I recently interviewed author and serial entrepreneur James Altucher and asked him a simple question: What is the best way to accelerate success in any endeavor? To which James gave me a golden nugget. Or maybe 3 golden nuggets. He gave me what he calls the plus (+), equals (=), and minus (-) process and it blew me away. So simple yet so profound.
The +: Find People who are far ahead of you in your field of endeavor and learn from them
There are 4 kinds of people who fall under this category: Real Mentors, Virtual Mentors, Coaches and stars. We need all of them in order to be able to accelerate our progress.
Real Mentors are people who you personally know, and they help you out in giving you guidance and feedback. Mentors are usually emotionally vested in your success and can be called upon to guide you when you need that help.
Virtual Mentors are usually people you do not personally know but they still have a huge impact on your lives. They can be historic figures, great current figures, titans of industry or anyone you look up to but do not have any contact with. You can read their books, watch their videos and just absorb any knowledge they put out there.
Coaches are people who have an obligation to guide you in your journey. It could either be that they have been hired by you or your organization to help you move forward. In sports, coaching is a well established phenomenon. In fact, every team and every great sports figure has one or multiple coaches.
Stars are people who are crushing it in your field of endeavor. They are operating at a much higher level than you are. Your job is to find them and associate with them. What you will find is that when you start spending time with them, you will automatically start stepping up your game. When you see that someone else is able to do something, suddenly that becomes possible for you and you are able to break through that barrier.
This is something I also learned from Tony Robbins at one of his live seminars. He kept on saying that he had given us a lot of strategies to accelerate success, but there was one strategy that stood above all else. He called it “compressing decades into days.” He said in order to compress decades into days, we must find people who are much better than us in that field of endeavor and learn from them.
“Without a mentor in life, one can easily succumb to folly. Without a mentor in life, one can easily become self-centered, capricious and arrogant.”
The =: Find equals in your current field of endeavor and work/grow with them
In order to grow fast, you must find peers who are at similar level to you in the field of endeavor and find ways to:
- Associate with them
- Spend time with them
- Exchange ideas with them
- Ask for their help
- Help them
- Compete with them
The reason this works so well is because your peers are going through similar challenges as you are. What you are struggling with, someone else might have figured out. What someone else is struggling with, you might have figured out.
Napoleon Hill talked about the power of mastermind in one of the greatest personal development books ever written called “Think and Grow Rich.” He defined it as “Coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” He goes on to say that masterminds have been the basis of nearly every great fortune.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to start a mastermind group with your peers. If you are starting a business, go find people who are at a similar level to you and start a mastermind group with them. A mastermind group can be something as simple as a weekly meeting with 3 of your peers where each of you talk about the progress you made and the challenges you encountered.
The –: Find someone you can teach and help them
You might have often heard the saying that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. When you read something or listen to it or watch it you only absorb less than 50% of it. However, when you start teaching those ideas, your learning goes to a whole new level. That is because, in order to teach something you have to be able to break those ideas down, simplify them, and organize them into coherent structures.
In order to be able to teach, you need to have clarity in your own head about the ideas. Teaching requires a complete understanding of the concept. You can’t just “wing it.” Your student’s questions will force you to think deeper.
Teaching has a multitude of benefits which go beyond learning. Helping others can be incredibly gratifying and can make us feel much more fulfilled in our journey of life. Go find your protege.
So, if there is any area of life where you feel that your progress is slower than what you want in to be, examine your +/=/- and make changes accordingly.
How are you making sure you achieve your goals? Comment below and let us know!