What if I could give you a crystal ball that could show you the future? One that not only answered your questions, but answered the ones that you did not even know to ask? A crystal ball that could jumpstart you on the road to success and keep you moving on the right path. What would you give for that crystal ball? What would it be worth to your future?
Napoleon Hill, in his classic book Think and Grow Rich, showed us many secrets to achieving exceptional success. None were more important than utilizing the knowledge of those who have gone before, the advice of experienced experts, and the power of the group mind.
Today, we can translate these three ideas into 3 distinct people/groups
- A Mentor
- A Consultant
- A Mastermind
Let's take a quick look at why you need each one and how they work together to help guarantee your success and reduce the impact of your failures.
Why you need a mentor
A mentor is not a teacher or trainer in the traditional sense. They are not a coach, but rather a more experienced friend or parental figure. They encourage you to work through the issues, tell you stories of what has happened to them. Many times they force you to approach painfully difficult to answer questions. They provide wisdom and guidance, but not direct answers. So why do I need a mentor?
- A Mentor can be inspiring. Your mentor can show you that your dream can become a reality. Their story can give you the belief and move you to take the action that moves you forward.
- A Mentor can open doors. Your mentor can introduce you to the people, resources and organizations that can instantly move you years down your path. Never underestimate the power of a referral to the right people at the right time.
- A Mentor knows what it takes to succeed and can "give you some friendly advice." Your mentor is invested in your success. They also speak from a position of power, because your mentor doesn't need your money. Their livelihood is not dependent on your good will. They can speak plainly and honestly when you need it the most. Take advantage of their experience and ask for it.
- A Mentor can give you an advantage over your peers. You will achieve your potential faster. If you want to see this demonstrated, just look no further than Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs mentoring of Mark Zuckerberg helped him not only grow his company, his leadership capability, and his vision, but also showed him how to maintain control of Facebook in a time when manner tech giants couldn't raise cash without giving up massive control. How did the kid you saw in the movie "Social Network" become a powerful and respected CEO? He had a great mentor.
Why you need a consultant
A consultant is not your mentor. It's not the same relationship. Typically you are paying a consultant and that relationship is dependent on a combination of a successful outcome and interpersonal dynamics. I've seen many consultants fired because what they delivered was both accurate and beneficial, but yet delivered a message that ran contrary to the owner's preconceived ideas of the outcome. "I hired you so that you can prove I was right, and to support my plan! I didn't want a better plan that would succeed; I just wanted my plan!" Never a good thing to hear from a client. Please don't be that client.
Your consultant can jumpstart you toward success or help keep you from going down the wrong path. So what can you expect from working with a consultant?
- A consultant can give you an experienced "outsiders" perspective. We all need fresh eyes from time to time. We start to not see the things that are the real issue, or blindly walk past a problem without recognizing it is out of control.
- A consultant can help you evaluate and validate ideas and strategies. They have seen what has worked and what has not. Since they can come in without any preconceived influences, a consultant can more easily guide a discussion without taking sides. A consultant can ask the tough questions and search for the answers your team may not want to touch.
- A consultant can provide a specialized service or "short cut" to needed skills that are lacking in the organization. Maybe you can't hire a full-time safety consultant or an HR manager to revamp your hiring processes and HR documentation, but you might be able to hire a consultant for two months with a retainer to cover one or two days a month. You get valuable expertise without carrying a full-time salary.
- A consultant can help you focus on your strengths while they support your weaknesses. Same concept as above. They can help you focus on the areas that you don't have the experience or the aptitude for doing well. Many owners hire a CPA for financial help. This is a type of consulting just like tax planning, benefits, head hunting, etc. In what other areas do you need a good consultant?
Why you need a mastermind
The modern idea of the "mastermind group" began with Napoleon Hill's first book, The Law of Success. Later, he expounded upon this what he termed a "Master Mind Alliance" in his most famous work, "Think and Grow Rich."
"The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind (the master mind)." - Napoleon Hill
A mastermind is a group of likeminded individuals with different skills, backgrounds, and experiences who brainstorm topics, offer support and provide accountability to each other. A true mastermind is less about the facilitators ideas and more about the power of the group working together. This group is built on commitment, confidentiality, and willingness to both share and receive advice and ideas, with total honesty and respect for everyone's time, opinions and experiences. A great mastermind group will lead to"
- A mastermind will lead to deep, long lasting connections.
- A mastermind will provide accountability.
- A mastermind will lead to better decision making by providing faster due diligence.
- A mastermind will expand your skills.
- A mastermind will give you ideas that you never considered.
- A mastermind, like a mentor, can provide great resources and increased networking opportunities.
Why you need them all
This is your great triumvirate of success. These 3 part team lets you foresee and build your future. Why would you leave off a vital part of your team. They will feed and work together to increase your abilities and reach. If you will find a mentor, a consultant, and a mastermind, there are 5 things you can expect.
- It will lead to well developed planning.
- It will lead to greater peace of mind.
- It lowers your risk of capital.
- It will increase your profits.
- It will grow your capabilities and make you a better leader.
The crystal ball is in your court. What are going to do?