Tag Archives: mentor

Arm Yourself with the Best

iGnite team

The iGnite team during our 2015 summer boat outing

Point to Ponder:
Are the five people you spend the most time with causing you to give up on your dreams, or do they nurture your dreams and your life?

“If we surround ourselves with people who are successful, who are forward-moving, who are positive, who are focused on producing results, who will support us, it will challenge us to be more, do more and share more. If you surround yourself with people who will never let you settle for less than you can be, you have the greatest gift that anyone can hope for.”
– Anthony Robbins

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

It was just over nine years ago that my short, yet colorful life journey began making sense. All of the “who, why, and what for” puzzle pieces created a vivid and crystal clear picture of my purpose, which is when I created iGnite. The process wasn’t sophisticated nor predictable. Rather, it consisted of a few meetings with a dear friend and mentor at Starbucks where I revealed my heart’s desire and vision, coupled with challenging questions and critical thinking. Within a few weeks I answered his tough questions, though my business brainchild remained nameless. We both recognized that the name had to be something I loved, and that conveyed an inspirational, energetic and timeless message. As we tossed around different ideas he said, “it sounds like you want to ignite their lives!” “YES!”, I shouted. He smiled, I wrote it down, and the rest is history.

I love to share and reminisce about that story simply because of its spontaneous nature. There are also many more stories like this, all of which have provided me with unforeseeable lessons and growth opportunities over the past nine years. One of the most important pieces of advice that has provided me with the most personal and professional value, is “Be intentional with whom you surround yourself with, and arm yourself with the best.”

iGnite began the first Monday in October of 2006, and by February I had hired a professional business coach, Michelle Ewalt, who I worked with for three years. She was aware of all of my thoughts, plans, and ideas for iGnite, which for a one-woman show was a giant feat. She also knew that Russell and I wanted to have children one day, so during a meeting she suggested I spend my time determining the five, non-negotiable characteristics I wanted in an iGnite leader. I explained that I wasn’t interested in sharing this business with anyone else, simply because I couldn’t imagine another person loving and caring for our members and aligning with the vision as I did. But what she knew that I didn’t know at the time was this; “no branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain on the vine.” (John 15:4). I realize this verse has much greater meaning beyond my situation, but Michelle knew that on my own, the mission would not be fruitful. She also knew that if I wanted to see my personal goals come true, like having a family, forming a team was essential. And so, that exact day I identified and wrote down the five, non-negotiable characteristics of an iGnite team member. Within one year, the inspiring and wonderful women began appearing, and continue to, which currently make up what I think is the most beautiful, talented and special team in all of Austin and beyond. As a result, our membership is a mirror-image of our team, making up a spectacular community of love, health and kindness. The fruit is rich and we are blessed!

One of the unforeseeable lessons I learned is that in order for me to give my gift, which is the ability to personally and professionally give and be the best Neissa and pursue my dreams and passions, it can’t happen alone, and I must arm myself with the best. Per the words of the late world class track athlete Steve Prefontaine, “to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” I’ve decided that I don’t want to sacrifice my gift, and so with intention I not only arm myself with those who are the best at what they do (both personally and professionally), but I also arm myself with people who are better than me (personally and professionally) so I can up my game, grow, and become my best. As the late Jim Rohn says, “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”

This week I invite you to be intentional with me and arm yourself with the best so you don’t sacrifice your gift. And, so we can be our best, we must constantly be evaluating and asking ourselves the following questions from Jim Rohn: “Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question. Is that okay? Life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.”

Action Item:
Make a short list of the five characteristics of the people you want and need in your life that can help you become your best.

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Member Spotlight: Jenni Thurow

iGnite - Jenni ThurowRoots:
I am originally from Bryant, Arkansas (a small town outside of Little Rock), where I lived for 26 years. I moved to Austin when my husband, Trevor, and I got married 4 years ago.

Family Life:
My husband Trevor has lived in Austin a few years longer than I have. He has a business in East Austin building and designing furniture.

Current/Previous occupation:
I was introduced to iGnite over three years ago when I was a personal trainer at Mecca Gym and Spa. Rae Hill and Delaine Teeple–2 wonderful women I met as a result of working at Mecca–encouraged me to attend an iGnite event, and I have been hooked since. For the last year and a half I have been working as a pharmaceutical rep.

Biggest lesson learned through your iGnite experience:
iGnite has taught me to face my fears and overcome them. All of the great changes in my life since moving to Austin have been as a result of facing my fears. It is so much easier with a supportive group of women surrounding you and cheering you on.

Who inspires me the most:
My friend Lucinda who lives in Arkansas. She has been my mentor and role model since high school. She has overcome so many difficulties while continuing to trust in God for everything.

