Sunday, July 4, 2010

Quote for the week

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that's where you will find success."
- Thomas J. Watson

N is for Network

Success does not occur in a vacuum. Without the help of others it is virtually impossible to find success in any area of your life. Additionally, what good is finding success without having people around to share your achievements and to celebrate with you.

You need to always be looking to add to your networks. And yes, I said networks with an “s”. A network is nothing more than a group of people with related interests who share their knowledge and their journeys with each other. Obviously you will have a network of family and friends. You will have a professional network. Humans are “wired” for social interaction. We need the emotional and intellectual stimulation that only comes from working and socializing with other humans.

Now the thing about networks is that you have to add value. You have to be willing to jump in with assistance at a moments notice. If you are thinking about a network as a means to end, as a tool to use for your needs, then you have it all backwards.

Yes, building a network can, and should, help you in any number of ways but if you are just looking to extract from and not add to your network it will crumble. Over time the other members shift away from you. If you are not adding any value to them why would they continue to help you? It is the combined assistance to all that gives any network its real value.

So yes, work on building networks in every area of your life: Work, Health, Financial, Social, Recreational, etc, etc. But remember always that the more you give the more you will get back. It’s sort of a 1+1=3 deal. Networking is invaluable to your overall success, and through it you can be invaluable to others as well. Everyone wins. You gotta love that!

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

M is for Mentor

Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth books, states that entrepreneurs need to work on their business as opposed to in their business. The same applies to having a successful life. If you do not take the time to plan and work on the path your life is taking, then you really are leaving your success totally up to chance. Not the best plan of action on my book.

Part of the “working on your life” should involve having a mentor. A mentor can really be anyone that has a profession or social position or lifestyle that you are aspiring to. Successful people are often willing to help someone else along their own journey, as long as that someone is willing to put forth the effort to take control and change the path of their life.

A mentor can help catapult you farther and faster down your success path. They have learned from experience what does and what does not work. Their insight can often save you time, money and frustration. A mentor stimulates the gray matter between your ears by asking questions, challenging your assumptions and by suggesting alternate paradigms. A simple change in perspective can often open your eyes to a variety of possibilities previously unseen or imagined.

A mentor can be living or deceased. Many successful people have left behind volumes of information in the form of books, speeches and interviews. I have been mentored by many people that I have never met. As you move along on your success journey you will likely have many mentors. As you grow as a person your needs will change. Be grateful to those who have helped you get to the point you are at, and be ever watchful for the next hand to help pull you up even higher.

No one I their right mind would even consider a trip to climb Mount Everest without seeking the assistance of those who had done it before. Putting together your successful life is not any different. Ask for and let others help you. And then turn around and do the same for those coming behind you. The more you help others, the more you grow. That is the power of mentoring. The benefits go both ways. Use mentors to help you move ahead, and be a mentor yourself to help others.

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