This article is part of the resource materials packet for Day 3 of the Good Success Thanksgiving Challenge. If you have not yet completed the assignment for Day 2, click here to read the resource materials and catch up.
First of all, I have to say that we are not even halfway done with our Good Success Thanksgiving Challenge, and I am already completely overwhelmed by the comments and messages from the Good Success community thanking me for reminding everyone to be thankful.
I just want to tell you how thankful I am to be involved.
Now, on to today’s challenge…
Thank a Mentor
I should probably say upfront that this challenge is a little bit loaded for me because not only am I a mentor myself, but I have some of the very best mentors you could ever imagine who have been with me, guiding me and helping me grow, for a very long time.
However, I did not always realize what it meant to be a mentor, even after I had mentors of my own and people were starting to ask me to mentor them. That journey is a story unto itself, but I do want to discuss some of the things I have learned about mentors, both positive and negative, over the years.
If you are wondering if you have a mentor or if you are or could be a mentor yourself, take a look at my 3 favorite “Mentor FAQs” to get a new perspective on this concept.
FAQ 1: Does my mentor have to be the best in the business?
Answer: No, but they need to be qualified (and willing) to serve as a mentor in the capacity you seek.
When I think of the “best of the best,” I think of Robert Kiyosaki for real estate, Michael Jordan for basketball, and Bill Gates when it comes to software. In my life, I would love to have those folks all mentor me regularly.
However, realistically, I’m pretty sure Michael Jordan will not mentor me on my rec-league basketball game, and I don’t know that Bill Gates has a lot of time to check in with me once a week about my dreams of personally designing Good Success Software (which I don’t, by the way, since software design isn’t really one of my core competencies). The hard truth is your dream mentor is not always going to be someone that is accessible to you.
So, does that mean you just don’t have any mentors? Of course not! You can learn so much from mentors at every level of business. However, you must make sure that the people upon whom you rely as a mentor are striving for success and giving you guidance in areas in which there is some reason to believe they are qualified to advise. Then, you have to make sure they are willing to serve in that capacity.
Here’s what I mean: I serve as a mentor to many real estate investors, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners. I’m a successful real estate investor, entrepreneur, and small-business owner, so I am a good fit for that position and I am willing to serve as a mentor in that capacity.
On the other hand, people often ask me to mentor them on their marriages because I have a very strong, long-lasting marriage myself. As a general policy, I decline requests like these because while I work very hard on my own marriage, I do not necessarily feel good about giving life-changing advice to others about their personal relationships. Therefore, I am not necessarily a good mentor for your marriage because I am not trained in that nor do I feel it is appropriate for me to be intimately involved in that aspect of a Good Success student’s life (so I am not willing to serve in that capacity).
FAQ 2: Aren’t mentors really just for weak people without any backbone?
Answer: The strongest people I know (and the most successful) have mentors.
There is a very negative misconception out there that people who need mentors are people who are struggling to get by. There is nothing farther from the truth. Bill Gates, for example, says he still has mentors with whom he corresponds daily – and I don’t think he’s weak or struggling to get by at this point in his life!
I have many mentors in different areas of my life, including for my business, my spiritual growth, my marriage, and even my legacy-building and retirement-planning! I believe that as long as your mentors are qualified and willing, you probably cannot have too many of them.
By the way: You can read what I wrote to my mentors for the Day 3 Challenge below.
FAQ 3: Can I have a mentor without knowing it?
Answer: If you do, you’d better thank them today.
Think for a minute about the people in your life to whom you look for guidance and advice. Probably at least one of them is a mentor, and you should thank them today!
Take a few minutes to do a short exercise that I use with all of my students. On a piece of paper, write down the names of the people you think might be your mentors or who you know are your mentors. Next to each name, write down how they have helped you in the past, including specific examples if possible. Now, take those notes and write each mentor a nice letter, email, text, or digital message to let them know how much they mean to you.
If you need a little more inspiration, here’s a look at part of my version of the exercise:
I have so many mentors, including Josh Belk, who has been a mentor and a friend for years to me, and my pastor John Wilkerson. I also have to be sure to thank Walter Wofford and Quincy Long today because they both have spent so much time teaching me about retirement and self-directed IRAs.
I’m so thankful that you have been such amazing mentors to me, and I’m so thankful to the others I’ve met throughout the years who have been amazing, amazing mentors. Thank you for investing in my life and letting me learn from you. Thank you for looking at my business and helping me tweak it so it could continue to grow. I’m blessed by your mentorship. Thank you.
Now, that is sort of my general outline from my notes. I need to add a few more specifics, but I think you get the idea. It’s time for you to make your own list now and send your own notes. When you’re done, comment on the Good Success Facebook page and let us know you completed today’s challenge. You can even tag your mentors to make sure they don’t miss your message.
Are you playing catch-up? We’re thankful you’re here! Click HERE to go to Day 2 of the Good Success Thanksgiving Challenge or HERE to find the resources for the Challenge Day 4.