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A mentor can help guide you to success as an entrepreneur

J.J. Birden

In his newest book, “When Opportunity Knocks: 8 Surefire Ways to Take Advantage,” former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver J.J. Birden shares how the obstacles he faced, both on and off the field, helped prepare him for life as an entrepreneur.

No matter where you are in your personal or professional life, this book will help you see opportunities differently.

During my interview with Birden on a recent It’s Business Time, he shared one of my favorite Birden stories -– the time he got hit in the back of the head with the football by legendary quarterback Joe Montana.

As the story goes, Montana issued the play in the huddle and Birden was to be the primary receiver. The play was called, the ball was snapped and Birden began to run his route. However, before Birden could turn his head to catch the ball, the ball had already arrived and hit him in the back of the head.

Montana then called over the young receiver to explain how things worked in the NFL.

Montana told him that it was his job as quarterback to know the defenses, routes and to get the ball there before the defense did. He then explained to Birden that it was HIS job to run the route and always be ready for the ball.

As Birden tells it, it was a great learning moment for him.

He pointed out this is a good lesson for all entrepreneurs, especially those just starting out.

You can’t be jealous and envious of other people’s success. Instead, latch on to them and learn as much as you can. Birden also talked about how he applied the principle as a young receiver.

He always looked for the most experienced wide receivers on the team and learned what he could from them.

Mentorship is critical for a businessperson’s success. It is a great lesson for all of us looking to succeed in the business world.

Mike (Winey of Mike & Winey) is the host of It’s Business Time with Mike Weinstein, heard on Saturdays from 2-3 p.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. You can follow Mike on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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