THE BLOG
08/01/2014 07:35 pm ET Updated Sep 09, 2014

Conversations With Leaders: Why Everyone Needs a Coach

We should all study successful people. From a very early age, I read about the lives of those who were able to influence others and achieve success in life. My spare time was spent watching wealthy persons being interviewed and trying to identify the common traits they all possessed. The reason I did this was I wanted to find out what was it that made the wealthy and successful different from everyone else.

How do successful people think, act, behave and why? These were all questions I set out to answer. I thought that if I studied the lives of thought leaders and tycoons I would be able to understand how they created their success, and be able to use their success formula for myself. The thing about studying successful people is, you can duplicate and scale their successes as long as you execute their formula faithfully.

I recently had an opportunity to meet and interview Coach Michael Burt, the author of Zebras and Cheetahs: How. Coach Burt is a speaker and consultant to several entrepreneurs and businesses and like me Coach Burt believes that everybody needs a coach in life. He was kind enough to allow me to share with you the questions I asked him and the responses he gave me.

Q: What do you know now that you wish you knew as a teenager?

A: Understanding how businesses really work, assets and liabilities and how to become a true entrepreneur. I didn't learn many of these skills until later in life which cost me valuable time and energy toward building a successful business and enterprise.

Q: How would you define success?

A: I've always defined success as the continual expansion of happiness and the dominant pursuit of worthy goals. I'm most successful when I working toward self-actualizing and helping others self-actualize.

Q: What's been the pinnacle movement for you?

A: In my first career it was winning a championship and building something from nothing. For me now it is building a national and international platform and becoming a global thought leader, similar to the people I grew up studying.

Q: Your book, Zebras and Cheetahs speaks about differentiating yourself in the world so you can stand out. How can teenagers standout in their own lives?

A: The key to standing out in a saturated and commoditized world is to do three things:

1) Find what makes you unique (talents, skills, mindsets, capacities)

2) Package what makes you unique (clear position in the market around your uniqueness or special)

3) Sell that special (get attention for what you have by knowing who deeply values it and would pay for it).

Most of our uniqueness was "factory installed" in us at birth and now we just have to find it, package it and sell it. We need to look back into our past experiences, past struggles, past mentors, past education and overall past to set us up for a bigger future.

Q: At what point did you realize you wanted to become an entrepreneur?

A: In my late 20's I started to feel the entrepreneurial nudge. I wanted time, freedom and money and my role as a women's basketball coach couldn't offer me any of the three. By studying the great entrepreneurs in the world I knew I wanted to be one of them. An entrepreneur takes lower level resources to higher level of productivity and that's what I've been doing my whole life. Now I get compensated for it.

Q: How did you find mentors and develop relations with them over the course of your career? What would you say their impact on you has been?

A: I believe that everybody needs a coach in life so I've actively used mentors and coaches my entire career. They accelerate your growth and keep you out of potholes that the stubborn and unenlightened always fall in to. Their impact has shaped and moulded me into the entrepreneur I am today. Each one, in their own way has been vital to my outlook, paradigms and hustle.

Q: What is your advice for teens with business ideas on how to act and be taken as seriously by potential investors?

A: It's never too early to get started. There is power in taking action. People seldom care today about age; they just want results. I would say to spend lots of time with talent honing your skills, inventions and staying enlightened. I would also say that how you package up your ideas have a huge impact on how serious other people take you.

Q: Are there any final pearls of wisdom you'll like to share?

A: Yes, 3 things: It's not magic, it's just monotony. You can't reach your own potential without the help of someone pushing you. I've never met a lazy 'Person of Interest'. Work hard and treat your business world class and others will start to as well.