The importance of a mentor and networking for helping you in your career

Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out
I’ve been reading a lot lately about the importance of having a mentor or a life coach, as well as a good network to help you get on a good career path. It’s something I’ve never though of before, because I thought I could just work really hard and be independent to get ahead. I’m quickly learning that it’s not so easy, and that the viewpoints and help from others can really help launch us into the right direction.

I bought this book¬†Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out a while back because the story sounded really impressive! The author claims that he was a millionaire before he turned 14, and he has a long list of major companies and networks that recommend his books and commend his achievements. Wow! Now that is someone I can learn from, right? After doing some internet searches, I’m learning that his background story might be a little shaky, so I’m reading the book with a critical eye; however, even if the stories are exaggerated, there are some good tips that I have heard from other recognized professionals and career coaches. Judging by his Facebook followers and book sales, he’s doing something right!

One of the book’s chapters is specifically about building a mentoring team, and a later¬† chapter is about networking, which is another career idea I’m reading a lot about lately. One of my favorite career advice sites Classy Career Girl promotes the same ideas and that writer’s background is really impressive as well, (and verified.) I hope to take one of her coaching courses one day, because she really knows what she is doing. She emphasizes the power of networking, and Gray in particular writes about his mentor who helped him get started and pointed him in the wrong direction. When Gray was a kid, he used to call his mentor for help and advice–and that advice helped make him rich without taking anything other than time from a mentor who was happy to help him. So between these two writers, as well as other sources, I’m really starting to see how important mentors and networking are–far more helpful than just throwing out resumes and trying to do everything alone.

Some ideas I’m learning that never crossed my shy, independent mind before:

It’s okay to reach out and ask for advice or help.

It’s good to reach out and find others who can work with you towards inter-working goals.

It’s smart to watch what your career idols do and learn from them.

It doesn’t hurt to ask.

So much of moving ahead in your career and your life is about learning from others, working with others, and helping others. But, it’s important to get out there and learn from the right people who are connected where you want to be connected. If I want to be a movie star, then networking with UPS drivers, or seeking advice from a math teacher might not help so much.

So, I’ve been trying this with others who are working in areas to where I want to work. I started reaching out to people that I admire, and sincerely letting them know how helpful they were, and what I appreciated about their work. I let one person know that I enjoyed her insight, and asked a couple others to help share the word about the home business I’m trying to get off the ground. It worked! I saw a HUGE difference in my business views and revenue. And it was all sincere. I didn’t go looking for someone to help me. I reached out to others whose ideas I was already a fan of. I basically opened my mouth to express my positive thoughts instead of keeping them to myself. What a learning experience! Plus, I feel good, as though I’m part of a community.

Since I’m naturally shy and introverted, asking for help and turning to others is foreign to me, but I’m really seeing and believing how important it is. There are paths to success out there, and it’s so important to be open-mined to learning from others who went before us or are going the same way now.

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