We all want to grow.
And we want to grow fast.
To keep up with technology, scientific breakthroughs, and the ever-increasing pace of our world.
But in that race for growth, we skip important aspects of our growth curve.
We wind up learning the surface level ideas and don’t create deep knowledge for ourselves.
It’s like the student who crams information into their brain just to pass a test, then forgets all the information the moment the test is over (that was me!)
That doesn’t create growth or knowledge. It is a complete waste of time.
If you want to really develop a deep understanding of a topic, or a range of topics, there is a specific method you can instill.
This method guarantees you develop deep knowledge.
In fact, this method is used by many famous experts throughout time.
It’s the plus, minus, equals method.
“To become great, you need someone better you can learn from, someone lessor you can teach, & someone equal that can challenge you.” — Ken Shamrock, UFC Legend
This method, or system, means that you must have these 3 specific people in your life to cement your knowledge of a topic.
1. (PLUS) A mentor (think Yoda), that can teach and guide you
Without a mentor/coach to help and guide you on your growth journey, you are going at it blind. Can you eventually reach expertise level without one? Perhaps, but it will take exponentially longer. All great people throughout history had a mentor/coach. Alexander the Great had Aristotle, Albert Einstein had Max Talmey, and even Steve Jobs and the Google founders had John Campbell.
Why do you think all sports athletes have coaches their entire careers? Because they make you better even when you are an expert. Michael Jordan has Phil Jackson, Tom Brady has Bill Belichick, even Arnold Schwarzenegger had a stable of coaches/ mentors in his career.
On the journey to expert, having a mentor is the crucial first piece.
Ways you can find mentors is by networking and asking around, buying people cups of coffee, joining accelerators and other learning networks, or paying for 1 on 1 coaching.
For me personally, I try to always have mentors and coaches, for every area of my life. I joined the Entreprenuer Organization Accelerator program to get mentors and training on business, I get coaching in my fitness, and I even pay for personal 1 on 1 coaching in the areas of business and life in general.
Having a mentor will rapidly accelerate your growth.
But having a mentor is not enough, there are two more important parts of the system.
The second piece of the Plus, Equal, Minus method is:
2. (Equal) A peer that you can train and develop with
Like a sparring partner, a peer that is on the same level as you will push you to grow. They will help you get through the frustrating dips that assuredly come with trying to accomplish anything. This shared journey is an important part of the growth process. We all need other people in the trenches with us, to push us to be better.
Another benefit of having peers at the same level as you is that it rapidly speeds up your growth curve. You can share knowledge, breakthroughs, mistakes, and small lessons. Instead of growing alone, you can grow together.
How do you find like-minded peers?
– Join online communities that are on your topic if interest
– join local communities and actually go to events on the topic
– join peer to peer mastermind groups (like Junto Global)
– post your lessons and interests online, you will attract others that have the same interests.
Okay, so you have a peer and a mentor which will absolutely accelerate your growth. But you to truly cement your knowledge, you need another piece.
The third piece of the plus, equal, minus method is:
3. (Minus) – A mentee that you can teach what you are learning.
“If you can‘t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
If you ever taught someone something, you know that through teaching, you learn a topic so much deeper and so much faster.
Teaching forces you to break down your understanding into small details that are digestible and easy to understand.
Once you can do that, you have a full understanding of a topic.
Not only does having a mentee help you grow faster, but it also feels good to give back. As your mentors did for you, you now have the opportunity to help someone who is where you were. Even if that’s just a few steps ahead, it means a lot.
A quick reach out to communities, groups, and your friends can get you a mentee rather quickly.
Having all three of these people will ensure you are developing not just a surface level understanding of concepts, but are actually perfecting them.
You are becoming an expert.
What piece of this puzzle is missing in your life right now?
What specific action can you take to fill that missing piece this week?