All posts by admin helps companies’ structure communication flow so employees are engaged

4 important tools for your mentor program and the mentors.

Mentors need tools — make sure they have them.

Tools help your mentor lead discussions and facilitate expanded learning in mentoring.

1st. Make formal training programs part of a formal mentor program. It makes it easy for mentors to facilitate conversations if the mentee is enrolled in formal education of some type. The mentor and mentee can discuss how the training or schooling is going and the mentor can offer experiential feedback. If you are administering a corporate mentor program, make sure mentees have access to outside training and they are listed as an item in the session agenda.

Professional associations make it mandatory for their members to update best practices through industry approved training, which gives them credits that meet the association standards. If a particular position in your company doesn’t have a mandatory upgrade knowledge credit system, create one for your employees.

Seek out programs that enhance the mentees ability to serve. An example of formal training outside the company might be a communications course for those wanting to improve their conflict resolution skills. Another one might be special safety training for a company involved in construction projects. Leadership training is attractive to most employees and many jump at the opportunity to learn these skills. Universities offer many adult education programs that may fit with your industry. Have someone research them.

Send sales people to sales courses outside the company training system. Send IT people to courses for new development ideas or maybe on-line marketing. Search out on-line programs — there are many available for almost any field. Mentors will have fun talking about these courses.

2nd. Make sure the mentor program and session structure allow for some communication training and discussion. The number one business challenge that continually comes up for employees when we survey businesses is effective information and communication flow. When I talk to individuals about challenges at work or home, communication is often cited as the block.

Making communication and information flow part of the mentor-mentee session discussion automatically puts a focus on improving it. What humans focus on, expands. When mentors and mentees discuss communication effectiveness constructively, it improves for both.

Search out a communications course source that all employees can take to enhance their ability to communicate in tough circumstances and tense situations. Give mentors and mentees opportunity to learn and grow their ability to communicate effectively and your company will grow and communicate effectively.

3rd. Mentors need is a guide to follow in their mentor sessions with mentees. A form to fill out. They can have the mentees fill the form but having one to follow helps. Make sure it includes a list of different types of goals and objectives — short term and long term. Most of these items can be reviewed quickly. Others may need more time.

    Hard skill goals; ie. Industry skills, computer skills, etc.
    Soft skill goals; ie: emotional attributes to build on, communication skills, etc.
    Career goals; what does the mentee want their career to look like? Where do they want to be in 6 months, five years and ten years?
    Financial goals.
    Relationship goals. (if it’s a work environment, focus on co-worker relationships. Although depending on the mentor-mentee relationship, this may move into discussion about personal relationships outside of work.)

4th.Give mentors feedback. Mentors typically want to help and when they are guided on how they could do this better, they like it. Have a system in your mentor program for mentees to give feedback to the mentor on how he or she sees the mentors’ effectiveness. This needs to be done gently with a good communicator, and may need a third party leader or facilitator, and permission has to be given by the mentor to receive it. The program administrator may be a good resource providing he or she has mediation skills.

These four tools can help you make your mentor program great. Thank you for reading.

Mike Garska

The 7 steps to Find Your Passion and Purpose in Life

So you can love how you live and love what you do…
1. Listen to your inner self. Write down your longings and discontents.

  • What are your longings? Write them down.
  • What are your discontents? Write them down. Marry Morrissey says your longings and your discontents are messages from the universe to your authentic self.

2. Write down everything you love about life.
3. Write down your goals that you can think of right now.

  • Short term goals.
  • Long term goals

4. Decide which goals, longings and discontents give you the strongest feeling inside. Think of pride, desire, love, confidence, passion, drive.
5. Make a decision about the one passion or love in your life that runs deepest, and is inclusive of some of the others, and think of a simple 3 to 7 word statement that can define a purpose for you. Your purpose is the best way for you to offer service in this life. People are on this planet to serve in some way. We all do it. Align your purpose and passion with service. Think of a service you can offer others that can fully, or at least somewhat, align with your purpose right now. Act on it. Some examples of purpose for people I know are:

  • I bring people together.
  • I make music.
  • I make art.
  • I help people find purpose.
  • I bring health into people’s lives.

6. Do something that activates your mind and actions so you can learn more about your passion and purpose and become an expert over time. Go to school or get some work experience in a field that aligns with your purpose. Start right now, no matter your age. It will be fulfilling and rewarding to your authentic self and you will be rewarded in many ways over time. Start now!

  • Enroll in some training on-line or get into a school that offers courses on the service that aligns with your purpose.
  • Get a job, even if it’s at the bottom of the ladder, with a company where you can learn the ins and outs of the business where your purpose can be brought out in some type of service. Living your purpose means building a strong self serving in some way even if it’s being a part of a greater service. People have started out as janitors or mail room clerks and moved up to become the leaders of the company because they had a passion for the service that the company they worked in, provided. Their job, in some small way, aligned with a purpose and a desire to serve with the purpose in mind.

7. Begin now to fulfill your passions and work with your purpose using mentors and mastermind partners. Join the FindAMentor lifelong learning EPIC Mentor Network and find a mentor for free in a category that aligns with your passion. Use the unique feature to build a mastermind group in that category. Check other mentoring sites. lists many in their mentor websites and resources page.
You might want to watch our FindAMentor, free for members, People Tune Up life coaching video series to get you pointed in the right direction for your thought and emotional processing.
Thank you for reading.
Mike Garska,
President, FindAMentor
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Don’t Bog Down The Mentors

