The limits of self-learning

Good Morning Crusaders
I’m sure that most Crusaders are aware of the challenges I faced when I was starting out as an entrepreneur. I don’t think I’ve ever emphasised how much the right support and advice had on my development though.
Most of us go through the same phase when we start learning a new skill.
We believe we can learn everything by ourselves – that we don’t need any help.
After all, we’re entrepreneurs. 
Blazing trails and being independent is what we do. Why ask for help when there’s a YouTube video, podcast, or blog post with the answer to every question under the sun? 
All the information you will ever need is out there, and almost all of it is available for free.
We just need to find it and apply it – right?
Well, sure, when you’re starting out this is a very valid and important step. You definitely need to teach yourself as much as you can with free content, and personal “trial & error”’
But . . .
As you move forward, you realize you just can’t figure out everything by yourself.
It took me a long time to appreciate this and caused me a lot of unnecessary frustration.
I finally learned the lesson in the late 1990’s when I was busy fighting to rescue by third business failure.
I had hit the wall. Three businesses failed in 5 years, and I had no idea how to solve it.
I had already studied so much material and learned so many business principles through self-teaching, that I figured I knew everything I needed to.
But, being the self-appointed entrepreneur and business builder that I told myself I was, I stubbornly continued to look for a solution on my own. (Back in the ’90s there was no YouTube to fall back on, only books)
Do you know what I ended up uncovering?
Absolutely Nothing.
No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t find the solution to this problem. Nothing I learned was of any value.

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Now, up to that point, I hadn’t had any mentors.
Because I had been able to figure out everything on my own, up to that point, I figured I didn’t need one.
Then, out of the blue one day, a fax arrives on my fax machine (also pre-email) advertising a seminar on business rescue with a guy who lost his IT business in 1992. And in the process, he lost everything – house, car, furniture, bank accounts, wife, everything. His name was Peter.
So I decided to attend. Well, in the three hours I spent in the seminar, I learned a bunch of tricks and tips that I’d never found in any literature I’d read. I wanted more.
Fortunately, he was staying over at the hotel where he had hosted the seminar. He’d flown up to Johannesburg from his base in Cape Town for the seminar.
So, on the spot, I invited him to the hotel bar for a glass of wine so I could pick his brain.
He was really friendly, helpful, and had so much experience in exactly what I was struggling with. Over the next two hours, he helped me unravel the complexity of my problems and highlighted the underlying issue that I needed to address.
It was fantastic. I would never have worked it out on my own – not in a million years. I just didn’t have the right perspective.
Without realizing it, I had just found a mentor.
That day, I learned a powerful lesson.
The power of having a mentor.
See, it doesn’t matter how smart we are…
There are just some answers we’ll never figure out on our own.
We end up wasting all our time and motivation trying to find a solution…
When that happens, it’s better to find the help of someone willing to share their experience with us.
These people are experts in their fields. Not only do they have the experience, but they have built up knowledge from their own mentors too.
They give you the objective advice you need and a different perspective of the situation. With their help, you can find the solution you need much faster.
I cannot tell you the difference that having mentors and coaches has made in my life. With their help, I was able to learn things faster and reach my goals in half the time.
I used Peter as a mentor for 15 years, and I now have one coach and three mentors, all with their own specialities. I could never have developed to the extent I have without their support and advice.
So . . .
Who are your mentors?
I hope you have a great week 

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