I got asked the question - "Who has been you mentor?" when I spoke at the Think Like an Intrepreneur Summit recently. 

This is such an important question and such an important part of my success and so many people’s success. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for people teaching me and coaching me throughout my life. I think most people can say that same thing. 

Having a mentor is vital in business and in personal life. It is important that you find someone that embodies your ideals as far as character traits, professionalism, family values, foundational values, personal and career achievements, etc. These are the kinds of qualities that you need to look for when seeking out a mentor.

If you read a biography on anyone who has achieved huge success in life, you will always find out that in one way or another they had a mentor. It is not that you need to go out and ask random people and get a large amount of people to be your mentors. It should be someone who you genuinely respect, who represents what you are striving to be, and who you can learn and grow from. Someone that will teach you and push you toward a better version of yourself.

This person should not be just financially successful. This person should represent the character and the values that you admire and respect. You do not need a big group. You need just one or two people who will build you up.

Don't let your ego get in your way when finding a mentor. Wayne Dyer calls ego a false sense of self. You need to get past your false sense of self when searching for a mentor. Learning from others can be humbling, which in itself builds your character. 

I met someone at the Visit NC Conference, who was one of the keynote speakers. I did not know this at the time, but she is younger than I am. She has been incredibly successful with speaking. She travels the world and speaks about crisis management with all kinds of organizations. I knew from listening to her that I wanted to connect with her. I knew that I could learn from her. Her name is Melissa Agnes.

Check out her website: melissaagnes.com

Melissa represents the value system and the why behind what I am striving to do. I reached out to her and asked if I could meet with her and get some coaching with her based on where she is. The fact that she was younger than me did not make me envious or jealous, it inspired me and gave me even more of a reason to talk with her. I knew that I could learn a lot from her seeing that she has achieved such success at such a young age.

We have built a great friendship since I have reached out to her and I have learned so much from her. Melisa represents a place I want to be, and so I knew that I needed to reach out to her. 

If I tried to fight toward where I want to be by myself and let my ego get in the way, I would not have been able to learn all I have learned from Melissa, which would be a travesty. Letting go of your pride and reaching out to those above you is huge. It will change your life in more ways than one. 

You need to reach out to people who execute at the level that you want to execute. People who have fought through and have overcome challenges to get to where you are aspiring to get to in life.

Mentors are incredibly important. Seek out mentors who embody your value system and who embody the strength that you are striving toward and who are executing at the level that you want to be.

Seek out a mentor! It is going to be valuable for you business, personal success, and for you as a human being. It may be scary at first, but I guarantee that it will be worth it. You will be surprised at how open and helpful people are. 

- David L. Joyner and the Joyner Media & Strategies Team