talk show host Charlie Rose, Mark Zuckerberg talked about his inspiring mentor Steve Jobs. “He was amazing,” said Zuckerberg. “I had a lot of questions for him.” He describes how Jobs gave him advice about how he could build a team that was as focused as Zuckerberg on building “high quality and good things.”
They also both believed that their life paths were meant for more than just building businesses. They wanted to change the lives of people. Zuckerberg wrote in a final farewell Facebook post to Jobs: “Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world.”
Bill Gates credited Warren Buffet for teaching him how to deal with tough situations and how to think long-term. Gates also greatly admires Buffet’s “desire to teach things that are complex and put them in a simple form, so that people can understand and get the benefit of all his experience.”
Oprah Winfrey’s mentor was the poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou who guided her through some of the most important years of her life. Winfrey writes: "The world knows Angelou as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give’ is one of my best lessons from her."
Most of us, at some point in the past, have experienced at least one epic fail. Though such setbacks can feel insurmountable, it’s crucial to pick oneself up and carry on. But it’s even more important to try to learn from failure. It’s even better if you can learn from the failures of your mentor as well.
This way you’ll have more time to focus on your self and your work!
To achieve world-class mastery at anything, studies show you need to spend a “critical minimum” amount of time practicing.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he writes about how renowned experts and world-class masters in almost any field or facet of life, have invested at least 10,000 hours to achieve the expertise and mastery.
I’m all about doing things smarter. My mentor shared many stories about the mistakes he made along the way that became learning lessons for me minus the pain and lost resources that come from making those mistakes.
Now, I would agree but would like to just point out one change in that number of 10,000 hours. It also needs to include the thousands of hours of mistakes they had to make to get to where they are today.
You see, you get to learn from a coaching expert not only what they don't suggest you do, but you get to learn from them what you should do. A mentor doesn't give you opinions. It's their expertise of knowing exactly what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and why to do it.
That is worthy of all of the time you invest with a mentor. And a mentor will show you why it must be done in a certain sequence or order. You get to learn all the right things to do without the mistakes and pain that comes with making mistakes.
Ever since those days in the sauna, and the big lesson from Charlie . . . I’ve paid for and surrounded myself with experts and masters. With their help, I focused on doing what was proven to work to achieve my goals, instead of spending time trying to figure it out myself and failing over and over again.
And how you approach your life will determine how much success you will enjoy or how many failures you'll have to endure your mindset is what's going to guide the decisions you make each and every day.
Above all, your mindset is going to determine ultimately how successful you are in each area of your life.
The fastest way that I know for you to upgrade your mindset is by surrounding yourself with experts and mentors who can help you upgrade every area of your life.
Get empowered on purpose and in action every single day.
And if you’re ready to upgrade your knowledge and skills in every area of your life . . . so you can live your best life . . . AND you're committed to saving time on the road to your success, then join our new mentorship and coaching program, Exceptional Life Coaching.
Gain access to the best knowledge, expertise, tools, and resources to help you do the right things in the right order at the right time.
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John Assaraf is one of the leading mindset and behavioral experts in the world, with a unique ability to help people release mental and emotional blocks that keep them from achieving their life’s biggest goals and dreams. He's written 2 New York Times Bestselling books, appeared on Larry King, and was featured in 8 movies, including "Quest For Success" with Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama. Now, he is the CEO of NeuroGym, a company dedicated to using the most advanced neuroscience-based training to help individuals and maximize their fullest potential.