Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Find Your "Yodas" and Build Your Networks

No, that's not a picture of me, Patty DeDominic, a.k.a. the Santa Barbara business mentor!  I am, however, smiling as I see this and am grateful for the folks who affectionately call me the "accidental Yoda" and their business coach.  I love working with high-achieving professionals in politics, education, law enforcement, medicine and business. Entrepreneurs are a hoot and I love them, too!

So, no, I don't think I am Yoda...and hopefully I look a little better.  But looks are not what this short post today is all about. This post is about two keys to success for people in business.

I want to share two key business pointers for those who are navigating their professional paths.


Pick your Mentors Well
   Choose Wise Mentors and Utilize their Advice

Yes, you pick them!

Good mentors will often find you and you will notice that they take an interest in your accomplishments and offer encouragement on your trials and tribulations. Some will give you unsolicited advice and support you during critical changes in your life and career.  Otherwise, mentors can be situation specific and may or may not offer advice unless you ask them for it.

Situation-specific mentors include insiders at a company you are researching and hoping to land a job or big contract with. Others would include the wise counselor at school who encourages your extracurricular activities, internships or major in college.

Reach out and ask people for help. You are actually doing them a favor if you share a bit of your professional journey, some of your challenges, and ask for help. It feels good to help awesome people and if you are reading this far, you must be awesome or have some awesome potential!

One thing you can take to the bank is this: All successful people have mentors. Formal or informal, no one exists without the support of other people. Business and professional leaders know how to ask for help and how to give feedback to their advisers and mentors. The best pros in sports, education and even business have coaches. Get some for yourself, and get better every year at picking and upgrading your mentors and coaches.

Yes, you will outgrow many of your mentors....just be sure to pick mentors who have walked your path and (preferably) have won awards for excellence and service in your area of interest.

Don't be afraid to also give your mentors feedback. In some cases it is the best way you can repay your mentors! Your success can be truly inspiring to others and often more so to the people who have invested time in you.


Your Network is YOUR NET WORTH Potential 

Who do you associate with?  Research in major universities ( extols the value of your network, particularly your alumni association and colleagues from all of your previous employment-- even the internships and first jobs you took right out of school.    

Choose your colleagues and friends with some strategy in mind.  I'm not arguing against spontaneity and emotional support and instinct here. DeDominic philosophy encourages you to use your GUT often and combine that with logic and consciousness.   I am telling you now that I truly believe that  your Network does impact your Net Worth and YOU CAN control it more than you might think.

Some scholars and business leaders feel that they only have time for a small handful of close friends. If this is you, then make sure you add some wise mentors with lots of accomplishments to your friends circle. Make your friendships count and choose people who have values as high or higher than your own. I suggest that you look for those who have experienced higher earnings than average in their chosen field. The market pays "a fair rate"and does't sustain over-payments indefinitely. So if you want to make more money or have more control of things, one important way to do that is to up your own cash flow. You will not learn how to do that from internet strangers selling "get rich quick" schemes. You learn to increase your earnings by smart investments in time and resources and by mentors willing to help you avoid some of their mistakes.     

No one in business is super successful all the time, but super achievers learn to take calculated risks and they build networks of people who they can help and who can turn around and help them.    

Here's to your success!


Patty DeDominic
Santa Barbara Business Coach to High Achievers     
My philanthropic focus for 2012 is the Women's Foundation of California    

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