Craig has written 15 books. He has traveled the world as a guest lecturer and brand expert. He has secured some of the largest deals for one of the biggest marketing agencies on the planet. But if you had told him that 10 years ago, he never would have believed you.
I met Craig Heimbuch through a group of mutual friends at church. At the time, he worked for a local publication, interviewing the most powerful people in Cincinnati and writing insightful articles that received rave reviews. Craig was so passionate about his work, he would almost do it for free. Unfortunately, he practically was. Craig was underpaid and under-appreciated in an industry that was facing financial ruin.
On a summer afternoon, his boss told him that due to the decrease in sales of their publication, they had to cut his pay and increase his responsibilities. With a wife and two kids in tow, this was not “living the dream” for Craig by any stretch.
That same evening, Craig and I were at a gathering at a friends’ home. He told me about what had happened at work, and I knew I had to tell him the truth. That’s when I cornered him in the kitchen.
“You are being taken advantage of. You deserve better,” I told him.
And then I had an idea:
“Quit your job, come work for me, and we’ll figure it out.”
Craig is a brilliant writer and master-marketer, and I knew he wouldn’t work for The Curtis Zimmerman Group for long before another company would see his value.
In the meantime, he could help me with writing a book, producing blogs and creating content. So it happened. Craig jumped off the cliff, quit his job and came to work for me.
Within six weeks, he had been hired back part-time with his previous employer, working on his terms and getting paid his original salary. This allowed him to do freelance work, which more than doubled his previous earnings.
Here’s what you need to understand: Craig was going to stay at his old job. He felt like he was stuck. But in that moment, I saw more in Craig than he saw in himself: He reads 50 books a year. He learns Spanish on an app for fun. He’s scary smart. And I knew that he would succeed beyond his wildest imagination.
That was eight years ago. And like I said, Craig now works for one of the largest marketing companies on the planet, has traveled the world, is ghostwriting his 16th book, and just released another book of his own. I don’t take credit for any of that—but I do take credit for kicking him off the cliff of fear and self-doubt.
Craig affectionately refers to that evening in the kitchen as “the day a mime became my mentor, and one of the best, most important days of my life.”
But I’ll let you in on a secret: Craig is as much my mentor as I am his. He and I spent months together writing my book Life at Performance Level. As a ghostwriter, he masterfully captures the voice of a writer on a page. I’m happy to announce that Craig and I are currently working on my next book, and our mentor-mentee (or should I say “mentor-mentor”) relationship is growing deeper every year.
Craig and I have had hundreds of conversations about many different things—not just his career or my books. Any open, honest dialogue can’t help but bleed into all aspects of your life, and I firmly believe that vulnerability is as important with your mentor as sharing knowledge.
Truth-tellers are the best mentors in the world. Don’t go looking for a mentor who can stroke your ego; look for a mentor who will kick you off the cliff.
If you’re looking for someone to “kick you off a cliff”—whatever yours may be—let’s get together for a VIP Strategy Session.
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