BY ROBIN ELLIOTT

“From the time I was six, the Boys Club was my whole world. I learned how to play ball therand how to focus and set my mind on a goal. I learned about consequences and the difference between right and wrong.  At the heart of the place was a force of nature named Billy Thomas. He made each of us feel like we were something special.

“I was so impressed with him that I started to imitate him. I would walk like Billy and try to shoot a foul shot like Billy. I would try to sit like him and treat others with respect like he did. I even practiced signing my name like Billy. There was a real flourish to his handwriting and I used to copy it so much I can still see it in the way I sign my own name today.” ~ Denzel Washington.

You’re never too old to have a mentor, and your mentor can certainly be younger than you are. Zig Ziglar once said, “You’re either green and growing, or you’re ripe and rotten.” We should be like trees; they grow until they die.  We should be learning until we die, especially if we have a belief in the eternal.

I learned long ago the importance and value of learning from others who are wiser, more experienced and skilled, and more connected than I am. The return of any investment in learning from such a worthy mentor is always massive, because I make sure I diligently act on the advice I receive.

A good mentor is humble, self-assured, skilled, experienced, patient, and they expect one to act upon the advice they give, regardless of what they are being paid. Their primary objective and reward is always the success of their students, and they demand a form of payment because they know that people seldom respect and value that which they get for nothing.

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