Probably one of my biggest mistakes was that for the first several years after college, I thought I knew everything I needed to know. I went out into the world not knowing what to expect other than entering the workforce. My whole idea of getting ahead was to earn more money, work more, or just keep working harder. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of seeing James Malinchak (of ABC’s Secret Millionaire) speak in Dallas. He was quoting Coach John Wooden of UCLA fame, saying: “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.” It’s funny how our parents or we as parents make sure our children have the best teachers and coaches. My grandson, for example, has a soccer and a lacrosse coach. Many of us, when we were young, even had a tutor for math or reading. Yet when we graduate, we feel that we no longer need to keep on reading and learning, let alone asking for help or any real guidance/coaching. The majority of us just go it alone. So, I’m listening to James Malinchak, who by the way is an incredible speaker, tell all of these amazing short stories, filled with great ideas and gems of wisdom, in the most colorful way. Related: Real Estate Coaching or Mentorship: As a Newbie, Which is Right for You? One of his short stories was about how he was once chatting with the Oscar-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins. He said that even while he was sitting next to him, all he could think about was Hannibal Lector. That’s how good of an actor Anthony Hopkins truly is. He asked Sir Anthony if he had a coach, to which Hopkins said, “No, I have seven coaches.” He then went on to list them (an acting coach, a speech coach, a Broadway coach, etc.). So, How Come We Don’t Always Have a Coach? Whenever I’m around the best of the best, they all seem to have coaches. I guess there are a lot of good reasons to get an outside opinion, or 30,000 foot view, on how we’re doing. It can also be someone to hold us accountable. Sometimes we’re just too close to the situation. My partners and I, for example, have a business coach, and she’s great, especially when we’re debating amongst ourselves what we should be doing. She’s the perfect sounding board. Related: How Life Coaching has Helped Improve My Business and Life A mentor or coach can not only give you positive reinforcement, but can also keep you on track toward achieving your goals. In the past few years, I’ve had some really good mentors and coaches. Although I’ve invested a significant amount of time and money with some, to be quite honest, their experience and knowledge has always been well worth it. Then James Malinchak said, “Is what you’re thinking about doing right now contributing to your freedom or contaminating it?” What a great question for myself and others to ponder. As we all take on more and more things in life, are these really things that are going to lead us to where we want to go? Conclusion That day, I learned a valuable lesson from a great coach. Later, I figured out that James was a speech coach. Although he wasn’t selling anything that day directly, he gave one hell of a speech and demonstrated the true value of what a good coach could do for you. Maybe the best form of marketing is really just demonstrating one’s own success in the space. So, do you have a coach in your life? How do you decide which coach to hire?