When thinking about how to develop our business,
most of us tend to focus on projects, courses, and certifications. We overlook
one very key piece of the learning puzzle: proactively surrounding
ourselves with people who will push us to succeed in unexpected ways and, in so
doing, build genuinely rich, purposeful lives of growth, excellence, and
We typically spend at least two decades in our
formal education and, in developed countries, hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, few of us engage in a deliberate, determined search for those wise
individuals who, through their inspiration and advice, can literally make us
How can you find this group? The following
guidelines should help:
Think about the people who inspire you. These can be teachers of certain
disciplines; inventors; entrepreneurs; business, social, or public
leaders. I have always been moved and inspired by specific people,
not just abstract professions. I “met” them originally in many cases by
reading their work or about them, but also via social media and at conferences.
Don’t be afraid to chase. Conferences are a great place to get
inspired, approach, and start a relationship with some of the people you’ve
identified. Other cases may require a much more determined investment. But
think how little time commitment it is compared to what we invest in our
education, or to the opportunity cost and frustration of a poor career choice
or wrong job decision.
Aim for a mix of people inside and outside your industry. External contacts can potentially have the
benefit of greater independence, a broader perspective with radically new
horizons, as well as potential connections across both worlds which will
Be candid about the reason for your interest. Most truly great people live their lives
with genuine passion and want to expand their missions. Most times, they
will be delighted to both inspire you and help you see how to close the gap
between dream and reality.
Ask them specifically about how to get started. Some invaluable advice about what I had to
do: You need three Cs: capability, which you have; connectivity, which at
least initially you can do through the global network of social media; and
credibility, which you don’t have yet.
Have crucial conversations in the right settings. Meeting face-to-face with no distractions
will help you reach a level of intimacy which simply can’t achieve
Don’t hesitate to ask the truly big questions. What shall I do with my life? What really
motivates me? What am I doing that I really don’t like to do? While
pondering these questions, in addition to checking my capability, connectivity
and credibility, I also engage my friends in conversation about three other
Cs: contemplation (Am I in touch with my inner compass?), compassion (Do
I show it for myself and others?), and companions (Who else might inspire me to
Proactively seeking out and cultivating those who
will help us become better versions of ourselves is, by a wide margin, the key
for living a truly happy and meaningful life.
Adapted HBR Sept 2018
To learn more about Inspired Trades and the work we do, please don’t hesitate to go to our website and download our FREE ebook “10 Steps to a Million Dollar Trades Business” www.inspiremenow.com.au