Use Mentors: Business Lesson #10

One of my most important business lessons – use mentors who are experts in the areas in which I want to move forward. I have had – and continue to have – many mentors for a variety of functions.


Veronica was the first. When I started playing with image consulting in 1984, I had no idea where it would lead. Veronica was my colour analysis teacher, and she encouraged me to develop a training program to teach people to become image consultants. She helped me develop the plan, and guided me through the steps.

But I was terrified of speaking in front of a group!  So every night in bed before I fell asleep I entered my “fantasy world’ where all things are possible. I imagined that I was a transformational, entertaining, and magnetic trainer and that the people in my audience received a value that vastly exceeded their expectations. I imagined every detail – how I would feel, look, move, sound, speak, what I would say, and how the audience would respond.  (Later I found out this process is called “creative visualization”.)

The reality was magical and transformational. When I was conducting the training, I had ‘been there, done that’ so often in my mind, that it felt completely natural and familiar. When we left the training room at the completion, each one of us was different than when we had walked in just 3 days earlier. I realized that this work was much bigger than I thought.  We were all bigger than we thought. This beginning led me to train thousands of people in hundreds of training, around the globe.

It was from Veronica that I also learned life-long success practices, such as writing down goals. I naively wrote down such things as “be interviewed on TV and radio and in magazines and newspapers”. When it all happened within months, I was hooked on goal setting. Now, this has led me to be the international Past-President of the Association of Image Consultants International, an author, and a recipient of the Award of Excellence.

I was achieving goals beyond my expectations, but something was missing.


The second person to change my life was Robert. [Kiyosaki many years later wrote the best-selling book Rich Dad Poor Dad.]  His “Money and You” 3-day program catapulted me into what felt like a different universe. I started an intentional process of personal development and spiritual enlightenment – letting go of judgments and limitations – moving into positive expectations and faith. As I stepped more into my personal power, my circle of influence expanded, and my personal and professional relationships became deeper, richer, and easier.

I was now being of service worldwide, but I realized I had some serious income blocks to shift through.


My next mentor was Steve. Steve had made millions in business and decided he wanted to help other entrepreneurs do the same. When Steve heard my financial goal, he said “it’s doable now”. I gave him many valid reasons why it wasn’t, and he wouldn’t listen to any of what he called “excuses”. For each one he simply said, “In your head, that’s true”. Then he asked me the big question. “What amount would it really scare you to make?”

Steve led me through a series of exercises. First, I had to calculate the income required (including income tax) for my ideal lifestyle. The shock was – my income goal wasn’t big enough!  I now opened my mind to allow a higher level of prosperity.

Next, I had to interview at least 2 people related to my industry that was already at my desired financial level, to find out what made the difference for them. In the past, I had looked at these people in awe and thought of myself as undeserving of their attention. The lights went on – we were all the same! They had just taken steps that I had not yet applied. When we get “there”, it just becomes another “here”.

Within 3 weeks of starting work with Steve, I received a speaking contract that matched my ‘scary’ income. Within 3 months my income was tripled, and I surpassed my financial goal within the year.

What’s next? I now use mentors and teachers who are international experts to help me take my business to the next and highest levels of impact, service, and financial freedom.

Karen Brunger is President of International Image Institute Inc. and a Past-President of the Association of Image Consultants International

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