Is there something you want to have, do, be, feel or become? If
so, who might have successfully walked that journey before you? Who
are your role models? Would someone choose you?
It's helpful for each of us to have a connection with a role
model, if not in real life, then in the realm of realistic
visualization. This person might be someone you know or have
studied, someone you admire from afar, or someone with whom you
have an up-close personal connection. Above all, this person needs
to possess the characteristics and behaviors you'd like to
Once you define this person, spend some time observing. Then ask
yourself, how does she act? Achieve her goals? Communicate? Present
herself? What impression does she give for her first impression?
Who is in her network of connections? What are her sources for
learning? How does she spend her time? It is this juncture of a
role model's behaviors and choices and your needs that lead to a
role model that serves you and your causes well.
Next, can you make an actual connection? As you reach out, it is
most helpful if you can make a narrow request, one which honors the
role model for her experiences and expertise, and one which
respects her time.
I often receive requests and e-mails from those in my audiences
stating, "I want to do what you do. How do I do it?" I certainly
acknowledge those requests and then respond with appropriate
comments, including a set of targeted questions. I let them know
that once they have replied with written answers, I would be glad
to have a conversation with them. This way, they must get beyond
the emotion of "want" to the commitment and information of their
If you have the opportunity to actually meet with your role
model, be prepared to ask your most important questions. Be willing
to listen and learn. It's OK to take notes, and also to be silent
for a bit as you process the information. You might ask, "What
questions have I not asked that are really important to address?"
Watch for cues that your time is up. Be sure to write a thank you
note and share what you are currently doing with the information
and insight you gained.
There are lots of people in this world willing to share an idea,
help with a need, and honor a "student." Many times a one-time
connection can turn into a long-time mentoring relationship. And
don't forget, someone just might need you!
Jolene Brown, CSP
Jolene Brown is a farmer, professional speaker, author and
champion for the family owned business. She's from West Branch,
Iowa, USA, and travels worldwide sharing leading-edge best
practices that have the power to increase productivity,
profitability and peace of mind. Her passion combined with her
fun-filled spirit and valuable information brings humor, hope and
helpful ideas to the people of agriculture. For more information
and to check out her speaking availability, contact her at Jolene@JoleneBrown.com, www.JoleneBrown.com
Full Rights Consent. Jolene Brown LLC, West Branch, Iowa,
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in any future speaking, writing, audio, video or electronic
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