The EPIC Mentor Network Blog for companies.
Avoid these 3 mistakes with your mentors in your corporate mentor program, and they will serve you and their mentees better. Their commitment to the program will be stronger.
It’s very important to track process and progress in a corporate mentor program and mentors play a role in reporting. Be careful with your time requests on mentors.
A goal and benefit of a mentor program are mentee growth and achievement — measured in many different ways depending on the company and what they do. Tracking mentee objectives and progress in Mentor-Mentee sessions is important. The tracking shows the benefits.
These benefits translate into ROI for the company in the form of improved employee retention, productivity, effective and efficient on-boarding and training — knowledge transfer from the baby boomers and/or high achievers to younger or newer employees, and improved information and communication flow resulting from team collaboration.
Mentee growth, achievement and loyalty happen in a formal mentoring program because mentees are forced to write down their goals and report progress to the mentor.
Gail Mathews of Dominican University did a study on goal writing and being accountable to another person. “Research conducted by Matthews shows that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend, were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals.” (Source)
Do you want your employees to be 33% more successful in goal achievement? As T.Harv Eker would ask, yes or yes? A formal mentor program incorporates the concept of having mentees write down their goals and being accountable to someone.
Keeping mentees on track and accountable is key but:
1) Don’t bog down the mentors with filling out session forms. Typically mentors are senior employees or high achievers in the business. They are very busy people. Anything that can be done to reduce their time required to participate in the program is helpful.
Have the mentee fill out the session forms and simply get the mentor to sign off. This gets the mentee in the habit of writing down his or her goals, which is a great thing. After sign-off, have the mentor forward the form to someone for filing in the employee coaching file. These session forms are helpful to have during the employee’s annual performance review. With the FindAMentor Easy Start Mentor Program we suggest having a legal file for employees as well as an employee coaching file, which is reviewed annually in the performance review.
2) Avoid asking mentors to do program evaluations or surveys more than once a year. In the first year of the program you might ask for it twice, in an effort to adjust program structure after program implementation. These evaluations are important but don’t have mentors do them too often.
I think it’s important to have mentors come together once a year with the other mentors and program administrators in a meeting to discuss the effectiveness and best practices of the program from the mentor’s perspective, so adjustments can be made to program structure.
3) Don’t make Mentor meetings too long. Make sure the mentors are given agenda’s and a planned time frame for the meeting. Make sure you provide a strong meeting chairperson to keep expectations of the mentors met.
I hope these suggestions help you improve the commitment of the mentors in your corporate mentor program.

Mike Garska,
President, FindAMentor

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 12

This is the 12th blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!

Just like every trade and profession has its’, “tricks of the trade”, all very successful people have 12 tricks they do, no matter what industry or institution they work in. They do those things consistently. They are important processes that great and successful people follow.



Trick number Twelve:

Find Balance in Life and Give Back

. . . work hard and play hard

My heritage is Polish. My grandfathers and grandmothers homesteaded on the prairies of Western Canada during the Great Depression. It was part of their heritage to work hard and play hard. They broke the land with hand tools and horses, and they enjoyed parties with neighbors sharing an abundance of homemade food and beverages. This upbringing taught me about the rewards of living a balanced life.

Today, people who work many hours often justify it by saying they have to sacrifice fun to get ahead. Our schools promote doing homework to get people in the habit of working long hours. But in reality they are sacrificing balance in life and peace of mind.

Workaholism, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a corporate executive, is as unhealthy as alcoholism. Both affect the people we love in negative ways. We justify working many hours because we worship either the financial rewards or the respect it brings, or we want to escape other parts of our lives. Yet society generally finds it acceptable to be addicted to work. I think a shift in thinking is important if we want peace of mind.

Finding a balance for myself and my family outside of work has been crucial to my effectiveness at work and my peace of mind. Leisure time is a gift that rejuvenates me. It’s something to feel grateful for. After a good rest each evening with some self-reflection and quality time with family, I feel refreshed for work the next day.

After a nice vacation, I feel clear and able to be more effective at work. Breaks during work leave me refreshed for additional work. When I no longer felt like going back to work after a long break, I took it as a hint to begin the process of changing jobs. I want to love the work I do and the service I offer. I hope you do too.

Finding balance in life is not only important to our sense of well being, it allows us time to give something extra to society. If your funds are in short supply (and even if they aren’t), then volunteer somewhere, even if it’s only an hour a year. Give back. If we don’t like to volunteer, we can think of another option. When we give extra, we will be given extra back, someway, somewhere, somehow. It’s the law of attraction. And it fits with the principles of success.

Write ‘I can’ and ‘I will’. Ask questions, find a mentor, build your networks, learn communications techniques, keep your agreements, think in options and choose wisely, write down your goals and desires, declare your rarity, become aware of your fears, get in touch with your positive emotions, keep your books clear and sell well, and most important, go an extra mile—do more than you are paid for. Look for balance in life and give back. When you do these things you will be wealthy no matter how many belongings you acquire!

Thanks for reading!

Mike Garska,

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 11

This is the 11th blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!

Just like every trade and profession has its’, “tricks of the trade”, all very successful people have 12 tricks they do, no matter what industry or institution they work in. They do those things consistently. They are important processes that great and successful people follow.



Trick number Eleven:

Keep Books and Sell. . . manage your finances and sell yourself

I think that running our personal life like a successful business is a good idea if we want to be successful and grow our wealth.

One of my mentors once told me that to be successful in business you have to do two things really well. You have to keep impeccable books and you have to sell consistently. We can likely do one adequately and the other really well and survive in business. If we do both poorly we will fail for sure. But when we do both really well, we dramatically increase our chances of success. Same thing goes for personal life.

Business people make up detailed budgets for expenses and revenue. They keep books. They have to for banks and government. They know what’s happening financially in their business or they don’t get loans from banks. As people, we can do the same thing on a personal level, to great detail, like a successful business.

When we watch our personal finances really close we have a better chance of growing our personal wealth. Even if our income is low, we can budget our finances to grow our wealth, when we know what our expenses are in relation to our take home pay. The simple basic rule to follow in all businesses, and personal life, is that we must spend less than we make if we want to grow our wealth.

My mother raised 5 children on her own working a low paying retail job. We struggled and lived on very little and she had almost nothing left over after payday, until the kids left home. Yet, she still managed to grow her wealth enough to give her a comfortable life and own her own home, as well as a car. She never had fancy stuff or a lot of toys, but owning a home and car in Canada put her in the top 20% of the world’s wealthiest people. I’ve traveled to many countries and most of the world’s people would be happy to own a nice little house in Canada and their own car while still being able to pay all the bills, eat well and be healthy.

She was blessed to have been raised in Canada. Her parents emigrated from Poland so she and her siblings could have more than they did. They followed the same rules of spending less than they made and they were able to give their kids a more comfortable life than they had. My mom did the same and so did I. The financial habits were passed down in a natural mentoring environment of parent child relationships.

We all followed the basic rule of spending less than we made. We watched and counted every penny made and spent. It takes discipline but it’s really not that hard.

Successful businesses make budgets to know what they are spending compared to what their revenues are. You and I can do the same thing. When we make personal budgets, we know what’s going on financially for ourselves and we can act accordingly. If we don’t know what we’re spending our money on, we can’t make wise decisions.

Write down what you are spending your money on. Do a personal budget and follow it. I’m sure you know how much you are making. Compare the two and keep it simple — spend less than you make.

Some of us will need an accountant, or outside help, to set up a basic personal finance plan and budget. If you need it, get help. Plan your finances.

The second part of successful living and successful business operation is selling.

Businesses know the importance of selling. They build entire departments for it just like they build accounting departments.

As people we are selling ourselves every day. When we are applying for jobs, we are selling ourselves. When we are building our networks in any way, we are selling ourselves. When we are trying to get new friends or looking for a spouse, at a basic level, we are selling ourselves.

