Last week, I had the opportunity to fight a 9th-degree black belt. Of course, when I say fight, I really mean grapple (wrestling on the ground) and he was training me, thus being very VERY nice. Even so, I left having learned a lot and with a sore neck.

Similarly, I participate in a Mastermind Group – a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who meet monthly to share their successes and challenges and get advice from each other. I actually put this Mastermind Group together and purposefully invited several individuals who are WAY out of my league when it comes to business acumen.

Both of these situations result in me leaving a little humbled and sore, but with a wealth of knowledge and training that simply could not be gained in any other way. In order to reach your potential, you must reach beyond your capability and stretch yourself. An excellent way to do this is to be around and train with others far more expert than yourself. In my Jiu Jitsu class, I learn by sparring with others in a belt class above my own (which is everyone at the moment :) ). In business, I try to get myself around people who are much more successful than I currently am (who are willing to work with me). I bring what I have to offer too, so it’s not all me taking from the relationship, but it’s heavily weighted in my favor.

I think of this in the following way: If I want to reach level 10 and I am at level 5, I should work with someone who is around level 12+. This will show me how easy/simple/possible it is to get to level 10. A level 12 person is finessing level 10 material. They make it look easy and obvious. That inspires me to achieve that level also. I don’t want just the mechanics from a level 10 person – I want to do level 10 with ease and style. So – surrounding myself with people better than me makes me a better person.

What does this have to do with money?

Its all about education and the application thereof. I spent time learning about how to manage money, and observing people and asking questions of those who did it very well. I learned that managing money is NOT tedious and boring, IS necessary, and SHOULD be done regularly. The results of this action speak for themselves. Anyone who is independently wealthy knows how to manage their money well, or hires someone to do that. I also study the tools they use and seek input from them on CalendarBudget.

Now I get input from a wide range of people on the CalendarBudget Forum.

How do you get yourself to a higher level?