Mentors have hindsight that is your foresight

If hindsight is 20/20…find someone that has your foresight as their hindsight.

When I as about nine years old, my parents invited my Dad’s co-worker, Cathy Fitzgerald, over for dinner.  I believe she was probably about 25 years old then.  My Dad worked for a small “startup” in 1980 called Tandem Computers.  Tandem built mainframe computers, so I grew up with those old magnet tapes all over the garage and cold rooms at my dad’s office.  Dad was in Sales Support.  Once the sales team had identified an opportunity and done an initial needs analysis, the sales support team would come in to make sure the technical aspects of the transactions were done well.  Cathy Fitzgerald was the top sales person at Tandem and in my eyes, an absolute rock star.  I had already demonstrated my ability to sell by the first grade and at the ripe old age of nine, an accomplished fourth grader, I was in amazement.  It was the first time I realized that my talents as a salesperson could be a REAL job!!  Cathy was the embodiment of what I wanted to be when I grew up!  She arrived at our house in a gorgeous suit, she is smart, beautiful, funny, interesting and successful.  My parents treated her like family and she is still a part of our lives today.

Both directly and indirectly, Cathy became my mentor.  I bought my first suit at the age of nine and haven’t looked back since.  My parents would tell me of Cathy’s successes, opportunities to further her career and personal accomplishments.  Cathy and I have met several times over my life and her insight is always appreciated.  She is a success in multiple aspects of her life, professionally and personally.  Her Christmas card is one I look forward to getting every year.  Writing this reminds me that I need to spend more time with her!  Many of my dreams and aspirations come from things Cathy has done in her life.

If hindsight is 20/20…find someone that has your foresight as their hindsight.   If you want to be a top producing salesperson, go spend time with top producing salespeople.  If you want to learn how to invest in real estate, go meet with people already doing it.  If you want to write a book, meet with people that are doing it.  I have never been a fan of “reinventing the wheel”.  If someone has already done it, follow the recipe.  Once you follow the recipe a few times, then you can go and put your own style or spin on it.   The basics of success leaves clues.  The majority of what successful people have done or not done, in their past can be emulated by you.  I have been very purposeful on who my mentors are.  The areas where I struggle are often the areas where I do not have a mentor.

Do you have a mentor?  Are you a mentor?  The best way to learn is to teach.  When you find a mentor that can guide you in the direction you want to go, there is nothing better.  Also, make sure you are being a mentor to others.  The days of the old boys club can live on with one mentoring relationship at a time.  The mentorship of the old boys club are a great example of taking someone under their wing to guide and teach the next generation to success.  Be clear on where you want to go…then find someone that has already been there!

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. “A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. “Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. “Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out”