Sometimes network marketers have an inflated view of mentorship. They think they need to attend a million conferences, or befriend someone wildly successful, or spend a boatload of money on a coach.

All of those things are helpful and can be stepping stones, but I’ve found mentorship often starts with us. Let me explain.

I’ve always thought the adage, “Experience is the best teacher,” was wrong. Actually, other people’s experiences are the best teacher! By watching and learning from others’ experiences, you can avoid the same business potholes. However, mentorship doesn’t have to be in-person meetings or conferences.

Books were my first mentors.

I found Howard Schultz’s book Pour Your Heart into It extremely inspirational and educational. Schultz focuses on the wisdom he gained as he grew the Starbucks phenomenon and how he turned his passion into profit. This book and reading any entrepreneur’s story is powerful, because you’re learning from someone else who’s been there already; you’re not starting from scratch.

In the digital age, we can absorb wisdom from a variety of mentors at the touch of the button. Whether it’s Bob Proctor, Darren Hardy, Eric Worre, or Jim Rohn, take your pick and plug in as often as possible. I constantly listen to Joel Olsteen (XM 128) in my car for personal development and encouragement.

My dad, Ben Boreyko, was probably my closest mentor. The best advice he ever gave me was, “Bunnies will lead you to the bears.” It basically means we shouldn’t prejudge anyone in this business. You never know whose connection may help you achieve your goal. He also said, “If the cart’s too heavy and the carrot’s too far, the donkey is not going to move.” I’ve carried that advice with me and consider it every time we come up with an incentive to support our affiliates. I’m always thinking about how to lighten the “cart” and keep the “carrot” within reach.

Again, I don’t want to knock personal mentorship; there is value in meeting someone in person who can hold you accountable. They’re the ones who will pour their own experience and advice into you.

My point is, your success is not determined by anyone but you!

Anthony Robbins says, “Rapport is power. Anything you want to achieve, learn, master, or experience, someone out there has done it.” It’s about you identifying people who have accomplished great things and finding a middle ground with them.

I think the network marketing profession is unique because it isn’t just the leader at the front of the room who’s a mentor; it’s anyone who’s helping a new business builder start their own venture. Mentorship begins the moment a new person is introduced to the profession.

I absolutely believe we were put on this planet to help others. Mentorship is available everywhere we look. It’s up to us to take advantage of every opportunity.

BK BOREYKO is founder and CEO of an established network marketing company which boasts more than $200 million in annual sales. He is the proud father of six and resides in Arizona.

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