When I was 20 years old I was introduced to a business opportunity which had a very solid process which, if followed, would have produced significant results. At least that’s what I was told.
I was a tad bit different back in those days. I had a rockin’ mullet with my hair below my shoulders, an earring, but it was all business on the top … just a little poofy business since I hadn’t yet been introduced to hair product. 🙂
The guys I met with, explained how this would be my own business and how, although I was in business for myself, I wasn’t in business by myself. They committed to teach me the same system that many other people had followed to become extremely successful.
I spent some time thinking about it and finally decided if anyone could make it successful, I could. The only thing was I was NOT willing to cut my hair or take out my earring, and I told them as much. I remember them smiling at me and saying, “That’s fine.” I am sure my chest puffed up and I thought to myself, “I’ll show them that I can make it happen my own way and without following their system.”
After all … I was 20 years old making $5 per hour and cleaning houses on the side to make ends meet to support my wife and son … what could they teach me? 😉
Now almost 20 years later I can see how immature I was with that thought process. Although I always wanted to be a leader, I now realized it is important to know how to lead if you ever want to get anyone to follow.
It didn’t take me long to realize that if I was going to transition into a business man, it was going to require that I have credibility with the people I was doing business with. I think it took me about 2 weeks until I realized, I may get a bit more respect if I took out my earring and chopped off the prized mullet.
Well, I did it. I noticed a small improvement but the cosmetic differences didn’t do anything to improve my rebelious attitude.
It took me about 2 more weeks to completely submit, and begin to LISTEN to everything these much more successful business people were telling me. I made the decision, at that point, to become a sponge and do anything these guys asked me to do as long as it was legal and ethical.
This was a HUGE turning point in my life and one I’ll never forget. This decision and the subsequent actions I took, reinforcing the decision, changed my life. It opened me up to the incredible world of mentor-ship.
Throughout the years I’ve been extremely fortunate to find mentors who liked and believed in me when I had almost zero belief in myself. I was always pretty good at hiding my insecurities, at least I thought, but these mentors took time out of their extremely busy schedules, and spent it with me. It would be impossible for me to ever express to these people how grateful I am for the investment they made in me.
To this day I have mentors in my life in which I place an incredible value in their opinions and guidance. I am sure I will always seek out people who’ve achieved much more than I have, and if they are willing, I’ll be their student.
Some people allow success to give them a big ego and begin to believe they know everything there is to know. Personally I don’t think there is ever a time that we should cease to seek personal and professional development.
One of the phrases I’ve heard many times is, “You’ve got to fake it till you make it.” This is a very interesting and true statement. Most of the time I hear it people are joking around and spinning it in a negative way, but if you truly look at it, you’ll find how true it is.
I am not saying you should pretend you are successful and “con” people. I’m saying since your success depends so greatly on your belief in yourself, and becoming absolutely certain that if you do A, B, and C you will get D, you need to make sure you are taking the exact actions that someone who has already achieved it has taken.
Every single person on the planet has the same 24 hours in each day. I’ve found through my research in this experiment, and in the books I’ve read over the years, that the most successful people on the planet typically get up early and do some type of activity that stimulates their brain and gets them off to an excellent start to their day. Whether that is reading, exercising, listening to an educational CD, or writing, these people develop the habit of getting right at it in the morning.
These same people don’t get hung up in the small little details and avoid getting fixated on the issues which occur throughout the day. They seem to be up beat and look at the so called “problems” as challenges, and it’s almost like a game to them to see how quickly they can come up with a solution to these challenges.
I could go on and on about the habits of successful people because I’ve spent a good part of the last 20 years studying them, but I am sure you get the point. If you have a goal that you’d really like to accomplish, I’d encourage you to identify either someone who has accomplished a similar goal, or just a very successful person you know. Ask them if you can take them to lunch and find out what actions they take on a consistent basis that they feel helps them achieve the level of success they’ve achieved.
The most important thing you can do following this “lunch” is to begin to mirror those activities. You’ll begin to notice the more you take the same actions as a successful person you admire, the more you’ll begin to think like this person, which will ultimately lead you to achieving a much higher level of success.
This isn’t always the easiest thing to do because you’ve spent, however many years you’ve been on earth, developing the belief system and habits you currently have, and they won’t change overnight. You’ll find yourself slipping back into old patterns. Because you now know this is the case, you can catch yourself and redirect your thoughts and activities in the direction of your new habit and thought patterns.
I challenge you today to contact someone that you admire and set up a time to interview them on their habits and thought processes. If you take this activity seriously, and act on what you learn in the process, you’ll begin to see major changes in your life. It doesn’t matter if things are going VERY WELL for you. You can always find someone who doing more, has more, or who has accomplished more than you. Why not constantly strive to become a better, more successful person? You’re only on this earth for a very short time, you may as well make the best of it! 🙂