Recently, I attended a leadership conference with leaders at all levels from all over the world. One of the keynote speakers shared several things that shaped his life. An abusive home life, poverty, and a learning disability dominated his childhood. He would go on to drop out of school by tenth grade and struggle through minimum wage jobs. He eventually ventured out into entrepreneurship, frustrated with the lack of well-paying employment opportunities for a high school dropout. The business grew and income increased, but soon he was stuck. The business stopped growing and so did he. He did not know how to proceed.
Fast forward to today. This man is an extremely wealthy business man who oversees one of the most successful leadership development companies in the world. What launched him skyward? One word. Mentorship.
During the speech I heard this millionaire state that at one point he wrote a check for $300,000 for mentorship. That knocked me off my feet and made me think, how much am I willing to pay for mentorship? How important is mentorship to me? What am I willing to pay? What will I miss if I don't find a mentor?
My next step? I found and paid for a mentor. Someone who would push me. Someone who makes me think. Someone who gets me uncomfortable. Was it cheap? No. But success never is.
So, two days later I'm sitting in a room listening to another man. A man who had a different outcome. At age 20 he went to prison for murder. A man who decided in prison that he would make the best of his time. After all, he had the rest of his life to be the best man he could be. He took every mentorship, parenting, and counseling class available. He became not just a model citizen, he was a model human-being. He served others and stayed positive.
However, he was denied parole on seven different occasions. His conclusion? "Lord, if I die here, that's ok, I'm going to learn to be the best man I can."
Several days later he was paroled. As I listened to this man speak, there was no bitterness, no resentment, and no sense of failure in him. He stated, "I thank God for prison." Today, he works for a trucking company making $15 an hour. He won't stay there long. He's too valuable, and still pursuing mentorship.
This man is a success. Who's mentoring you?