Role Models – Lighthouses to Success

I was recently listening to Grant Cardone’s audiobook of Be Obsessed or Be Average and one of the exercises he had readers do was to think about role models in your life.  This exercise is invaluable and everyone reading this should do it (I have listed several of the questions further down).  

Role models push us through any self-doubt we have.  They show that what we aspire to can be accomplished.  They act as a lighthouse and guide us where we want to be.  But in order for this to happen, we have to acknowledge that they are there and know which direction they are in.  

Below, we will ask ourselves who our role models are, why they are important, and I will recommend some of my role models if you are lost.

Who are your role models?

In Be Obsessed or Be Average, Grant Cardone has you identify five role models and answer the following questions about them:

  • What are those people doing/have done that I admire?
  • What do those individuals have in common with each other?
  • What quality do I wish I shared with that list?
  • What do I have in common with those people?

This exercise helps you identify specific individuals and, more importantly, gives you a greater sense of yourself.  It helps show that you are not so different from the greatest the world has ever seen.  You can recognize the similarities that you share today and what you want to grow into.

Don’t be overly critical of your role models

No one is perfect.  Someone can be the greatest father, mother, brother, or sister and be horrible with their finances.  Embrace the aspects you admire and ditch the rest.  We tend to have these romantic relationships with many individuals but when we start learning more about them we realize they weren’t so perfect.  Imperfection is the only true consistent between each and every one of us.

Why are role models important?

As mentioned earlier, they help us push through any self-doubt we have.  This self-doubt has been built up over our entire lives.  Sometimes opposition comes from enemies, but it most frequently comes from our friends and family.  They mean the best for us and don’t want us to fail.  Their concern, however, can limit us.

Role models show us all that is possible.  They show us that we can build massive businesses that become the best.  When Sam Walton was starting Wal-Mart, he had around 18 stores when Kmart had over 250!  How many Kmarts do you see around nowadays?  If you live near me, not many.  This is one example of hundreds that show anything you imagine can be accomplished.  You just need to stay focused, push forward, and learn from those that came before you.


  • If you want to see someone who started from the bottom, I recommend reading about Alexander Hamilton.  Throughout his life, Hamilton was a wizard of achievement, despite his childhood.  He studied vigorously about economics and politics while being an assistant to George Washington during the Revolutionary War.  While he was working on one commitment, he was constantly working towards his next and wasn’t stopped until he died in a duel.
  • If you struggle with your personal finances, look into Dave Ramsey’s many books.  Dave Ramsey is a great place to start because he is very pragmatic.  His systems of personal finance are designed for success, not necessarily the biggest financial impact.  Debt is paid off in ways that give you victories along the way and create peace of mind.  
  • If you struggle with productivity, look into David Allen.  His book helps you create systems of productivity that, over time, reduce the burden they have on your mind and your ability to perform.  His systems build the bridge between you and your goals.
  • If you aspire to build a great business, Sam Walton is the man to go to.  Walton is a personal hero of mine party because how humble he was.  He constantly looked to those around him to become the greatest physical discount retailer the planet has ever seen.  His ability to always seek improvement in business is inspiring.

These are just a few individuals who can be great role models in different areas of our lives.  Like everything in your life, your success comes down to personal responsibility and action.  You can read every book in the world, but if you don’t apply what you learn it is for nothing.  Even if you are pleased with your current place in life, chances are good that you aspire for more.  Whether you want to be more wealthy, be more productive, or you want it all, there are towering role models that you can look to.  You must look for them, learn from them, and work to surpass them.

Below, I included Amazon links to books about, or written by, each of the role models I recommended.  I do receive a small commission from any of these sales, but the price remains the same for you.

Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover

David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Sam Walton: Made in America

Grant Cardone’s Be Obsessed or Be Average


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