How do you gain the upper hand? I ask that as I sit here feeling sorry for myself. No kidding. I keep peaking at my project I’ve been pouring my soul into and seeing how absolutely stupid it is. I hate it, but mostly because it makes me vulnerable. I’m also kicking myself because I’m beginning to realize I’m never going to consider myself a writer as I work in the HR field and letting my writing be just a hobby. Another boo-hoo moment for me.

And so I pose that question again: How do you gain the upper hand? Or, in other and  better words, what are you doing for your success?

When you look at the people who are incredibly successful, do you know what they had that helped them become the success they are? A mentor, a confidant, a person to push them, cheer for them, get up all in their face and keep them grounded.

Think about it.

LeBron James has Frank Walker.
Drew Barrymore has Steven Spielberg.
Bill Gates has Warren Buffet.
Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs.
Oprah Winfrey had Maya Angelou.

Think through those names.

It’s chronicled that LeBron James had a rough life. Bouncing from place to place in grade school as his mother did the best she could with their circumstances to keep them afloat. Frank Walker, his pee wee football coach, pushed James to look outside of those circumstances and become something. He is now the best basketball player of this generation – maybe ever.

Mark Zuckerberg had a better upbringing than James. But, he was also a college drop out – from Harvard! He created Facebook just for the Harvard campus. A single idea exploded. He and his partners moved to the tech capital of the US and launched Facebook. In the early days when things were rough, he looked to Jobs who helped him see what he envisioned for Facebook and how to get there. In 2012 his net worth was $19 billion.

All these people were on to something.

I am fortunate enough to have a group of Christian women who not only accept me for me, but are incredible cheerleaders in my dreams. They also help me think through a lot of things. Take last night for example, they were excited for me about meeting a publisher for my novel. But, they reminded me having another ear during dinner is imperative. I didn’t think about that but, they’re right. So often I fall back to my “highest training” – getting it done on my own – and these women remind me on the daily I no longer have to.

I see myself as extremely lucky to have my tribe. I look to them as my most cherished mentors. These last two years as I sought growth, sought to become the best version of myself, these women have helped steer me to that version. Each of them I can confidently go to and hold an actual conversation with (look at me growing up!) or asking for help (more growth here, I’m totally crushing it!). They inspire me to be a better woman, a better teacher, a better Christian, a better mom, a better career girl, a better human.

So, How do you gain the upper hand? What are you doing for your success? My husband is by far my greatest cheerleader. But, lets face it, sometimes his cheering falls on deaf ears because I can find it obligatory (love you babe!). So, I found mentors who are knowledgeable and aren’t afraid of telling me how I need to improve. They push me to be better – sometimes uncomfortably but needed. They help me stand when I’m pooped. They let me bounce ideas off them and they aren’t afraid to tell me, really, Pearl!? I trust them and they have so much experience that I can learn from. Mentors suppose to help you grow and these people do.

That’s what you need to do. You want success? Go find your mentor or mentors. Find someone who will support you, help give you life, someone who isn’t afraid to connect with you. Find people who will break you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to stay out of that box. Find someone who isn’t afraid to personally get to know you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Find people who will make sure that your perception of success stays grounded. And, you don’t have to be like me and find a whole tribe, or even someone who lives near you. I also have people in Hawaii, Idaho, Texas, New York that I occasionally reach out to. Build your own tribe, your own mentor network and go get it! The only way to get better is to surround yourself with people who believe in you. xoxo