Most people don’t know the basic selling process. Businesses spend thousands and millions of dollars training sales people. I’ve been fortunate to take many sales courses. I worked in the sales field for many years and I owned business for many years after that. By the time I was thirty five I had made over twenty thousand sales calls.

I want to give you the basics of selling. The most important thing to do first is to dispel a myth. Have you ever heard someone say, “You’re a good talker; you’ll make a good sales person”. That is the most incorrect statement to make in regards to sales.

The best sales people are actually the best questioners and the best listeners. After they question and listen, they speak as little as they have to. I promote a Socratic Method of sales. The Socratic Method is about asking questions. The more we ask questions and understand our customers, the easier it is to sell them something they need or want.

Here is the simple Socratic SUCCESS Sales Formula.

Search for customers: Prospect. Talk to as many people as you can about what you are selling and ask questions to see if they want or need what you are offering. Build your network for business or personal wealth.

Understand and share: Introduce yourself briefly and ask questions to understand your customer or potential network person. Get to know them a little on a personal level. Be inquisitive. Show you care.

Clarify: Discovery, qualifying and expectation management is key: Find out exactly what the customer or potential network person wants. Ask questions to know their expectations. Qualify them to make sure you can meet their expectations and that you can provide what they want or need. If you can’t meet expectations or offer them what they really want or need, tell them where to go to meet their needs and wants — refer them. Don’t waste time with the rest of the sales process if they don’t qualify for the product or service you are offering.

Connect on a deeper level. Now that you know what their expectations are and that you can meet those expectations, present your product or service and demonstrate how you can meet their needs and wants. If you’re building a personal network do the same thing. Show them how they will benefit from the relationship — do it informally on a personal level.

Manage expectations and trial close in this part of the process. Closing in the sales process means asking the customer to buy and then closing the sale by writing up the paper work. Trial closing means testing the waters to see if they are ready to buy. Asking a trial closing question might be asking if they think this product or service will meet their needs. It might be asking if they want to pay for this by cash or credit card. It’s testing to see if they really want to buy or engage at this time. If they aren’t ready, we address the objections and concerns by clarifying at a deeper level.

We get clearer on what the needs and wants are, and we adjust expectations accordingly. We ask more questions to make sure we can satisfy the customer needs, wants and expectations. Once we have answered all their objections, concerns and are confident we can meet or exceed expectations, and that our product or service fits for them, we go to the next step.

Execute: ask for the order, close the sale, and manage expectations again. Make sure their expectations are accurate and can be met and exceeded by the company. Then write up the sale. Complete the paper work accurately.

Paper flow, information flow and procedures have to be followed exactly so that any possible future issues can be resolved quickly. Having accurate records of agreements is crucial to success. A sales contract is an agreement that must be kept whether written or verbal. It might be needed to clarify expectations if there is a issue with warranty or service deliverables.

If you are building a personal network or applying for a job, make sure you can do what you said you will do, and keep your agreements (verbal or written).

Survey: Ask how we did. It’s important to know how we are being perceived if we want to grow our customer base or network. The only way to truly do that, is to ask. A survey or questionnaire is a good method for finding out how we are doing or being perceived. When we know where we are making mistakes we can correct ourselves. When we know what we have to improve on we can make adjustments. If we don’t know, we can’t change or fix. Be aware. Ask.

On a personal level, ask your friends and network people how they perceive you. You might learn something about yourself. You might learn about a character goal you need to set and work towards achieving.

Solidify: Follow-up and ask for referrals. Solidify the relationship. Follow up at a later time to make sure the expectations are met and, or, exceeded. Genuinely ask how the customer is doing. If the customer is happy, ask for a referral.

A personal network will naturally grow with introductions when people like us. The more you make an effort to connect with people and show interest in them by asking about them, the more they will like you. People introduce friends all the time. Your network can grow.

We are selling ourselves everyday to some degree. When you get in the habit of using the SUCCESS selling method, your network will grow.

There is one last very important basic component to running a successful business. We have to communicate really well and have cooperation and collaboration between all departments.

Same thing in personal life. We have to communicate really well and build collaboration into our lives. Go back to the 12 tricks posts about communicating (Part 8) and networking (Part 4) and refresh your memory. Keep books, sell, communicate and network and your life will be fulfilling. Cheers. Have a wonderful day. Thanks for reading !

Mike Garska,

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 10

This is the 10th blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!
Just like every trade and profession has its’, “tricks of the trade”, all very successful people have 12 tricks they do, no matter what industry or institution they work in. They do those things consistently. They are important processes that great and successful people follow.



Trick number Ten:

. . . use them as building blocks instead of stumbling blocks

What blocks desire? What blocks passion? What blocks brilliance? What blocks love and gratitude? FEAR! Fear is an inevitable obstacle to growth and may be viewed as a stumbling block or a building block. Our choice! Remember, however, that every decision we make will shape our lives. We can decide to stumble through our fears and life, or we can use fear as a step and build our way through life. We decide!

Although many of us have been taught that fear is negative, fear can be a good emotion. It is like a warning signal to be aware, to be prepared. Managed effectively, fear can teach us to look out for ourselves and make decisions that are right for us.

Fear becomes harmful only when it stops us from moving ahead. That sounds simple enough, but fear is a complicated emotion. It can be like a virus that spreads into every part of a cell and then into the next cell and the next and so on. In the same manner, people learn to protect themselves in subconscious, intricate ways that are not necessarily healthy.

Many of the steps outlined in this blog series can help us consciously recognize fear for what it is — and give us the confidence we need to face our fears head on and decrease or eliminate them. Being aware of them is the first step. Going an extra mile, keeping our agreements, building reliable networks, thinking in options, asking questions, believing in ourselves, developing healthy communications skills, getting in touch with our feelings, finding balance will all help us decrease and eliminate our fears. We can develop habits of pushing through fears and becoming stronger with life character in the process.

One method of starting the process of pushing through fear is to create a list of as many options as we can think of in response to the fear. Actually take the time to write the list out if it’s a nagging fear. When it’s a smaller less intense fear, we can do this in our heads.

After the list is done, think about and write down the possible consequences of each option. Simply going through this process often sheds light on a situation and gives us confidence to move forward.
If the fear continues to nag, share it with mentors or trusted friends. Often, when we share fears with others, they ground out because we hear new perspective and the fear no longer makes sense. I can turn to a friend or trusted adviser for help in pinpointing the exact nature of my fears. Discussing fears with others can be very difficult, but we don’t have to share our fears with everyone. Often fear touches the intimate details of our lives. We can choose only those people who respect our need to feel safe and are gentle with us.

