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Richard Carlson: The Advantage of Career Mentors

By Richard Carlson

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Creating Miracles
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by Richard Carlson

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Want to achieve abundance? Surround yourself with career mentors and experts.

Many people recognize the importance of surrounding themselves with career mentors and experts. And I’m certainly an advocate of this philosophy. I was talking to a plumber who had just finished his trade training, and he was asking me my advice on how I would suggest he’d go about becoming a successful plumber.

I said “Well, how many times have you taken other plumbers out to lunch who were successful?” And he said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, you want to spend some time with plumbers and ask them how they build up their business.” And it had never occurred to him something that obvious. Now, this is a very bright man who’s very good at what he does.

So he started taking people to lunch and breakfast and meeting them for coffee and picking their brain, and he was surrounding himself with experts and career mentors in the plumbing field. And pretty soon, he had about a hundred years of experience combined in talking to all these experts. He had all these great ideas, and he was courageous enough to implement many of the ideas. And I think he was able to take a shortcut in building his business, and it became very successful very quickly.

Surrounding yourself with career mentors is a shortcut to success.

Turn ordinary moments into extraordinary experiences.

Whatever it is that you do, you want to surround yourself with career mentors. You might have to make 10 or 15 or 20 phone calls before you get someone who’s willing to help you. You want to find people who are willing to sit down with you, talk to you, help you, and give you tips. And one simple tip can change the entire course of your career. It can change the entire way you look at your life and your career and create enormous abundance for you.

So many people who start a business not only know nothing about the business, they don’t know anybody in the business. I’ve talked to people who have started restaurants who’ve not only never worked in restaurants, but they don’t know anybody in the restaurant business, nor do they intend to meet anybody in the restaurant business. And it’s always puzzling to me, because my assumption is that there’s close to a hundred percent guarantee that the restaurant is not going to make it. But yet, there are similar people who have no experience, who spend six months or a year researching the restaurant industry by talking to experts in the restaurant business who have made it, and they’ll find out what the secrets are.

Secrets aren’t really secrets. People are willing for the most part to tell you their secrets. I’ve been asked so many times. In fact, I was recently at a conference where people asked, “What are the secrets of marketing your books?” I was happy to tell people my secrets. They’re not secrets; they’re things that all successful authors do. And it’s the same in all businesses. People who have achieved success in the financial fields are very proud to share with other people their secrets, their ideas, their tricks. It makes them feel very proud to give back to people who are just starting out.

What are the “secrets” to making it in your field?

Richard Carlson teaches you to live each day as if it were your last!

If there’s any way that you can find a career mentor, someone who’s really on your side and has been in the business that you want to be in for a long period of time, it’s the most wonderful thing to have someone who cares about your success. A career mentor will take time with you once a week, once a month, once a quarter, once every six months, or talk to you on the phone. Whatever the case may be — to really sit down with you and walk you through the process step by step. To show you your blind spots. To show you ways that you can improve. To point out things that you’re doing wrong.

I have been extremely blessed in my life with several incredibly wonderful career mentors who’ve helped me in every aspect of my life. Financially, business-wise, marketing-wise. I’ve just been extremely blessed. And without these people, I think my personal path would have been far more difficult.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a career mentor. Some people don’t have very many contacts. They don’t know many people in the field. You have to look around. There are mentoring organizations out there that are willing to help you. There may be people in your own business who can suggest someone.

I have found that 30 minutes with a relatively few number of people who really know what they’re doing is worth three or four years of school. And the trick is to really listen in a non-defensive manner. Don’t say things like, “Oh, I’m already doing that,” or, “Oh yeah, I know, I already know that.” Don’t do that. Listen carefully. Listen with an open mind. Listen with an open heart. Assume you don’t know what you’re doing. Assume that if some people are successful, they must know what they’re doing. Ask them how they did it.

Fill yourself up with their wisdom and their love and generosity in sharing their ideas because you might learn something that can change your life. So if you want to create abundance in your life, a very helpful thing to do is to first surround yourself with experts, and then, if possible, find yourself a career mentor.

I think the very best way to attract more wealth and abundance in your life is to be open to the possibility that it exists, to surround yourself with people who are successful, or who are open- minded to success, to ask people their secrets, to ask people to sit down with you and talk to you, and share their secrets and their ideas.

I find it interesting that so many people are frightened to ask people for help. To ask people: How did you do it? How did you make it? Instead, we almost act as if we should know all the answers, and if things aren’t working out, well, that’s just the way it’s always going to be. And there are so many people out there who absolutely love to talk about their own success and their own secrets and the ways that they do things. I know that in my own life, I’m constantly talking to people about how they do things, and there are as many different ways to create abundance as there are people who have attained abundance.

Everyone’s got ideas, so you have to start with the premise that the information is out there, and to attract it you’ve got to surround yourself with people. I’m not just talking about really wealthy CEOs of companies. I’m talking about people who run successful restaurants or people who run a successful hot dog vending stand on the street corner. It could be anyone. It doesn’t have to be people who make millions of dollars, but rather people who are enthusiastic and inspired by their work.

I think the biggest obstacle for people who want to create abundance in their lives is a negative, pessimistic, closed-minded attitude. People who say, “Well, that’s easy for someone else, and I could never do it,” and have all these very well-thought-out justifications why it’s never going to happen for them. But I think if you’re open minded, if you have a job, is there a way that you can do that job better? Can that job lead to something else? Can you start your own business? Can you find a way within the company to make more money? Can you surround yourself with people who are going to give you your big break? Or give you ideas? Or can you work in a different direction? There are so many different things to do. We live in a world of incredible opportunity, where if you have a skill, or if you have a niche, or a passion about something, it is amazing what you can do.

There’s more to the world than what is right in front of you. But you have to step up; you have to open your eyes. You have to be willing to ask. You have to be willing to look in places that you might not have looked in before. And I think this is the way to create abundance. I don’t think abundance is something that just sort of sneaks up on you. I think abundance is something that you want to look for. Not in a greedy way, where you’re sort of always after money. But abundance is a little bit different than money.

Abundance is being enthusiastic about what you do, about feeling that you have enough, about feeling that you’re making a valuable contribution to the world. And very often, if you fulfill these characteristics, then the money is going to follow. And I think that if you put your mind to it, and you really make a commitment to opening your eyes wider and to expanding your horizons, you will find a way to create more abundance in your life.

Yes, I want to transform negative attitudes, trust my intuition, and start creating miracles every day!

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