Do you have an assembly of sophisticated individuals that you can turn to for advice? Did you know that the smartest and the wealthiest movers and shakers generally have consultants, advisors, mentors, coaches? It requires humility to know that you need senior council. You will need courage to seek mentors. Excellent listening skills are needed to decipher sound advice and it takes strength to take action on the advice given. The President has a cabinet, military leaders have war councils, high performing athletes have teams of coaches and so on. The theme is that those that reach the top understand the value and importance of council.
So how does one build a council? You start by looking at areas of your life that you want to improve – love, faith, career, health, etc. Identify individuals that are in the place where you would like to see yourself in the future. Maybe they have fantastic health or a great family. Generally the best advisors are those that have treaded a similar path that you are on. They have faced and overcome adversities that you may be dealing with currently or will most likely face in the future. These folks are smart, practical and successful. Once you make a hit list of individuals that you would like as part of your advisory team, simply and sincerely reach out and ask. If they say no, don’t take offense. Maybe ask at another point in the future or inquire further as to why they said no. If they say yes, then don’t abuse the time they decide to share with you. Be a good student and apply the advice given to the best of your ability. Make them proud.
It will take some time, research and lots of relationship building to create your council. It will be worth the effort.
A few notes before embarking:
- Find people that are more successful than you and are generally older (good rule of thumb).
- Do not add your friends and co-workers
- Have multiple mentors if you’d deem it necessary
- End relationships that are not working
- Show extreme respect at all times
- If you can’t find anyone immediately, start by reading books from people you wish could be your mentor (whether dead or alive)
There is a right fit for you. Remain steadfast, diligent and confident.