No matter what, the bottom line is that we have to push through fear and find a way to get to the other side. Feel the fear and do it anyway. The more we do this, the more our confidence builds and we find ourselves feeling less fear. Confidence is a FEAR BUSTER.
Developing certain thought process habits helps. For example; worry is a fear that blocks growth often, and for many people. I’ve developed the habit, when I’m worried about something, to think of these words… ‘Most worries never happen.’ It’s the truth. Most things people worry about never happen. It’s the first thing that pops into my mind now, because I’ve worked at it. Our time is wasted when thinking about un-known possibilities.

Worry simply blocks healthy thought and emotional habits crucial for success. It’s a waste of healthy energy. Say to yourself, “Most worries never happen. What makes me think this one is any different? Instead of wasting my time on wondering about this outcome, I’m going to just do it, or not, and forget about it, so I can get on with enjoying my life.

Learning to face fear head on, or developing the habit of moving on from worry, may take many months or even years of self-discovery because fear is part of a powerful need to feel safe. We can make conscious choices to accept fear’s warning signal when it makes sense. Safety, however, is not always the best option when we want to move ahead in new directions. And that is what we need to think about consciously when confronting fear.

When other people are part of the scenario in our fears, it’s important to remember we often do not know how they really think and feel about what we are afraid of, or worried about. Unless we have the opportunity to ask them and communicate in a healthy way, we really do not know what others responses will be. Often we are surprised if we take the time and courage to discuss the issue. Take the time to have the conversation. Push through the fear. It will ground it out.

Pushing through fear begins with becoming clearly aware of the it and slowing ourselves down enough to acknowledge what it is truly about, and what it is that triggers our fear. For example; when I worried about my 16-year-old son being four hours late, it was important for me to realize that my worry was based on a basic human fear of ‘loss of love’. If something drastic happened to him, I might lose my love with him.

We all fear loss of love at some time. It is a basic human fear. The fear is real and brings worry, but the worry is founded on imagined circumstances that may or may not be real. When I slow down enough to understand my feelings and thoughts in more detail, I am sometimes able to let go of the worry. Without denying the fear, I can remind myself that worry is not really necessary unless there are some facts to support it.

When my son came home late, but healthy, although absentminded about others who might worry about him, I was relieved there had been nothing to worry about. With practice I can experience that relief before he gets home.

The one thought that relieves my fear more than any other is, “No matter what happens, I will at some point be on the other side of my situation and the fear will be gone. Either I will attract what I fear, in which case I will deal with it then, or the fear was unfounded and nothing will happen.”

That awareness in itself reduces the influence of fear and helps me focus on the positive side of life. As we become more practiced at confronting fears, their influence begins to diminish. When we walk with fear behind us, our confidence is stronger from the process. Whether the decisions we choose work out as planned or we discover a new aspect of fear we never knew was present, we will have more experience, more character, and more value to ourselves and society.

Move through your fears. Build your character and confidence and you will succeed at more things in life.

Thank you for reading.

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 9

This is the ninth blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!

Just like every trade and profession has its’, “tricks of the trade”, all very successful people have 12 tricks they do, no matter what industry or institution they work in. They do those things consistently. They are important processes that great and successful people follow.



Trick number nine:

Get in touch with your feelings;

. . . Especially your positive ones like Gratitude, Confidence, Enthusiasm and Love.

High energy is extremely important to becoming successful. Feelings are energy. Successful people have energy and create energy in others. We can feel it. We’ve all heard statements like,

“You could just feel the energy in that room shift when he walked in — what a change.”

What we typically describe as a desire for success is more specifically a desire for the positive feelings associated with reaching our goals. We all want confidence, joy, excitement, peace, security—and many other uplifting emotions that we associate with successful people.

We set goals because we know that achieving them will make us feel good about ourselves and the world. The feelings are first and foremost, not the goals. We will change a goal in a second if we think we can achieve another goal that will bring us the same feeling sooner. So what we really desire is positive emotion.

The myth is that positive emotion only comes when we get what we want and when events outside of our control happen to trigger it — that the positive emotions we feel are governed by circumstances and situations outside of us. We often blame outside people or circumstance for how we are feeling, and ultimately for our plot in life.

The truth is that we can have power over our emotion. Outside circumstance can trigger emotions, but we can exercise our power of choice to shift them. We can shift emotions with thought control. We can invoke positive emotion when we concentrate with thought, on certain things. When we control our emotion to be positive, we attract more positive people and circumstances into our lives which results in feeling more positive emotion again and again.

But trouble occurs when we can’t sort out the tangled web of emotions most of us have, and we can’t identify the specific negative feelings we have, that are holding us back, or the specific positive feelings we want, that can propel us forward. Emotions often camouflage themselves and we have a tough time identifying or articulating them. We want to hide negative emotions from ourselves so we don’t have to deal with them consciously. It’s the kind of situation that leaves us feeling directionless or lost.

Revealing and acknowledging our emotions allows us to confront them. It allows us to choose to keep the positive emotions and shift the negative ones.

Often we don’t want to admit we are feeling negative — or we are happy to justify our negative feeling by outside circumstance. Ignoring negative emotions, or pretending they do not exist, slows our journey to becoming the best person we could be. It prevents us from going the extra mile and providing great service in our work so we can achieve success. Denying emotion blocks healthy relationships from unfolding and keeps us stuck in the same old patterns. If we want to break patterns and change our life, it’s absolutely critical to be aware of our emotions at all times. Awareness is key.

Step one is to acknowledge the negative emotions and clearly articulate them. Be clear. This takes practice in my experience. We are not used to clearly identifying and articulating emotion. There have been times people have asked what I’m feeling and I’m at a loss for words and description. Using a list helps. You can find a feeling list online at Center for Nonviolent Communication: feelings-inventory

Step two is to shift the negative emotion by changing the thought pattern. Once we are clear about our emotion, we can often ground it out by simply acknowledging it and sharing it. Other times it takes persistent thought control discipline.

Positive thinking offers a powerful way to replace negative emotions with positive ones. It can head off negative reactions when a feeling triggers us. It can help us turn roadblocks into building blocks or adversity into an advantage. It is the key to changing our emotions.

The process of positive thought invokes positive emotion. Real positive thinking requires real commitment to changing fundamental habits of thought and underlying emotions, if it’s going to work for the rest of our lives.

It’s a good idea to develop your own list of feelings that you habitually experience. List the negative auto responses and the negative feelings you experience that keep you stuck. Beside each one, list a positive feeling that is easy for you to invoke that shifts you out of the negative. Then practice your shifts every time you feel negative.

Your lists, if you chose to develop them, would be as individual and unique as you are. Some may feel that lists of emotions are a rather artificial means of developing positive personality traits. I like to think of lists as tools for examining my character more objectively. Emotions are deeply complicated, interconnected things and difficult to sort out at the best of times. Developing lists may assist in that process.

