Before you tell me how pitiful I sound reminiscing about the “good old days” of high school, hear me out! It’s not what you think.
I’m not talking about sitting around wishing I could be a 16 year old high school student again. Nope. While most people would love being younger (at least if they could take their experience with them), that’s not my focus here. I’m also not talking about living in the past and being unable or unwilling to deal with my current reality. This is about taking a hard look at something that was working for you and seeing if you could reproduce that system.
Things About High School That Could Help You Now
In a nutshell, there are three things I loved about high school that could really help you right now.
- Huge network of friends and acquaintances.
- Access to mentoring.
- A common goal with different strategies.
Let me discuss why each of these is significant to you.
Huge Network of Friends and Acquaintances
My graduating class was around 600 people and I literally knew at least half of them by name. The rest I knew by sight well enough to speak to (or knew not to speak to them-LOL!) This gave me the chance to listen to many voices that were not my own from totally different perspectives. Whether they were the jocks, “burn outs”, choir, band, theater or debate team, I had friends from every camp. Entrepreneurs can miss that sorely! I know I do! Spending day after day listening to your own thoughts and perspectives is not only unproductive. It’s exhausting!
Whether you agree with anybody in your network or not is really not the point. The point is to be able to hear another viewpoint while you’re making tough decisions. You don’t need yes men or women or hang out only with people who think like you do. You DO need to hear other points of view to help you decide what you believe and what you don’t. You won’t get that from listening to the little voice in your head 24/7/365.
Access To Mentoring
If you can recall, you had teachers, guidance counselors and group advisors in high school that all served as mentors. I made use of them sparingly and I could kick myself! But that’s only if you think a 16 year old EVER knows what the hell he’s doing-LOL! Most of these people made it their life’s work to guide teenagers in the direction they needed to go. Sure, there’s always that unnatural stress on going to college no matter what. However, I remember we had trade schools that students could attend if they really weren’t interested in going to college for one reason or another. From auto mechanics to photography, these people could choose an area they were interested in and pursue it. They also had access to advisors.
How many of you wouldn’t love to wake up one morning and find you had access to this group of advisors? More on this later.
A Common Goal With Different Strategies
Regardless of how you decided to do it, all of the people in your class were working toward one common goal: graduating high school. Now, while that may seem like an incredibly broad and unfocused goal, it was at least a starting point. The students wanting to attend Yale or Harvard had certain refined needs and goals. The same with those wanting a career in the armed forces. The important thing to take away here is you all had a goal that meant something different for each student. This is a lesson that has direct impact on your life as an entrepreneur.
All entrepreneurs say we want success in business and life but each of us defines it differently. Realizing that there is no “one way” to accomplish this goal for all is a huge moment for us. No reason to feel inferior to other entrepreneurs just because they’ve chosen a different path or are further along on it. Each of us can have the success we want if we’ve chosen something we really believe in that we can provide value to others doing.
What Can You Do?
Well, we all know you can’t go back to high school and start again. You don’t have to either. I know I personally would not want to have to re-live the years since high school all over again. How about you?
What you can do is make sure you’re giving yourself a chance to hear more than just your own voice on a daily basis. You can join paid online communities like Laptop Lifestyle Academy, fizzle, Fire Nation Elite or Craig Ballantyne’s Virtual Mastermind groups or you can find people in your niche and contact them. Commenting on their blogs wouldn’t hurt either. You don’t need money to get involved with people who are doing things you believe in. Just remember to start these contacts from a “giving first” frame of mind.
Getting involved in online communities is just a start. Many of these communities also have a way for you to connect with people going through the same things who live in your area. Don’t hesitate to post to these groups what you’re looking for! If nothing else, at least find an accountability partner from the group. That way, you’ll at least be working with somebody who has put their money into growing their business and life. That’s a great way to begin a relationship. Common goals with a common approach.
It won’t happen overnight. It WILL happen! You’ll find yourself growing your network of people doing amazing things in a million different ways. You’ll find your mindset and options expanding to meet the new challenges you encounter daily.