Over and over and over again, I kept hearing accolades about “The King's Speech” and how it won an Oscar award for best picture, director, screenplay and actor. Since this was not a typical movie I'd watch, I only recently saw it. Toward the middle, I began to warm to the movie. By the end, I was almost ready to shed a tear.
After the move I reflected on my own career and thought—who is my Lionel Logue? Lionel was the king's speech therapist who helped him overcome a stammer. Who is the person in my life who has helped me along?
Every successful business owner has a Lionel in their life. Someone, who despite the entrepreneur’s harshest rejection and dower attitude, continues to push them along. If you don’t have one of these people in your life— get one. Often times, they’re called a business coach, sometimes a life coach. I’ve even heard leadership expert. Whatever you call them—get one—they are invaluable. Here is why:
1. You have enough friends and cheerleaders who will say great things to you
Your Lionel lives in the real world and will give you frank advice—no matter how it might hurt you at that moment.
2. Sometimes you need to stop doing things the same way everyone else is doing things
Your Lionel will help you see solutions to growing your business—be they conventional or unconventional.
3. The obvious solution is not necessarily the best or only solution
King George wanted Lionel to just focus on physical exercises. Lionel knew that there was more, much more to King George’s speech impediment than the physical—there were deep emotional scars that were largely to blame for his stammer.
4. Lionel’s have real world experience that traditional gurus might not have
There are lots of great coaches, gurus, experts and pundits around. Ensure that you have a Lionel who knows their craft and has years of personal experience to help you grow your business.
5. Your friends and closest adviser might be well intentioned, but horribly wrong
Since Lionel was not the king's friend he was able to speak to him as a regular guy and even a friend. Sometimes you need to separate yourself from your closest friends—no matter how well intentioned they might be.
6. Your comfort zone needs to be disrupted
Change is good. Lionel had a few ground rules for his clients—one of which was all consulting takes place in Lionel’s office. Maybe you are used to doing things the same way all the time—this could be part of the problem.
“The King's Speech” should teach every entrepreneur two things: No matter how skilled you are, you need people in your life who can help make you better; No matter how many faults you have, there are people in your life who can help you overcome these faults.
Besides my wonderful parents and my wife, my mentors include:
Yacov Wrocherinsky of Infinity Info Systems who has given his time to me and helped me think through many tough decisions.
“Mr. Nathan” (who’s company affiliation will remain private) who has been a shoulder to cry on, ear to speak to and mouth to learn from for many years.
Jeff Silbert of Order of Magnitude who guided me through various aspects of my business growth and taught me about finance.
I also fondly think of serial entrepreneur and Inc. magazine columnist Norm Brodsky, who has granted me (and hundreds of others) time with him in his Brooklyn offices. Each meeting is an educational experience.
Although Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki are not my mentors, they first inspired me to produce events, when I saw them onstage some time around 2000. Guy produced a Garage.com bootcamp for startups and Seth was one of the speakers. At the conclusion of the two-day event, I was inspired to produce great events, like Guy Kawaski did, and speak like Seth Godin.