For some, the process of attracting wealth into their lives through positive thinking and feeling takes a long time. It’s simple enough to change a few thoughts, but real change occurs when positive emotions become strong enough that they’re habitual or second nature. This process sometimes requires a great deal of commitment, but when positive feelings become habitual, positive circumstances begin to happen habitually.

When I’m having a real tough time shifting from a negative feeling, I’ll often choose to go to a thought pattern of gratitude. When I felt worried about money, I changed my thinking to something like, “I have enough money to eat today, I have a roof over my head, and I feel grateful for that.” That pattern of thought helped me feel gratitude, a very healthy, positive emotion — more healthy than the worry I felt. Gratitude is a positive emotion and a great shifter. There is always something in life to be grateful for, even if it’s life itself.

Other times I’ll simply go to a happy place in my mind that takes me back, or forward, to a place I love about life.

Another trick is to think about the good I’ve done so far in my life or the accomplishments I’ve already made. This eventually leads to the idea that the current negative is only part of a process I’m on right now, and it will shift. The fact is, emotions always shift from day to day or moment to moment. Sometimes it will take me a half a day, or even a full day to feel better. The key is to keep going—persevere with the shift of thought until the emotion is shifted. Achievement or growth is an up and down journey—remember there is always an up after a down and vice versa.

Patience, a very healthy and positive emotion, is key to changing habits. Changing habits can take ten minutes or twenty years, depending on how deeply ingrained they have become. Personally, it took me eighteen years to deal with my fear of not having enough.

Eventually negative triggers happen less as we build positive thought and emotional habits. We begin to attract more positive people and situations into our lives as we think and most important — feel more positive.

If you are struggling with the discipline necessary to shift negative process on your own, seek some support in the form of mentors or mastermind groups — people whom you can trust with the secret parts of yourself. When we share negative perspective with a trusted person that is committed with us to a journey of growth, they can help us shift when we struggle. We can do the same for them.

We could look for support and guidance in places that might include our church, our personal network of trusted friends, a local university offering free basic counseling services from interns, inexpensive or free group organizations such as AA and internet clubs, or reading articles such as this one. There are others. Think in options!

Another method for shifting negative is to seek professional support, a good psychologist.

So to recap:

  1. Be aware of your negative emotion and own it.
  2. Change your thought patterns and it changes your emotion.
  3. Get support through mentors or mastermind groups to help when you are struggling to do it on your own.
  4. Get support from professionals.

Make the choice! Start with gratitude. Confront your negative emotions and fears. Then move forward with confidence.

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 8

This is the Eighth blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!

Just like every trade and profession has its’, “tricks of the trade”, all very successful people have 12 tricks they do, no matter what industry or institution they work in. They do those things consistently. They are important processes that great and successful people follow.



Trick number Eight:

Develop Healthy Communication Skills

. . . including self-awareness, speaking from “I” point of view, listening,
clarifying, and paraphrasing.

Effectively communicating with others is one of our most difficult challenges as humans. Early in the history of human communication, people made pictures on rock to communicate or commemorate events in their lives. Over many thousands of years, humans evolved combinations of pictures that were less like representations of physical things and more like symbols of ideas.

These eventually turned into the world’s alphabets, as we know them today. Language in all its forms is a tool for communicating with others in order to influence them, learn from them, or share with them.

Today, there is not only language, but also many theories about how to use it effectively. In business and personal relationships we can use a number of well-known techniques to increase the effectiveness of our communications. I recommend to anyone wanting to enhance their communication skills to take communication workshops. These allow us a little time to practice with others, but more importantly they show us how that practice may be continued in everyday life.

When seeking a communication workshop, make sure it offers the following techniques as part of the curriculum:

self-awareness, speaking from the “I” point of view, clarifying, paraphrasing, and, most important, listening.

Communication begins with the self. “Becoming self-aware” involves learning to ask why whatever we’ve heard, tasted, smelled, or touched has caused us to think and feel in certain ways. It’s about questioning our thoughts, feelings, intentions, and actions. When we become self-aware, we are able to more clearly communicate with others about who we are at any given moment.

Speaking from the “I” point of view means acknowledging that what I feel may not be the same as what you feel. In our society we often speak from a “you” point of view. Consider, for example, the difference between this statement, “You know how you feel when someone steals from you,” and this one: “When someone steals from me I feel invaded.” The second is more clear and direct. It owns the thoughts and feeling and does not project it on the other person.

Speaking from the “I” point of view offers a clear way of sharing what we are experiencing without assuming that another is thinking or feeling the same thing. It is a pattern of speaking that encourages us to take responsibility for our own thoughts and feelings. In a workshop, you will learn the different ways of speaking from the ‘I’ point of view.

Paraphrasing and clarifying refer to repeating in our own words what we think another has said. It’s about getting clearer and can be about asking for additional information. Their purpose is to confirm or expand our understanding of what someone has said, which leads to more effective communicating.

They are particularly useful when we’re disagreeing with someone, having difficulty understanding, or wanting to let another person know that we understand.

In these situations, we can try beginning more of our sentences with, “What I hear you saying is . . .” Then ask; Am I correct? It’s amazing how often we misinterpret others’ words.

Effective listening is a skill that takes continual practice. Often while others are speaking, we turn our thoughts to what our response will be. Doing this interferes with true listening and may negatively affect an interaction because we haven’t heard everything that’s been said.

The more we listen, the more we hear, and the more informed we are before we speak. God gave us two ears and one mouth as a hint that we can listen twice as much as we speak. Take the hint. Listen more than you speak and you will have greater opportunity for learning.

Communicating effectively requires much practice. At first the new ways of speaking may feel awkward, but as we practice more, our speech becomes more natural and our communication with others becomes more effective. Some develop new habits quicker than others but we can all develop new habits.

Learning a new habit can be time-consuming. It took about five years for some of the communication skills I learned to become habitual. Fifteen years later I still catch myself speaking less than effectively at times. Be patient with yourself, but don’t procrastinate. The longer you put off learning effective communication skills and making them a habit in your life, the longer it will take to grow your networks and achieve your goals.

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 7

This is the seventh blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!

Just like every trade and profession has its’, “tricks of the trade”, all very successful people have 12 tricks they do, no matter what industry or institution they work in. They do those things consistently. They are important processes that great and successful people follow.



Trick number Seven:


Get in touch with your purpose in life!

There may be large groups of people who appear to be the same, or at the very least, similar. But people are classified into groups to simplify talking about particular issues, not to acknowledge unique personality traits.

