Entrepreneurial Pro Tip #8

Form Your Team of Mentors

Photo by Robert Collins

Photo by Robert Collins

By Delano Garner

"Form your team of mentors; a good number is 3 to 5. These remarkable individuals can be either dead or alive."

I’ve never known or heard of anyone reaching any meaningful goals without the help and support of others. There tend to be a host of folks behind the scenes that have lifted and assisted. Awards shows like the Oscars or Grammys highlight this point well. When the winners come to the podium to accept their awards, we as viewers get an insight into the sheer number of people that helped that artist achieve their goal and reach their heights. These winners acknowledge the fact that they have a strong, and supportive team. As entrepreneurs, we need a strong team, too.

Here’s my team: Wayne Dyer, Denis Waitley, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama. First, Wayne Dyer because his words and wisdom encourage my soul and assist me in staying focused on positive outcomes. Next, Denis Waitley was the very first motivational speaker and writer to influence my life. His storytelling abilities and teaching techniques were easy for me to grasp and connect with as a young entrepreneur. Then, Bill Gates is a generous philanthropist who uses his money and influence to help millions of people whose faces he will never see. He and his wife Melinda are the perfect examples of people who enjoy giving back. And finally, Barack Obama overcame incredible challenges to become the first person of color in the White House. He traversed race and class and connected with the national and international communities is a way that I deeply admire.

If you’ve yet to do so, identify your team of mentors. For this exercise, let’s define mentors as people with characteristics that you wish to emulate as you move toward your entrepreneur-related goals. Like me, maybe you only know of these people via the books they’ve written, the stories they’ve headlined, or some other part of their social persona. That’s okay. Read their books and biographies, research their backgrounds, and get to know about their priorities and causes. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or family member as a mentor, that’s awesome. Interview these folks. Ask meaningful and relevant questions to gain insights that you can leverage as you move forward.