Share Your Knowledge | Use Your Mentors

It’s a
new year. Your older, your wiser, so share your knowledge. And if you have a
problem to solve, let others share theirs too. Everyone (and I mean everyone)
likes to be asked for advice. It is the highest compliment to their self-worth.

This
week I did just that and called a friend of mine’s father. He is a very
successful, and now retried, entrepreneur. Now, mind you, we are not best
friends…merely long-time acquaintances that I visit rarely. I say that because
your mentor does not have to be your grandmother, cast your net wider.

I surprised my mentor with a call. When he answered, I asked,
“Can you talk?” He said, “Not really. I’m riding in a cab in Boston.” I quickly
said, “Are you coming to town for Christmas? I would like some advice.” To
which he replied, “Yes, I’ll text you later.” Boom! That was it. The ball was
rolling.

We met after Christmas at FlagandBanner.com’s office downtown. I did little preparation for the meeting. Mentors don’t usually need it. I explained the problem I was trying to solve, then sat back and let him expound. We talked for 2 hours, I took notes and tried to say as little as possible. I wanted to hear all the knowledge he had to share. After all his years in business it is second nature to him.

He reviewed FlagandBanner.com’s financials, nothing interesting
there. Then he began to explain and diagram a method for valuing and buying
another business, if I so choose. We both shared how we outsource or manage our
digital marketing partners, our inventory overages, our direct mail experiences
and our product line expansions and selections. Business talk is creative talk,
to us.

Through all this conversation I am reminded that with each
passing year, we all grow a little bit wiser and brighter. And to that is why,
I’ve started a radio
show
to share my
growing experience and that of others. I have weekly meetings with my staff to
use some of that experiential wisdom as a guide for their department’s decision
making. And I have a sleep over every Saturday night with my grandchildren, to
lovingly coax them down life’s right path, dare I say poetically, “the path of
righteousness”.

Let’s face it, you never stop learning or having problems to
solve…and neither does anyone else! If you’re the one with a quandary, don’t
forget to widen your knowledge net. Look for a mentor in your life you can
reach out to. You may make their day and maybe you’ll make your whole new year.

And if the shoe is on the other foot and someone is seeking
your advice, remember that another year has passed and you’re a little smarter
and wiser too. So, share what you know! But leave the lecturing to the professors.