In reality, every person who belongs to a group will have some traits in common with other members, but they will also have many very individual traits that no one else in the group possesses. We are all miracles unto ourselves. Each of us, even identical twins, has distinct thought and emotional patterns.

Successful people understand how unique they are. They have a deeply rooted belief in themselves as individuals. That belief may be shaken on the road to success, but successful people find a way to re-group and continue on their chosen path.

Discovering what makes us unique and celebrating our rarity is essential to success. We cannot achieve wealth or lasting happiness unless

we honor our uniqueness and believe in ourselves.

Og Mandino writes, “Proclaim your Rarity” as one of the five key elements of success in his ‘God Memorandum’ from the book “The Greatest Miracle in the World”.

When we proclaim our rarity, we begin to get in touch with our individual purpose in life. Knowing my purpose in life drives me and guides me. When I defined a purpose in life, it made it easier to decide on opportunity as it presented itself.

How do you get in touch with your purpose in life? Keep it simple. Some examples of simple life purpose would be:

Make Music that inspires others.

Write books to help people Learn.

Write books to Entertain people.

Help others see big picture better.

Paint beautiful pictures for people to Enjoy.


Sell great Products.

Assist others to achieve their goals.

Live, Love, Matter.

Mother Theresa’s purpose was to help the poor and disadvantaged in India.

My personal overall purpose in life is to bring people together to better each other. To that end, I have found a way to align my purpose with every job I’ve had and let it evolve over time.

When I sold equipment to construction companies, I saw my purpose as being fulfilled by bringing equipment people together with construction people to help each achieve their goals.

When I sold industrial fasteners, I took the same approach.

When I had the cellular phone business, I saw myself as bringing people together to enhance their communications.

When I’m consulting in business, I bring people together to work in harmony and communicate better as they achieve their goals. I focus on enhancing team work using the mastermind principle bringing people together in common purpose.

I founded to bring people together to learn from each other.

Notice that purpose in life has to do with serving others. Each person’s definite purpose in life is about service. No one builds wealth of any type without serving. We are rewarded for service. It’s that simple. If you want more wealth of any type, find a way to offer more service, even if it’s through others and a team you’ve built.

You can identify your purpose in life by reflecting on your life so far.

What are your goals in life? Refer to your goal lists from chapter one in this series.

What are your passions in life? What do you love to do? What excites you? How do your passions fit with your goals? Become aware of your unique desires and passions and decide how you want to serve in our world? If you served in this way, would it invoke enthusiasm in you? As you go through this process you will be able to identify a simple purpose in life.

How will you serve? Define that simple purpose right now. As you get to know yourself better through service, your purpose might change. It’s okay to change purpose and focus as you grow through life and change. Having a purpose of any kind gives you direction and helps you make decisions as opportunity presents itself. Just do it now. Follow a purpose. You’re rarity will begin to shine.

As you follow your purpose, your belief in yourself will grow. Your confidence will grow. You will get better at serving. You will become an expert in your field and your riches will grow.

When we live with purpose, writing our goals down, utilizing the 12 tricks outlined in this series, we build confidence and our wealth grows. Each time we cross goals off a list, our confidence grows. It doesn’t matter how small the goal is or how much our confidence builds, as long as it grows.

Even when we go to the grocery store and purchase everything on the shopping list, there is a feeling of accomplishment. That positive feeling anchors itself in our subconscious. The more we anchor positive emotion in ourselves, the more we attract positive situation and circumstance. It’s that simple. Get in the habit of anchoring positive emotion and you will begin displaying the habit of expressing positive emotion. As that happens, you will attract more positive people and emotion into your life and your ball of riches will begin to roll and grow like a snowball rolling down a snow covered mountain. You won’t be able to stop it.

Each time we achieve a goal and cross it off the list, our confidence and belief in our self builds.

As we move further into this process of writing goals down, serving, and crossing goals off the list, our positive emotional self grows and we become more passionate about our purpose. The energy of passion brings new ideas, opportunities, and people to us that in turn help us achieve more goals. Our confidence continues to grow, and we set larger more complex goals that we feel more capable of achieving.

As we achieve larger and larger goals we find our brilliance — that absolutely unique combination of thoughts, feelings, and intentions that make up who we are at the most unique level. You can become the best you and be in touch with your highest self.

Identify a purpose to follow. Serve the best you can and achieve more starting right now.

Keep your purpose and goals to yourself until you feel strong and confident in yourself. I don’t often share my goals or purpose with others. Sometimes I’ve told others about some of my goals—when I think telling them might build my confidence or help me achieve them. Sometimes I guessed wrong, and telling others made me feel less confident.

Make sure to write your goals and purpose down. Writing down our goals rather than talking about them has two benefits. First, it allows us to declare our rarity, just to ourselves. It’s humble that way, but we can also remain confident. Second, goals change. Not sharing them until they are achieved allows us to keep our integrity. When a goal changes or takes longer to achieve than expected, we do not have to deal with the pressure of others’ expectations or negative comments.

Believing in ourselves and exuding confidence helps us go the extra mile and keep our agreements. It helps us build our networks — people are naturally drawn to those who seem to know what they want. It gives us confidence to make choices that suit us.

Belief in self leads to discovering new desires. It allows us freedom to celebrate our own, and others’, rarity and live with a sense of love. Proclaim your rarity. Serve others how you want and add enthusiasm to the mix. Have a great day. Thanks for reading.

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 6

This is the sixth blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!



Trick number Six:

Ask Questions

. . . many of them, of yourself and others—any kind, most days


“To wonder is to begin to understand.” (Author unknown) This is one of the most influential statements I’ve read in my life. Wondering is about asking questions with an open mind to answers. Our intelligence is sparked in the process.

All humans have intelligence. Some of us don’t know how to maximize our intelligence, but that doesn’t mean we’re incapable. We each have different learning processes — ones particularly suited to who we are. Learn how you learn, follow your interests and passions, ask many questions and you will become very smart.

We can increase the range of our intelligence by simply asking questions. I believe in a law of intelligence, which ensures that every question ever asked is eventually answered.

“Everyone that asketh receiveth,” says Matthew in the Bible (7:8).

Answers may come in the form we expect, but often they come in unexpected ways and times. What we need is the patience to wait for answers and the openness to see them when they appear. Some of the answers may not come right away, but rest assured, they will come.

Einstein stated a theory that gravitational waves exist because he continually asked the question, ‘what makes the universe work?’ He was inspired by the answer he received from the universe so stated a theory. Theories are actually questions because they are not confirmed. By stating a theory I’m asking; How? 100 years later the universe provided the answer to prove the theory through other scientists. He asked the questions for human kind and the answer eventually came. Not all questions take that long to be answered.

