I hate the phrase “self-made millionaire” because it is an outright lie. I have never seen that happen, and don’t expect to ever see that happen.
There are two ways to become a millionaire. One, you become a person that can handle a million dollars effectively. Or two, you are handed a million dollars that you don’t deserve. If the second is the case, you better become a real millionaire quick, as Jim Rohn would say. Either way, you are not a “self-made millionaire.” If you have become a person capable of managing millions, you can bet that you had a community that mentored you, believed in you, and invested in you.
If you just won the lottery, or were given an inheritance, well, you had nothing to do with making your self a millionaire. You have to give 100% of that credit to others. So either way, don’t ever tell me you are a “self-made millionaire.” The same is true for any success. You don’t need to go it alone.
All success requires community. We were not created to live alone. We were not created to succeed alone. Our success is the result of creating solutions that help our communities, local or global. The process of becoming someone that can create those solutions is just as much a story of doing community.
Community challenges us to see things differently. It encourages us to pull through when the going gets tough. And just like our success is about offering others our solutions, so our success will require the solutions others offer. Community comes in various forms. But forming that into something that can help us achieve our best life takes some wisdom. Here are some ideas for community.
- Family – Love them or hate them, we all have families. Some functional, some not so much. And more than possibly any other form of community, family will take wisdom. Be honest about where your family’s strength lies. And choose not to let them give you advice where they are obviously weak. At the very least, this one will grow you grace if you learn to do it well. But towards the healthier side, they can also be your greatest source of unconditional love.
- Church – At its best, church is a place of encouragement and a place to meet people that can help you along your way. At its worst, it may be a place that judges you as not enough. Church can be very much like family. And rightly so, they are your spiritual family. But all that means, is that you will need to to discern the counsel you are given. Yet, there are no places I have found more mentors than at church.
- Mentors – Talking about mentors; Mentors are people who have done what you are trying to do and are willing to help you along the way. You can have spiritual mentors, relationship mentors, financial mentors or other kind of mentors. Mentors care about your success. But make sure you know what area of life these mentors are qualified to speak into.
- Masterminds – This is a group of individuals that are on the same journey of growth as you are. Normally a group of 4 – 7, these are your peers that share certain values and dreams. Meeting at a fairly regular scheduled time, they function as a brainstorming group. Often they will see your problem from a different perspective and will be able to help you along. And you will be the eyes looking in from the outside in their venture.
- Interest Groups – Similar to masterminds, interest groups are a lot more specifically focused though. Rather than being focused on developing you as a person they are focused on developing a certain interest. For example, a writing group or a speaking group. They are often more interested in raising the bar of writing or speaking than they are in investing in you as a person.But they can be extremely valuable resources for achieving your goals.
- Consultants – Same as mentors, but paid for a specific project or time. They are well acquainted with what you are trying to achieve, and can give you incredible insight. They often cost a lot of money, but providing you find the one matched to what you are trying to do, they are worth every penny. One pointer though; if you are going to find a good match, you will need very well defined goals.
- Professionals – Bookkeepers, accountants, lawyers, or virtual assistants. You hire them because they are strong where you are weak. They free you up to focus on what you do better. I know many small businesses that have failed because they were too slow to hand things over to professional help. And doing it themselves ended up costing them their passion as well as money.
The point is, every success story has a community surrounding it. No man is an island. So find community to surround yourself with. Don’t go it alone. You would be surprised at how many successful people say yes when you ask them to mentor you. People just don’t ask. So if you want success others just dream about, don’t just dream about having mentors. Go find them. Ask them. Don’t let a few no’s stop you either.
I think the humility to realize that you need help is one of the more crucial keys to becoming successful. And yet, it is so often ignored. Arrogance will keep you from your best life.
Do you have someone you would love to learn from? Will you take the bold step and ask them if they would consider mentoring you?