When it comes to pursuing your goal, knowledge is a vital component it that journey. Without knowledge about what to do, how to do it, and when to do it there is nothing but a vision of the end result and no way of getting from here to there. Knowledge is the ladder to success each rung takes you ever closer to the top.
Knowledge comes in two parts, finding…
- reliable sources and
- accurate information
Reliable sources of knowledge include Role models, Mentors and Mastermind teams.
A Role Model is define as:-
A person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.
We tend to study role models from afar. They are often people in the public eye or are widely publicised. In the world of business we might look to people like Richard Branson as a role model, because he is seen as successful in the world of business, having accumulated millions in personal wealth and build numerous successful businesses under the brand name Virgin, such as Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Media, Virgin Money etc.
When selecting role models ensure you:-
Only take advice from someone who has provable experience achieving the same goal as you are aiming for. If it is a business goal, search for successful business leaders, if its health related look for individuals who have a great fitness background. If you’re looking to kick an habit look for those that have kicked the habit in the past and are helping others to do the same.
Understand the underlying principles behind the activities that resulted in their success and model these. Look to the Models, Relationships, Systems and Habits they have employed to achieve their success.
Be cautious of the passing of time and its effect on the methods being modelled – are they still relevant in today’s world – did they benefit from being in the right place at the right time.
Use their principles as a starting point, then test for yourself, look to improve upon it, and learn from your own experience moving forward.
A Mentor is defined as:-
An experienced and trusted adviser
A mentor is someone we are lucky enough to personal contact with in a one to one situation, someone at work is probably the most common type of mentor, but increasingly we have access to virtual coaches that are able to communicate via video or email contact.
If you approach someone to be a Mentor to you, look to provide some value in exchange for their time and effort. For instance offer to work for them for free or use your existing skills or resources to do something they will value, in return for them mentoring you.
The above still applies, making sure they know what they are talking about, understanding the underlying principles etc. Usually Mentors will take a more guiding role and take you through the steps and feedback what you did right and wrong as you go. This is often more fruitful than just using role models, because of the instant feedback and corrections as you take your journey towards your goal.
A Mastermind team is defined as:-
The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony
Mastermind teams offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. A mastermind team helps you and your mastermind team members achieve success.
By its very nature it is closer to the Mentoring model than that of the role model situation. It is coaching as you go, but with a slightly different twist. The people in your mastermind team might not be experts in achieving your particular goal, but can offer a more general perspective, using their knowledge to bring fresh eyes to your pursuit and as a results can be a valuable addition to having a mentor.
When it comes to acquiring knowledge ensure you are getting accurate information. Remember the quote:-
“A journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step”
Taking one step at a time will only move you closer to your goal if you are heading in the correct direction to start off with, otherwise each step could be taking you in the opposite direction and ultimately further away from that goal. So make sure the information you are using is actually accurate.