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The #1 investment I made early on in my leadership journey

This week in the 90-day NewVIEW NewCHALLENGE, we’re talking about financial health. To inspire you to claim your own economic power, I’d like to share with you the number one investment I made early on in my leadership journey that propelled me to where I am today.

I began life as one of 11 children in a family of modest means in North Carolina. It took a lot of hard work and determination to get to where I am today as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year award-winner and CEO of the multi-million dollar IT and cybersecurity firm. But the absolute, number one best investment I made along the way to personal and financial success wasn’t necessarily in the stock market – it was in myself.

My #1 investment was taking the time to find mentors.

When I set out on my entrepreneurial journey after retiring from the military, I sought out mentorship relationships to guide me in my career and help me navigate the male-dominated business world. People of integrity. Leaders who had wisdom and experience to share from their own journeys. Mentorships cost you no money, only your time and energy – and they will pay off in dividends for years to come.

Here are a few tips if you’re searching for a mentor who is right for you:

Determine your needs

Choose a mentor who aligns with your individual needs. Some of my mentors have been men; but as a female entrepreneur, it has been the women leaders who came before me who ultimately showed me how to discover my leadership path.

Utilize your network

Don’t be afraid to ask around your personal or professional network to find the right mentor! I identified one of my mentors after hearing about her from a contact. She began as a total stranger and ended up helping me grow my business to nearly $10 million in five years.

Put in the effort to reap the reward

After tracking down my mentor, she told me to come visit her in Los Angeles in two days if I wanted to grow my business. You can bet I hopped on that plane! My reward was exponential business growth.

Bring something to the table

A good mentorship relationship goes both ways. Don’t just rely on powerful people to give you a leg up – utilize your own abilities to help them in return.

Choose someone who challenges you

Challenges push us to become the best versions of ourselves. While operating from the same philosophy and core values is paramount, it’s also vital for your mentor to always challenge you and push you to achieve your full potential.

Investments don’t always have to be monetary. Be intentional about investing in yourself now. God created you to THRIVE, not just to survive. Take the reins of your life and shape your own future.

Follow along in the 90-day NewVIEW NewCHALLENGE Facebook community, where we’re motivating one another to make positive change by investing in ourselves daily.

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