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Stop Stalling and Find Some Mentors

...find people who can push you

OK, here’s a simple thought exercise that will perfectly sum up this article. Think of the biggest goal you have right now. I don’t mean the “kinda-sorta” goals that a lot of us have. I mean the thing that keeps you up at night and gets you up early on your day off. What’s your passion, your purpose? Picture it in vivid detail. Are you starting a business, changing careers, or writing that novel? Got it? OK, good. Now I want you to ask yourself how many of your friends are also pursuing that same goal? If you’re like most of us, that answer is a big fat zero. And this my friends, is why we fail.

Would LeBron James be as good at basketball as he is if he was not playing against the best opponents in the world via the NBA? Absolutely not! Is it harder to beat alcoholism when your only friends party every weekend? Yes! Does a business owner know more about starting a business than a non-business owner? Obviously they do. Now back to the beginning exercise. What was your dream? Again, ask yourself if you have anyone in your life that is doing something similar to that. If the answer is no, you’re making a huge mistake. You need to be forged in fires of competition. To be inspired by those with similar a work ethic. To be kept honest by peers who know the industry as well as you do.

Getting a mentor or surrounding yourself with a group of peers that has similar goals and drive is absolutely crucial to your success. Even if you think your strong enough to “do it on your own”, you may be correct but, if that’s true just think of how strong you would be if you were also being pushed by a group or mentor that you respected and that you learned from. You would be unstoppable, right? Right. So, then why haven’t you done that yet?

Countless dreams have ended before they even had a chance to start. In my opinion this is because people skip these crucial steps.

  1. Get more specific. Don’t use vague terms like I want to be “a millionaire”, or I want to build a great app. Tell me what kind of app it will be. Tell me what your user base will be like. Tell me some of the main features of the app. By the time you’re done with this step you should have zero confusion about your end goal.
  2. Start with one thing. This is going to refine the results you got from step one. This will be your elevator pitch, your tagline. What will your product do better than anyone else’s? This should be no longer than one sentence.
  3. Find a mentor. This is the main point of this article and arguably the most important step. You need to go out and find someone who is actually doing what you want to do. You need to spend time with them. Learn from them and do what they do. This is a crucial step in starting out. Eventually, you might be able to skip this step and use your own past experience instead, but starting out I highly recommend you find someone who’s “been there, done that”.
  4. Find more mentors. Yep, you read that right. I said find even more mentors. The more people you find to learn from the more you will learn and the more mistakes you can avoid. Take a little from one person and mix it with a little of someone else. Use this technique to create your own unique blend of strategies and techniques.
  5. Trim the fat. If you want something, take it. Only you can decide if you’re on the right path, or if your goal is worth pursuing at any cost. If you have found a purpose like that, it’s your duty to follow through with it. Do it for yourself. Do it for your loved ones. Do it for the world. You have something to create, to give back, and to leave behind when you die. Don’t let a lack of mentors or the wrong social group bring you down. If you're being held back by a group of friends or family that doesn’t support or share your dream, find people who can push you and spend your time with them instead.

As a bonus tip, I also recommend reading a lot of books. Whether it’s on the specific goal you have in mind, or something more general like a book on how to achieve your goals. Just keep learning. I personally learned a lot from a book called “Execute” by Drew Wilson and Josh Long. Check it out at executebook.com. I highly recommend this one for anyone in the tech field, but it has universal principles that apply to almost anything.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you have any goals? Are you surrounded by the right kind of people?

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