Everyone has a mentor that they look up to, whether it’s in there field or just in general. If you don’t have a mentor I suggest you get one. Someone that is willing to help, answer questions, give good advice, and I suggest you use them. It makes life a lot easier when you find someone who has made the mistakes and understands how to avoid them rather than making them yourself and having to take the time to fix them. For some people this is their parents, my dad for instance has had a big influence on how I do business. We don’t always agree on certain parts of it, but that’s probably mostly because he’s my dad…I have to disagree with him some times right? For others this is a fellow employee, someone who’s been in their field for a long time. Well, for a lot of people in the fitness industry, whether it’s a strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer, athletic trainer, there mentor is Dan John.
Dan John is to fitness as Phil Jackson is to basketball, or how Warren Buffet is to investing….he’s been around and he’s done it all at the highest level. He’s written a couple books (Never Let Go, Easy Strength), released DVDs (Intervention) and written tons of online articles (Figuring Out Your Life and Lifting Goals, Training Clarity:One Goal at a Time, just to name two good ones). Now remember how I told you to have a mentor and to use them when you get the chance, well I got the chance to do that with one of my mentors, Dan John, over the weekend. We took a nice little ride from Cincinnati to Indianapolis for a seminar. Now, obviously until we met this weekend Dan John had no real clue that I existed or that I considered him one of my mentors. But it’s funny, when you meet someone who you’ve looked up to for so long you realize that they’re a person like you and me. Sure, he’s A LOT more well known, more accomplished, more knowledgeable, and makes significantly more money that I do, but outside of that he’s a human. You would never think that he has had so many accolades as a discus thrower, been an accomplished author, and spoken to thousands of people both nationally and internationally. Certainly one of the most humble people I’ve met in my short life. The knowledge I received in that drive is priceless and will help develop myself and my business for years.
I guess my point in telling that story is this, have a mentor but choose them wisely. Find someone who is genuine, knowledgeable, accomplished and who you relate to. Find someone who has tried and failed, because failure breads success. As Dan said about his failures in sports,”I’ve slammed my head against the wall enough times over the last four decades of strength training to learn, well, slamming my head against a wall hurts. Therefore, I recommend everyone stop doing that. I also wouldn’t recommend the way I learned my greatest lessons in sport, allowing surgery to tell me I need to slow down.” This can be applied to any field. When you find your mentor, contact them. If it’s a coworker, talk to them, if it’s someone who is a “celebrity” in your field, email them. If they don’t think you’re worth their time then maybe they’re not worth yours. Anyone who truly loves what they do and wants to share with others will share for free because they want to pay it forward.
Hopefully my next post comes sooner than later. Let me know if you have any questions or comments and I hope everyone has a great day!