Getting There: Summary of Gillian Zoe Segal’s book


Find out what mentorship means and how it feels like with Gillian Zoe Segal’s Getting There:  A Book of Mentors

How does your life look like? Having a safe, boring and unsatisfactory job, or consuming all your energy on building your dreams? Sitting on a chair and being a spectator, or fighting with the bulls in the arena. Accepting your life as it is and blaming the fate, or risking all for a dream?


MENTORSHIP / GETTING THERE

Success has no pattern. No right time. No right place. Only right people with the right mindset.


Getting There is written in the form of a series of mentorship interviews. But don’t expect to find in this book a succession of questions and answers. Representative mentors will tell you briefly about their road to success. About what they had to overcome, about their background, education level, financial struggles and especially about emotional boundaries. This book summary offers various examples that indicate the importance of mentorship. Not many people worldwide can express gratitude – referring to the value shared by their mentors. GetNugget reminds people before they embark upon an adventure, to arm themselves with knowledge and support.

In spite of needing an “Instruction Manual”; every person struggles to find a mentor who can answer all the questions. In other words, a good adviser is hard to find. The path to success never reflects a highway; it’s more like a one-way street with lots of back and forth until you work your way through. Getting There consists of tips shared by leaders in various fields, offering their expertise in an honest, straightforward way. They serve as role models, examples to follow. Use their tips to navigate through these difficult times in order to “GET THERE”.

In this article, you’ll find the main messages from your mentors in the summary of the book and some of the best nuggets (visual quotes from the book).

30 different stories coming from  30 different mentors: entrepreneurs, scientists, fitness experts, investor, artists, composers, chefs, architects, journalists, etc. 30 mentorship moments in ONE motivational book.

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Behind all these stories you’ll find out about one unbreakable truth: there is no secret to success except perseverance and hard work. Maybe these people might have some things in common, but education, money or the absence of was neither as important as continuously moving forward and strongly believing in their goals and dreams.

Before reading this book I’ve always thought that my mentors are born under a lucky star. Spoiled by fate, raised in the right place, at the right moment, just next to the right people. I was surprised to find out that I’m not the only one who’s thinking this way.

The author herself admits that she started the research for this book believing that her subjects achieved success overnight, that they came from privileged families or that they just got lucky.

But, maybe this is not only our fault. After all, this is the image perpetuated by the media.

As a natural result: we have the tendency to focus only on the current success and not really inquire about the years of hard work and financial struggle that sit behind these stories.

The book has plenty of examples meant to prove us that we are definitely wrong. I give you just a clue and let you discover more in her book.

Jeff Kinney – the author of Wimpy Kid Diary spent 8 years working on his first book and managed to get a book deal with a bit of help from the destiny. What matters is that he was always open to opportunities and talked about his passion a lot.

John Paul DeJoria was fired from three jobs and lived in his car on two dollars and fifty cents a day before founding his own company.

“If you don’t believe in what you are selling, then you are just a salesman.” (John Paul DeJoria – John Paul Mitchell Systems)

If you don’t believe in what you are selling, then you are just a salesman.

Jeff Koons worked for nine years after graduating art school to make enough money from his art to give up having a second job.

As you can see, there is no shortcut to success. Not even one single recipe.

Some people focused solely on their dream and lived a very poor life while working on it. Other maintained a regular job, but before or after work they would still pursue their passion every day.

Many of the mentors presented in this book faced the failure and bankruptcy several times before achieving success. Life is made out of successes and failures. You need to take them all as they come. You need to learn the lessons and play this game of mentorship.

The secret is not to let yourself impressed, influenced or affected by others. When you face failure, learn from what went wrong and keep moving forward. When you are successful, try to keep your cool and improve your ideas to make a stable foundation for your achievements.

An important lesson from this book is the idea that education is not a critical factor. Not because it is not important, but because the traditional system of education is so inflexible, that many of the people presented in this book, could not benefit from it.

Usually, people that want to become entrepreneurs or be self-employed, feel the need to achieve more practical skills. Schools teach us the lesson of memorizing a lot, learning about subjects that may have no relevance for the future.

Many of the successful people started their real education after graduating, by focusing on fields that were important and relevant for their future.

For example, Warren Buffett has a lot of trouble when he needed to speak in public. He was very shy and felt sick when he had to explain his idea to an audience. So he enrolled in a Dale Carnegie class and overcame this issue.

“One of the best things you can do in life is to surround yourself with people who are better than you are.” (Warren Buffett – investor)

surround yourself with people who are better than you are.

Success has no pattern. No right time. No right place. Only right people with the right mindset.

There are examples of people who searched for their true passion and meaning for a long time, switched from one field to another, but in the end, they became successful in the area that they were most passionate about.

Jillian Michaels became a fitness guru only after being fired from her job as a talent agent. Some of these people admit that at some point they wanted to pursue their passion, but because they were not encouraged by the others to do so, they usually chose the safe way. Eventually, when the desire and passion were so intense that they could no longer be satisfied with their regular jobs, they started working on their dreams again. This comes to show you that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

“For me, what I do is not about fitness. It’s about helping people rebuild their lives. Fitness is just the tool I use to empower them.” (Jillian Michaels – Fitness Expert)

For me, what I do is not about fitness.

The inventor of Spandex, Sara Blakely, kept her idea hidden from friends and family because she knew that they would not support her. In fact, her idea was laughed at and mocked by so many people that any other person would have given up. But not Sara. Instead of everything, she focused on coming up with a plan about how to manufacture the product and to improve it. It takes a lot of courage to listen to critiques and people that want to stop you and to still move forward with your head high and hopes even higher.

“I believe that defeat is life’s way of nudging you and letting you know you’re off course. There’s always some sort of hidden opportunity or lesson in each episode—a chance to build your character.” (Sara Blakely – Spanx inventor)

The inventor of organic yogurt will teach you that sometimes, your ideas might be ahead of their time and that you really need to search for the perfect moment to appear on the market. When he first started his business, he went bankrupt pretty fast because of two simple reasons.

  1. People were not really yogurt fans back in the days.

and

  1. Organic was such a new concept that people associated it with some odd things.

It all turned around for his business when a study came out and doctors started to talk about the importance of eating organic food. Because he did not give up, he was still around when these changes happened and he managed to get a good share of the market and become very successful. Most of us would have given up on that dream, especially after you see it leading to bankruptcy.

But this is another great idea that came up in this book: Failure should not be stigmatized.

And in Silicon Valley, for example, it is not. It is considered something normal that most of the start-ups will fail. What entrepreneurs need to do is to dust themselves up and move forward. But many people find it difficult after a failure to continue pursuing their dreams. Their families and friends are not supportive, they struggle financially and eventually end up just working on an average job.

In order to become successful, you need to understand that failure is a part of the equation.

This book provides great insights for people that want to pursue their dreams but sometimes struggle with day to day problems. You will see that most of the stories presented in the book have the same pattern of successes and failures and that the secret is to keep moving forward.


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