“Ugg!! I told you NOT to re-invent it! Round wheels work fine….”

January 29, 2010 at 9:38 am (Life in General, Sales and Business)

“…..square ones don’t..!!

This is something I am sure I have seen in a Gary Larson Far side Comic Strip (if you are not familiar with the Far side, Google it!)

The image I get is of the young apprentice caveman, “Ugg”,  trying to be “entrepreneurial” and re-inventing the wheel and then getting chewed out by his “mentor” for being stupid and wasting time.

This brings me on to one of the major keys for progression that anyone who is very serious about becoming one of the greatest in their field, should have. A Mentor.

Now Mentors come in all shapes and sizes and different contexts but in my opinion, to define a Mentor, it needs to be someone who has gone to where you want to go and will now help you get there. They have actually DONE what you want to do. The difference between a mentor and a coach is that a coach hasn’t normally “been there” and “done that” , they are normally there just to hold you to account and make sure that you are able to meet the goals and deadlines that you are going to achieve.

I have also heard some debate over whether or not a Mentor should be paid as many people consider their parents as Mentors but given todays highly commercial focus and the fact that there are professional mentors out there, I guess its safe to assume that just because someone is paid for their Mentoring services, doesn’t exclude them from being a Mentor.

For anyone who has ever tried to do something way outside their comfort zone with only the “theory” on how things should be done will attest to the fact that its one of the most difficult things to do. An example I can use here is teaching people to trade the Stock Market, which is one of the roles that I perform in my consultancy business. 

If you say to someone, the way to make money in the Stock Market is to “Buy low” and “Sell high”, it sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Sure it does.

But if you try to get into trading, trying to find the low and get out of the trade at the high, it’s pretty close on impossible to predict. Now tie this in with a complete change of mentality when it comes to money and trying to get into a frame of mind that “every trade you get into, you must be totally emotionally unbiased” ( which is VERY tough when your last trade either made you money or lost you money).

If someone tries to do this themselves, they are going to have a very tough time becoming a consistent trader but if they have the guidance of someone who can relate to what they are going through, see the situation from the outside- without the involvement of the emotions, who genuinely has their best interests at heart and can reassure them that they are on the right track, the experience is second to none.

If you take on a Mentor, you will not have to go through a learning curve characterised by “Trial and error” – or at least “less Trial and Error” – The Mentor can teach you from their mistakes and this will save you a huge amount of time and frustration.

When I look at the progress (and mistakes!! I could write an entire book on my mistakes ) that I have made in my life, the last 3 years have been crucial in the opening of my mind and starting to see what life can really offer if you are prepared to go out and take the opportunity. Much of my learning, and inspiration has come through being Mentored. I have been fortunate enough to receive guidance from Donald Trump, Tony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, “The Google boys”, Dr Maxwell Maltz,  Malcolm Gladwell and a whole host of others. 

For those of you who suspected that perhaps I haven’t been jetting off all over the world (and sometimes even doing a bit time travel – as some of those names aren’t with us anymore), you would be correct. I haven’t sat with “The Donald” at the Trump Plaza, I haven’t been invited into Silicon Valley to play ping-pong in the “break out room” with the great minds of Google and Malcolm Gladwell is certainly not one of my Facebook friends but I have leant so much from these people and their experiences through their writings that I know how they do things – to some degree at least. I have an understanding of how their minds work and what their regular habits are…. If “success leaves clues”, then I am much closer to understanding those clues by virtue of their writings and their stories. I confess to being a “learning junkie” right now and am always reading something or listening to an audio book.

Back to the real world, a place of two way communication 😉 I have been fortunate enough to be mentored by a number of different people. Great people who have opened my mind to so much out there, in so many different areas. Many of you reading this right now have been a mentor to me, even if you didn’t know it. 😉

In closing folks, Mentors are all around us. They can teach you so much – IF you are prepared to go out and find them and prepared to learn. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on Mentoring….So please leave a comment.

Have a PHantastic Weekend folks. PHire it up!!! 🙂

Cheers

Paul Harrison

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2 Comments

  1. Silas J. Lees said,

    Hey Paul,

    Loving your work my man! You have hit a vital point in talking about mentoring – it is as essential as oxygen if you are going to set high goals and try to attain them. I have been very fortunate to develop a life where there are mentors in many areas (even if they don’t know it), and I would gladly class yourself as one of the best mentors around for keeping the spirit high, motivating me to take massive action, and realising that nothing is impossible, so I can take heart and follow my dreams. For this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    Have an awesome weekend mate and look forward to catching up soon.

    Silas.

  2. Danny Scahill said,

    Hey M8,

    I couldn’t agree more on the mentor thing, they really do allow you to go where they’ve gone only without making the mistakes they’ve made along the way, so I would say they are absolutely priceless! Great article m8

    Danny

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