By guest author Daniel Craig
Check out Part 1 to read the rest of this article!
Secret 3: Learn from the Best
What is the greatest dilemma of being a young entrepreneur? You know very little; but, even worse, you don’t know what you don’t know! It’s called unconscious incompetency. As hard as it is, we must look beyond our own self-image and humble ourselves enough to realize that all around us are men and women who have vast wisdom and experience from which we can learn. We must recover the lost art of mentorship.
Earlier this year, I was speaking on this point to an audience of young people at a homeschool conference. As it turned out, there were quite a number of experienced fathers in the room as well. So I asked them, “When is the last time a young person came up to you and just started asking questions to learn from your experience?”
The room was silent. This was telling, and upon reflection, I had to acknowledge how I, too, had squandered many opportunities to learn from the experts all around me.
If we want to recover the art of mining for wisdom from those around us, the first step is to develop the skill of asking questions – good questions, motivated by a humble desire to learn. The exciting part is that once we get over our self-absorption, asking questions is quite easy.
Could I ask you a few questions? Tell me about some of your successes? What led to your success? If you had the opportunity, what would you do differently? As a young man/lady, what advice do you have for me? If you run out of questions, just say “Tell me more!” – and more often than not, they will!
Some conversations will go better than others, but that’s okay. Over time, you will begin to find that as you seek for wisdom, God will put people in your life (such as your parents who were there all along!) to mentor and guide you down the path of knowledge.
“Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.” (Proverbs 20:5)
Do you want to be a man or woman of understanding? Start asking questions!
Secret 4: Do Something! Act with Risk and Initiative
Many times, when people finally get to the point in life where they realize it’s time for them to do something of significance, they don’t do anything at all – for the same reason they never have and never will. They simply lack the desire.
If that’s you, then go back to Secret 1 and get inspired! If, on the other hand, you do want to do something for the kingdom of God, but you’re not sure how, consider these three key questions.
“What needs do I see around me?” For many of us, seeing the needs of others begins with opening our eyes! Unfortunately, we are so selfish and so concerned with our own needs we simply cannot see the needs of others.
Once you open your eyes, if you still have a hard time seeing past your own shadow, reread Secret 3, and start asking questions! Don’t just pursue popular people you enjoy talking with. Seek out the down-and-outer, and discover their needs. Before long, you’ll have a list of more needs or opportunities than you know what to do with.
“I see a need. What can I do about it?” You might not have a clue, but that’s fine. God does. Bring these needs to Him in prayer. Find out who has experience addressing and solving these needs, and start asking them questions. Ask what worked, and ask what didn’t. Start compiling a list of action items, highlighting the simplest first steps. Don’t get bogged down with the end result. All you need to know is your next step.
“What’s keeping me from meeting this need?” We usually answer this question for ourselves a thousand times over before we ever get off square one. Your objections will probably fall into one of two categories – objections rooted in laziness, or objections rooted in fear of failure.
If you are struggling with the first problem, go to Secret 2 and develop some basic maturity. If you are dealing with fear of failure, try to rack up a few failures, and it won’t be so fearful. “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” (Proverbs 24:10)
If you remember, I wasn’t your ideal homeschool kid. Maybe you’re not the homeschool wonder child either. It doesn’t really matter. Each of us has been blessed with talents – some one, some two and some three. But regardless of the number, we are all under obligation from the Giver to invest what we’ve been given.
Don’t hide your talents out of fear. Instead, may your love and gratefulness to your Savior constrain you to willingly serve Him with every fiber of your being. Let that be your motivation to be inspired, make the little things a big priority, learn from the best, and do something to advance God’s kingdom for the Glory of His name.