The common denominator in every highly successful individual is the presence of a mentor who has helped them achieve their success.
As humans, we learn by example, and the successful are no exception to this. They too all had mentors who taught them and helped them along the way.
In the book “The One Thing,” Gary Keller, founder of the largest real estate company in the world, says,
“Everyone has one person who either means the most to them or was the first person to influence, train, or manage them.”
Remember that other people affect us, and they naturally rub off on us. Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and author, used to say, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” meaning if you hang around five wealthy individuals, you will become the sixth.
This is the benefit of having good role models in your life.
Sadly, most people don’t realize that you have to be spending at least a third of your time with people who are 10, 20 years ahead of you. These people are your mentors, people who have already achieved what it is that you want to achieve, and so they can then teach you.
When Walt Disney graduated high school, he wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist, but he couldn’t get a job. So, his brother Roy, who was a businessman, got him work at an art studio. This was where Walt learned animation and began creating cartoons. When Walt was starting out, he had Roy.
For Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, it was L. S. Robson, his father-in-law, who loaned him the $20,000 he needed to start his first retail business.
Albert Einstein had Max Talmud, his first mentor. Max had a meal every Thursday with Einstein for six years. It was Max who introduced 10 year old Einstein to math, science and philosophy.
Alexander the Great was mentored by Aristotle. Aristotle had Plato. And Plato had Socrates.
Oprah Winfrey credits her father for “saving her,” but professionally it was Jeffrey D. Jacobs.
The Beatles had George Martin, who has often been referred to as the “Fifth Beatle.”
Tom Hanks was mentored by Rawley Farnsworth.
Jay-Z had Lyor Cohen.
Even Gandhi had a mentor.
This is the power of having a mentor. Mentors are very hard to find though, either they simply don’t want to mentor you or they’re too busy, which is a shame because we all need good mentors in our lives. And unfortunately, some of the greatest mentors are no longer alive. Sam Walton, Sigmund Freud and Mother Theresa are no longer with us. But they still live on through their books.
The actual presence of a mentor is great, but you can still learn from the all time greats through books.
Do you want to be mentored by Warren Buffet on how to invest in the stock market? Go to Barnes and Noble and spend $20.
In life, no one ever succeeds alone. No one is self made. All successful people have had mentors who taught them and helped them along the way.