I wondered how mobile phones worked when I first used one in 1976. 12 years later I got into the cellular phone business and attended courses explaining how they actually worked so I could explain it to customers.

I wondered about the similarities and differences between Christianity and other religions. I was looking for common denominators. I met many people of different backgrounds over the next few months and found many common denominators.

If you want to learn more, ask more questions of everyone you can think of. Eventually the answer will come and you will be more intelligent. As we ask questions and learn, we become more valuable in the workforce and to our networks of family, friends, and associates.

We can ask questions of children, teenagers, and co-workers—anybody with whom we carry on a conversation. We may learn a small detail about a person’s personal life, or we may find the solution to a complex corporate problem. It’s all learning and learning is valuable to our character. Every single person we encounter — regardless of age, race, occupation, gender, education, sexual orientation, income level, or religious or political beliefs — can teach us something.

The key is being open to learning without imposing negative judgments.

We make judgments about people and situations every day. Some positive and some negative. Negative judgments occur because we believe we’re better than others or we don’t have complete information or understanding or we’re afraid. Asking questions helps us understand and be less afraid. Asking questions before judging, helps us judge more positively which attracts more positive life situations to us.

One of the primary motives for negative judgment is to discredit others’ decisions, personal or professional, in an effort to validate our own or to feel superior. If left unchecked, negative judgment can lead to the implicit belief that everyone in the world should be more like us.

Difference, however, makes the world a wonderful place. Imagine if everybody were exactly the same. Would you like to be a clone? I wouldn’t. We all have our own paths and make our own choices. The more freedom we allow others to live their lives as they choose, the more freedom we gain to do the same ourselves.

Negative judgments block our ability to accept or gather complete information.

Without sensing compassion from us, for example, others will not be willing to share their whole story and we, as a consequence, will not learn as much as we might from the interaction.

My nephew shared a story with his mother about how he really had a hard time liking a fellow student, and then was surprised at how his feelings shifted when he found out how hard the student’s life had been. We were not born to like everyone. We can, however, learn from everyone when we keep our negative judgments at bay and inquire a little deeper with empathy and compassion.

When people feel judged, they don’t want to listen to our questions or opinions. They often withdraw and keep their thoughts to themselves. Sometimes they get aggressively defensive. The learning process stops for both sides, emotions heighten, block reason, and neither is able to accept responsibility for the negative situation. The more negative situations we put ourselves in the more we attract negative situations. It’s simple. If we want a positive life full of positive situations, we need to think and feel more positive every time we think of it.

One of the most effective ways to let go of negative judgments is to ask questions, examine why we have the judgments we do and then to take responsibility for communicating our desires, feelings, thoughts and intentions clearly, and with compassion.

By getting into the habit of asking questions when I’m feeling negative helps shift me to a positive state most of the time.

When my co-worker was installing a cellular phone into a customer’s new imported car, he inadvertently drilled into one of the car’s computer boards. The repair bill was $1500. When he informed me of the mishap, I had a few choices about how to react. I could have yelled, screamed, made him feel stupid, and then fired him.

That choice would have made the co-worker take responsibility for my anger, rather than his actions, and I would have been left with a big repair bill and one less employee who was an experienced, productive worker. I still would have been angry, and I would have had the additional expense of training another employee.

Instead, I let go of the anger — then the negative judgment — and looked at how we could turn the adversity into a benefit. I asked the co-worker why it happened (it was a new model of car that placed the computer board under the gearshift) and instructed him to phone all the competitors with whom we had strong relationships. He was to tell their installers of the new position of the computer board so they wouldn’t make the same mistake.

The result was that the co-worker was encouraged to take responsibility for his error, he felt supported despite his mistake, and my colleagues at other stores didn’t have to make the same expensive mistake. The worker received positive feedback from the other installers and felt good about himself in the end knowing he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. My benefits included a productive and willing co-worker and a number of grateful colleagues and competitors who would return the favor to me in some way in the future.

Asking why instead of moving to instant negative emotion and expression turned an adversity into benefit and attracted positive situations in the future.

Ask questions and you will learn, you will be more positive, you will attract positive people and a more positive life.

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 5

This is the fifth blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!

Just like every trade and profession has its’, “tricks of the trade”, all very successful people have 12 tricks they do, no matter what industry or institution they work in. They do those things consistently. They are important processes that great and successful people follow.



Trick number five:

Think in Options and Choose Wisely

Making thoughtful decisions that are right for you. Successful people think long term and big picture when making decisions and they check ideas with team members. They use their power to choose wisely. You could too.

Our power to choose is a gift. As human beings we are very blessed. We can choose our own paths by making decisions. We can track our current status in life back through thousands of decisions we’ve made along the way. We may feel that if we had made choices differently, more wisely, we would be closer to our goals.

So how do we make decisions wisely? Like everyone, we make decisions based on what we think and feel is best given our options at the time. Too often, however, we don’t consider enough options and make decisions too quick. Sometimes we take too long and over analyze. Sometimes we could make wiser decisions following a different decision making process.

Some time ago now, I attended a one-year coaching workshop called The Successful Habits Program. The workshop leader, Les Hewit, Co-Author of “The Power of Focus”, suggested that for every decision, we could find a minimum of ten options. Admittedly, a number of these options might be ridiculous, but that isn’t the point. In a list of ten, there is an option that’s just right for us. Thinking in 10 options is good brain exercise and it opens our mind. It can be fun too.

You can come up with ten different options when faced with decisions, one of which is just right for you, and you might have fun.

For example, I break my leg. Ten options to consider might be:

  1. Ask for help to get to the hospital to have it set.
  2. Crawl to the hospital and have it set.
  3. Set it myself.
  4. Have a friend set it.
  5. Do nothing—just let it set broken.
  6. Wait for someone to notice and let that person make a decision for me.
  7. Break my other leg and leave it un-set so I have a matching set of improperly healed legs.
  8. Kill myself so I don’t have to feel the pain.
  9. Break someone else’s leg so that person can know how I feel and can truly understand me.
  10. Yell, scream, and feel my pain and hope someone notices that can help me.

Some options may seem ridiculous, some not very desirable, but one of ten may offer the perfect solution—a solution we wouldn’t have thought of if we hadn’t exercised our brain and come up with ten options.

Slow down decision making whenever you can. Make thinking in options a habit, so you are able to make key decisions wisely.

Typically, when confronted with difficult decisions, people choose the path of least resistance or what appears to be the easiest way at first glance. Sometimes this is good, but sometimes the path of least resistance is a slower road to success. Sometimes the path that may seem difficult and more work at first could actually be the easiest in the long term. Think long term and big picture. All successful people do when making decisions.

