Who is a great mentor in your life?
On a recent RV road trip to Montana with my family (my favorite family activity!), I found myself driving late at night while everyone was sleeping with the time and mental space to contemplate and reflect on my life! For me, windshield time on longer distance road trips has proven to be one of my favorite places to take a pause from the everyday grind and hustle of life and reflect on what I’m grateful for and gain inspiration to reach for new goals.
It allows me to slow down my mind to recharge the batteries (blame it on my Type A, go-go-go personality) and get me excited to come back and hit the ground running.
During this particular evening, I was pondering several mentors in my life who have been instrumental in helping to guide my life through several important times. Since I was already mentally preparing to launch Simonson Appraisals on January 1, 2019, I couldn’t help but think of several people who have helped me make strategic career moves over the course of the past 25 years since I got my first job.
What I found interesting is that many of the bosses I worked for in various positions have inspired me to reach up and continue growing, expanding and reaching for new opportunity. They have provided me many new tools, ideas and inspiration to live a more fully charged life. I’d like to share a few examples.
I started working at the young age of 11 and my first mentor outside of my parents was my first boss who also happened to be my aunt. Working in a small family business, she possessed many great attributes and was a catalyst in my decision to go to college and pursue a four-year degree. Coming from a blue-collar background, college was not a major priority. However, my aunt instilled in me the potential value that I could gain from pursuing further education. It was this perspective that propelled me to pursue a different path.
While college may or may not the right answer for everyone, I was fortunate to find a career path in college I’m passionate about and has afforded many great opportunities.
Upon entering the workforce in Phoenix, Arizona after graduating college in 2005, my first boss was a 76 year old gentleman who had been in the commercial real estate appraisal profession for 50 plus years. While the expectations were high to deliver high quality work, the immense value he brought to my career catapulted my career forward due to his willingness to sit down with me and teach so many important appraisal fundamentals. I often reflect how one year in Arizona working with him armed me with what feels like several years of valuable training.
Six years ago, I moved into my first ownership role in an appraisal company. One of my first goals I established at that time while starting as an entrepreneur was to acquire an income-producing property for investment purposes. I will admit, I didn’t know how it would happen, but began the path of learning as much as possible to acquire the knowledge necessary to make it happen.
Shortly after establishing the goal of acquiring a property, a new investment mentor magically appeared in my life. One of the great benefits I find as an appraiser is the people I get the privilege of meeting and working with. Many of them have created multiple streams of income and often share a similar story of starting with one property and expanding over time.
I first met the investment mentor at a property inspection. We immediately connected and ended up following up with a lunch meeting. I shared with him my dream of acquiring an investment property. It turned out, he had come from a small town, acquired his first property many years prior and built up a substantial real estate portfolio over time. We subsequently met two or three more times over the next 12 months for breakfast or lunch and through this relationship, I compiled two pages of detailed notes that outlined the most important criteria to consider when buying property.
I then continued on with my appraisal career, saving a few loose nuggets, and began pursuing more aggressively first property. Three years after my first meeting with the investment mentor, I closed on my first real estate investment property. Here is the fun part of the story. I admit that I had kind of forgot about the conversation with my mentor but had saved my detailed notes.
Amazingly, a month after buying my first investment property I stumbled across the notes with my real estate mentor. On the first page, I had five highlighted pearls of wisdom to adopt when analyzing and considering the purchase of an investment property. After comparing the notes with the details and characteristics of the investment property I had acquired, four of the five items matched the criteria perfectly. The fifth item did not apply to that particular property. Without that investment mentor, I wonder how that first acquisition would have happened.
If you are looking to grow and excel in an area of life that you have haven’t yet experienced the level of success you desire, Tony Robbins says to find someone who is already achieving it and seek to learn from them the best path to get there. It helps to eliminate a lot of pain and frustration and allows you to achieve the goal much more quickly.
Mentors can be a great way to learn, grow and achieve faster results in any area of life! I am committing to find a few new mentors in 2019 to help take my life and business to the next level. One of my main driving forces is I want to be an inspiration to my children to show them they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to!
What area of life do you want to become excellent at and who do you know that is already achieving the level of success that you aspire to? Take action today and reach out to them and begin the path of pursuing excellence!
Cheers to an Awesome 2019!
Mitchell Simonson, MAI is a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. He founded Simonson Appraisals on January 1, 2019. In addition to being active in commercial real estate, he enjoys studying and writing about personal development to help design and live a fully charged life. He can be reached by phone at 612-618-3726 or email at email@example.com.