I have never met anyone living a life of significance — both personally and financially, that didn’t have someone as a mentor.

Meet John, My Mentor

Some of those mentors were intentionally sought out and some were “accidental” — a product of proximity and/or frequency. But at some point along the way, the mentor/mentee relationship formed, was nurtured, and in almost all cases, the mentee became a mentor to someone else.

In my case it was a man named John. I was lost, both in life and in business, and a trusted friend told me to reach out to him. I did and for a solid year, John and I had breakfast once a week.

We (well mostly me) talked about real estate (he managed millions of square feet of commercial real estate for years) and business. He told me once to never get caught up in who is right, but what is right. John was a man of principle — his “no’s” were “no’s” and his “yes’s” were “yes’s” — tough but kind. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer a few years ago, and I remember our last conversation. He wasn’t afraid. His sole worry was that he was going to leave his wife by herself when his time came.

He taught me a certain toughness and authenticity I could have never learned from anyone in my circle of friends.

What My Mentor Taught Me

To this day, anything that I have accomplished that has meaning, I can attribute to something I learned from John.

In the years since his passing I’ve had the chance to mentor men, all younger than me, all just as lost as I was. I didn’t have the character or experience that John had, but being able to be there to listen and answer questions that only time on this earth can give you the wisdom to know is not only rewarding, but fulfilling.

If you don’t have a mentor, seek one out. Just make sure when you find someone willing to give you their time and wisdom, do the same on down the road.

michael aldea go left marketing imageJan Michael Aldea is a jack of all trades finally making good at being well rounded. His background in marketing, consulting, business coaching & training, real estate, fitness, parenthood, marriage, and life makes Michael ill equipped to be in a cubicle, but very equipped to help transform people and companies one (sometimes humorously awkward) step at a time. He is the president and director of business development for Go Left Marketing based out of Charlotte, NC.

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