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The Importance of Expert Mentorship & Training

When my son was nine and living in Central America, he told me he wanted to learn boxing. After asking more than a dozen locals where we should train, they all pointed me to the same man. When my son and I arrived at our first class, we realized that the “outdoor boxing school” was directly on top of a trash heap, partially covered with dirt. We were each handed broken extension cords but had no idea why. After being scolded by our coach for just standing there, we learned that these cords were our jump ropes and it was time to start jumping! Homemade heavy bags, filled with sawdust, hung from old swing sets. And if you wanted to lift weights, not a problem—there were lots of large automotive parts laying around—like a car axle for bicep curls! The cardio area was a row of old semitruck tires laying on their sides. When you sprint in place while standing on a 22-inch truck tire, your balance gets a free tune-up while your thighs cramp and burn like crazy! Oh, and the students chased chickens—just like in the movie Rocky. My favorite part was when we trained in the rain and the smell of our trash heap became putrid—but nobody seemed to mind. After our first class, on our way home, my son asked, “Why are we training at this place, Dad?” I looked at him and said, “Because this is where the top expert in the city is, and to become the best, you have to work with the best.” I could see in my son’s eyes that he got it. We trained there for the next several months—he never complained.

Countless times during my life I’ve been asked, “Who taught you martial arts?” My answer has always been the same: Lots of different experts from lots of different places. You don’t get hired to train the pros unless you’re one yourself—and turning pro takes a great deal more than watching how-to videos and reading books. You’ve got to find the best in their field and pursue them as closely as they will allow—with ears and eyes wide open. I learned Muay Thai in Oklahoma, Kung Fu in California, aikido in Texas, and boxing in Missouri. Anytime I moved to a new city, my first priority was always to find the top martial arts instructor around and begin training with him or her immediately. And, I never squawked about their rates or their availability. Experience has taught me that when we want something badly enough, we make the time and we find the money—which is exactly what I did. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got lots of interesting scars from the times I went the cheap route—thinking I was the smartest guy in the room because I hired the lowest bidder—those lessons hurt! Life has taught me that when it comes to leveraging experts, experience and quality are priceless!

When I decided to write this book and improve my presentation skills, I hired Christy Kercheville from Pinnacle You to mentor me on this important journey. Were her rates the lowest? Nope. Was her customized training program easy? Not even close. Did she require me to do the work? Darn straight! And, did her professional coaching make me and I Go Thru significantly better? Absolutely! Her terms were simple: I paid the price and put in the hours, and she transferred countless years of experience into my personal success and development. Experts surround us, but we have to find them, pursue them, and listen to them. Aligning ourselves and our projects with the right professionals can be worth its weight in gold. What one person can transfer in the form of knowledge, experience, and wisdom can save years of precious time and produce a lifetime of dividends. So, when it comes to the important stuff, never skimp on talent. Instead, insist on only hiring the best.

Power Quote

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

—Red Adair

Harris, Chris. “Experts Go Thru.” “I Go Thru: Breaking Through With Expert Power.” 2020, pp. 187-189.

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