NIV- “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.”
One of the most important decisions we can make in our professional lives is to surround ourselves with mentors. If you are an entrepreneur, spend time with people who have been entrepreneurs for a longer time than you and have the success that you would like to have. Maybe you aren’t an entrepreneur but work for a company and have big aspirations and career goals. Seek out people who are higher up and have also been around longer than you. The best way to gain knowledge and wisdom in business is not through making mistakes yourself; it’s by learning from other people’s mistakes and how ultimately they persevered through them and became successful.
I came across an article recently titled The Secret Weapon of Young Entrepreneurs by Dave Lavinsky, the president and co-founder of Growthink. In the article, Lavinsky writes about how young entrepreneurs need to assemble their own Board of Advisers. What does this look like? According to Lavinsky, this Board of Advisers should be made up of “successful people that you respect, and that agree to help your company. They are generally successful and/or retired entrepreneurs, executives, business owners, service providers, professors, or others that could help your business.”
The problem with young entrepreneurs is that not enough utilize the advisers they potentially have access to. Quite frankly, too many don’t even realize the knowledge and mental capital they had access to if they would just be willing to pursue it. Lavinsky gives a breakdown of how to go about finding that Board of Advisers:
“Start by creating a list of entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, and others who you feel can help your business. Then arrange informational meetings with them. My pitch to get these meetings is generally, ‘I’m a young entrepreneur. I have a lot of respect for what you’ve accomplished. I was hoping I could grab a few minutes of your time to tell you about my venture and get your take on it.’ If during the meeting you feel the person would be a great advisor, ask them to join the Advisory Board.”
Don’t just stop there, though. Once you have a Board of Advisers, it’s important to report your performance as well as share objectives and goals to get their input.
While it’s imperative we have advisers to advise us in our careers, it’s just as important that we utilize advisers in other areas of our lives as well. For example, it’s so important we have spiritual leaders to mentor and we meet with us regularly. Here’s another example: those of us who are married need mentors in our lives who have been married longer than us and have more experience. Mentorship doesn’t mean you have a problem. Mentorship means you are willing to humble yourself and learn from those who have greater wisdom and experience than you.
Leadership author and speaker John Maxwell says, “Big-picture thinkers learn from their experiences. But they also learn from experiences they don’t have.” Learn from the experiences you have but don’t solely rely on them. Pursue mentorship in your life.