Once a year on the first Saturday in May, something extraordinary happens in the town of Louisville, Kentucky. Approximately 20 of the world’s top horses line up to participate in what has been called “the greatest two minutes in sports”: the Kentucky Derby.
These 3-year olds that run for the roses are the finest and fastest. In fact, more than 400 horses are nominated by their owners to enter the Derby each year, but fewer than two dozen get in. These horses are at the top of their game, and yet when they get around other thoroughbreds, nearly all get even better.
Although most of us will never have the chance to pit ourselves against the top people in the world, we can easily be winners too. The secret is to surround yourself with your own group of thoroughbreds. When you hang out with people who can help you grow, you’ll naturally become a better human being and you’ll definitely get smarter when it comes to your career.
So how exactly do you find these thoroughbreds? Like everything else that causes you to win, you have to be intentional. Here are a few tips on how to get started.
With the explosion of smart phones, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the best relationships are made when human beings—get this—actually talk to each other face to face. Take time to attend local events, join a networking or mastermind group or volunteer at a local organization. Get out of the office and meet others. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn and grow. Plus you’ll make a lot of new friends along the way with people who get you. It’s well worth the investment.
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Quick Tip: Don’t be that guy who is always trying to sell yourself all of the time. The objective is to meet others to gain knowledge. If you start promoting what you do, you’ll find that others won’t be as willing to help you.
Related: Join Dave’s EntreLeadership All Access Coaching and Community Program
2. Find a Mentor
What do Dave, Alexander the Great, and Warren Buffet all have in common? They all had mentors who guided them. So how do you find mentors? Simply ask someone you would like to learn from. You will be surprised how many people are flattered by this kind of request and are willing to take the time to help others.
Quick Tip: When looking for someone to council you, don’t jump too far. You just can’t call Warren Buffet on the phone. You’re simply looking for someone who is a bit ahead of you in their development, whether life or business. You also may find, as Dave has, that you need different mentors for different areas of your life.
Related: What to Look for in a Mentor
3. Learn From Experts
Hanging out with the best of the best is never out of your reach. You can easily learn from some of the top business minds in the world through their books or live events. Just ask Dave. He’s a fanatical reader of nonfiction. And he’s not the exception. The average millionaire reads one or more books a month.
Related: 10 Leadership Books Smart People Are Reading
Dave also hosts several EntreLeadership events each year, teaching small-business owners the principles he used to grow his business. It’s that important to him.
Quick Tip: Learn from Dave, John C. Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, Dr. Henry Cloud and Rabbi Daniel Lapin in person. Join us at the EntreLeadership Summit, May 11–14, in San Diego. It a great way to grow yourself and network with successful small-business owners.
It seems like there’s never enough time to get everything done. But no matter how tight your schedule, it’s always worth the investment to take the time to grow yourself. It’s the simplest and most gratifying way to win the race.