who is your jedi knight?

The founders of Infusionsoft recently interviewed Pamela Slim, champion of small businesses growth and the author of ‘Body of Work’.

In the interview she talked about her “Jedi Knights”.

These are the people she admired and sought to learn from as she built her career.

This got me thinking about how important it is to seek out and learn from people who are at the top of their game in the field you’re in (or want to get into).

When my son was 5 years old, his class was asked to draw pictures of who they wanted to be when they grew up.

Many of his classmates drew pictures of doctors, fighter pilots, nurses, teachers…my son drew a picture of a Jedi Knight, titled ‘Jedi Nit’.

Cool, I thought. We need more Jedi Nits!

I frequently give this advice to my clients who want to change career or make a radical move: find your Jedi Knights.

My own Jedi Knight spurred me on to write a book; something I thought I’d never do, and something my old English teacher would certainly be surprised about.

At my academic grammar school, my English teacher was the formidable Miss Carwick and unless you were absolutely brilliant at English you were treated to her withering looks and acidic comments.

I admit the standard was pretty high - my classmates included Guardian supremo Kath Viner - but the experience left me believing that unless you were a *fantastic* writer you could never be an author, and certainly never get published.

When I trained to be a career coach 16 years ago one book that was getting lots of attention in the press was ‘The Work We Were Born to Do: Find the Work You Love, Love the Work You Do’ by Nick Williams.

I approached Nick and asked him if he could spare 30 minutes to meet for a coffee to tell me how he wrote the book.

Not expecting this exalted author to say yes, I was surprised and delighted when he did!

He was very humble and actually quite unassuming - Jedi Knight characteristics?

Nick encouraged me to write and I thought, “Well, maybe you don’t need to be super confident, or have vast writing experience, to get published. Maybe I can do this?”

The second edition of ‘Taking Charge of your Career’ will be published early next year. But if hadn't met my Jedi Knight and gained his encouragement, the whole book thing may never have happened for me.

So as we start racing towards 2017, what do you want to achieve next year?

Who are your Jedi Knights?

Can you reach out to them?

As a starting point, can you research them?

They don’t even have to be doing exactly what you want to do, the book I co-wrote was very different from Nick’s book, but meeting him definitely inspired me to do something I never thought I would be able to do.

Never underestimate the power of meeting someone who has done what you want to do.