Training ourselves to slow down and think of multiple options in complicated situations puts us in the habit of looking beyond what first meets the eye, of creating our own practical and wise solutions rather than being drawn toward the simplest ones.

Question the outcomes of a possible decision. Ask yourself; what could happen in a year from now if I make this decision? How might it affect others or the team? Will it inspire growth and action or invoke fear or both? If it invokes fear, is that okay in this situation and is it only temporary? In the long term are the benefits there or am I fooling myself?

Too often people make choices quickly and subconsciously. Sometimes it’s safe to do so—other times it’s not. Why gamble with important decisions? We can take greater control of the direction of our lives by pausing for a moment during a busy day to consider more options. We could put off making a decision until we have gathered enough information to make an informed choice. Check your options with mentors and mastermind groups or advisors. They may offer more options you didn’t see to choose from.

With their opinions to add to our own list of options, we can feel comfortable knowing we’ve gathered enough information to make a thoughtful decision that is right for us.

Sometimes we make decisions based on a gut feeling. We have no other choice because of timeframes or outside circumstance. This can work out to be the right decision. Other times it might not.

A key to becoming successful is to be decisive. Being decisive also means recognizing when we’ve made an incorrect decision and taking the time to re-think and make a new decision.

Being dynamic means being adaptable to change. It means being able to admit when we’ve made a mistake. Being dynamic and successful means thinking big picture, long term and in options, and it means being decisive. Just do it. You have the choice. Thanks for reading.

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 4



Trick number four:

“Build your networks wisely.”
. . . Find mentors, Coaches and Key Advisers.

The people we associate with, personally and professionally, become part of our network and affect our success rate. Each of us has a unique set of friends, associates and colleagues.

Our networks can help us advance or hold us back. When our networks expand, our careers build. When our networks stagnate, our careers stagnate. Networking has the potential to greatly determine how much opportunity we encounter.

Building our networks involves meeting as many people as we can. This was easier in sales careers than others in the past, and as a result, the sales profession created more millionaires than other professions. It’s different now.

Social media and the internet has changed the world and expanded opportunity. Regardless of our career choice, we have many opportunities for creating and expanding our networks and our careers.

Aside from going the extra mile at work (which helps influence networks positively), we can go the extra mile in building networks — work and personal. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Youtube, LinkedIn and other social media sites can generate many new contacts. Signing up to blogs, email lists and listening to podcasts can help us too.

Don’t forget the personal face-to-face networking options though. They are very important. We can become involved in school functions with our children, corporate sports teams, community associations, chambers of commerce, or adult education courses. There are many options, personal and online, but remember — it’s up to each individual to follow through on them. You are the only person who can build your network.

Although each person’s network is unique, everyone’s network would benefit from the addition of a few key advisers. First and foremost are good mentors — people we can trust and talk too openly and who have expertise in an area of life we are working in or have a passion for. Mentors can save us much time in the world of trial and error.

Being part of mastermind groups is also key to positive networking and success. “When two or more people come together in common focus, a third invisible intangible force is created likened to A THIRD MIND.” …Napoleon Hill. Get the third mind working for you. Everyone is part of different mastermind groups. Masterminding is an expansion of the peer mentoring concept and can take different forms.

When a mentor and mentee come together to help the mentee, a mastermind group is formed. When two or more mentees work together to bounce ideas between them, with a focus on improvement for each other, they are masterminding. Work teams are mastermind groups: A sales team is a mastermind group focused on increasing sales. An accounting team is a mastermind group focused on tracking funds. Often, work mastermind teams could benefit with more focus on goals and communication structure. Hiring a coach to facilitate might help your work mastermind teams be more effective.

Even families are a type of mastermind group. They typically focus on maintenance and expansion of love.

Get the third minds working for you! Make sure members in your mastermind groups are on the same page — that they are clear on goals and progress for the group, and the goals for individuals in the group. Set a schedule for meetings and keep to it. Even if one member can’t make it to a meeting, do the meeting with who can.

It’s a good idea to acquire two additional network components. When I was starting my cellular phone business, a mentor told me to make sure I had good advisers for legal and accounting processes. Especially when we are self-employed, but even if we are not, having a good lawyer and accountant keep us safe and informed on legal and tax matters.

If we are determined to proceed on the path to success, we will without doubt need accounting and legal advice at some point—whether we’re buying a house, doing our taxes, or closing a deal on a corporate merger. As our wealth builds, good accountants and lawyers become more important.

I think it’s important to have a couple communications mentors. Communicating is something most people could become better at. I’ve found, when I survey employees for companies, it’s the most identified issue for improvement in businesses.

When we are faced with crucial conversations and difficult circumstance, how we communicate is very important. I will often make a phone call to a communications expert before I tackle a tough situation or conversation with others. I encourage those I coach to do the same.

Another key adviser might be a good psychologist. There are many obstacles on the path to success — career setbacks, emotional struggles, and self-doubt to name a few. A psychologist can help us deal with complicated emotional processes during difficult periods. Psychologists are expensive, however, so if funds are unavailable, we can seek a life process mentor—a compassionate friend or advisor whom we trust enough to share the intimate details of our life. Typically, this is someone we respect and admire, and he or she will have experienced the same situation or issue we are experiencing in our life.

Be careful with life process mentors and psychologists. We don’t want one that will enable us, and allow us to stay stuck in our past emotional traps and dysfunction, justifying our inability to move forward. We want to acknowledge our dysfunction and get tools to move through it, over it, under it, or around it when it triggers. Progress is what matters if we want to grow into all that we can be.

For successful people, the process of building networks continually shifts. People in our network can play different roles at different times. When I was deciding to move my cellular phone business to a larger store, I hired one of my mentors as a consultant/coach to help me complete a business plan and hire sales people. He coached me on what to say to the bank in order to get financing and on how to interview prospective personnel. In essence, he coached me on making decisions, like he always had as a mentor. During this period, the relationship was similar but intensified because I was paying him for a specific purpose. Mentoring is free, coaching is done for a fee. Later the relationship shifted to one of peer mentoring.

For successful people the process of building networks seldom stops. They understand that the more people they know, the more advice they will receive, the more sales they will make and the more fun they will have. If they can think of one or two people they’d like to adopt as mentors or peer mentors, they adopt them. We can do the same.

We do not have to accept everything our mentors, accountant, lawyer or psychologist says as the absolute truth, but we can listen and decide what is best for our situation. The more opinions we collect from people we trust, the more options we become aware of, and the easier it becomes to make decisions. We can save ourselves a great deal of time and hardship by listening to capable people whom we trust to have our best interest in mind.

Go out and build your network. Shift it where it needs to be shifted. Be open. Be confident and grow.

Have a great day.

Thanks for reading.