In my free time I like to:
Currently in my free time I am training for/running in sprint distance triathlons.

Who is your celebrity look alike?
I have had several people say I look like Anna Kendrick.

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How We Rise

We Rise by Lifting Others

Point to Ponder:
Is there someone you can mentor so they can learn and grow based on your life experience?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

In last week’s journal ‘Arm Yourself with the Best,’ I referenced one of my mentors who eight years ago consistently lent me his valuable time by listening to my vision for what would become iGnite. Aside from Russell and my father, he is my best male friend, and oddly we struck a friendship fourteen years ago when I was a college graduate. Upon meeting him, I was young with limited life experience and was making plans to move to New York City where “the real movers and shakers” lived- ha! Needless to say, I wasn’t looking for or wanting to be mentored, but thankfully he knew what most twenty-two-year-olds don’t know: life was about to get very hard and confusing, and I was on the verge of being chewed up and spit out by my idealistic views. He had also lived and worked in New York City for many years and knew exactly what I would soon be up against, yet he never squashed my dreams of becoming someone “important.” Instead, he lifted me up, provided me with unconditional guidance, great information and connected me with very helpful people.

My good friend and mentor is twenty-five years older than me, has lived and worked all over the world and has infinite amounts of wisdom that I love to soak up. And because he took interest in being my mentor at a very young age, I’ve reaped the immense value and benefits from having a mentor and have in fact become a mentor addict. From marriage mentors, mom mentors, professional mentors, spiritual mentors, financial mentors, style mentors, design mentors, photography mentors, gardening mentors…you name a mentor category and I have one!  In fact, if you are reading this journal you likely serve as one of my mentors, as I am in constant wisdom-seeking mode. Once, I thought I knew everything — but I quickly learned that I don’t know a darn thing. I now save myself a ton of time and misery by seeking guidance and wisdom from those who have trail-blazed the path before me and frankly, are much better than me.

A few week’s ago at church, one of our pastors Dave Sunde discussed the importance of spiritual transformation and linked it to having and being a mentor. He profoundly said, “A mentor is someone who won’t let you coast or make excuses, and we don’t need a job description to be a mentor. Mentoring is seeing our whole life as an offering to invest in others’ lives, and because we don’t grow in isolation, we not only need mentors in our lives, but we also need to be a mentor.”   I LOVE THAT!

Maybe there was a time when you thought having a mentor was for the young, and that one day you would outgrow the need of a mentor because you would have it all ‘figured out.’  I don’t think we are designed to ever have it all figured out, or else we wouldn’t need one another. We are designed for relationships and community, and we need the blessing of mentors to lift us up and remind us that we can do better and are made for greatness. We are also called to pay the blessing of mentorship forward and be a mentor to others. We all need lifting up, because that is HOW WE RISE!

I encourage you to check out the video below and see the life-changing impact that wise counsel and mentorship can create. (Tony Dungy also has a great book called The Mentor Leader)

Action Item:
Is there an area of your life you can benefit from having a mentor? If so, reach out and make it a point to connect with this person.


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How to Become Your Personal Best

Get Out There and Be Amazing

“Strive to be better. Strive to be more. Strive to be amazing!” Anonymous

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

Several years ago while working with a business coach, I was warned that as long as I was striving for both personal and professional growth it was likely that some of my relationships would shift. At first, the coach’s comment startled me, as I couldn’t imagine my life without my current (at the time) friendships. However, what she was really referring to, was that if I was committed to my being my best both personally and professionally, inevitably the law of attraction would come in to play and my relationships would change.

Then, not too long after, I read something similar in a book called The Slight Edge. Author Jeff Olson suggests that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This concept, while simple, is brilliant and forced me to contemplate exactly what I wanted my life to resemble. Between my marriage, profession, friendships, parenting, health, and spirituality, I realized that I needed to seek mentors and role models that have what I strive to become and attain. Therefore, I would need to spend as much time learning and absorbing wisdom from them as possible.

This concept is no different than what our parents cautioned us when they said, “we are the company we keep.”  I’ve always found it interesting that life’s wisdom and lessons don’t end after high school or college. Rather, we often get busy and forget that growth and becoming our best is something we must always pursue, or else our marriage, friendships, profession, health, spirituality and parenting skills (and more) become stagnant. In other words, we miss out on reaching our fullest potential, becoming the people we are created to be and pass up the greatness that life has to offer us and we have to offer life!

Finally, I read a fantastic article by Brenton Weyi. In it, Brenton suggests that in order to be our very best and be amazing, we must remember the following:

No one does it alone, i.e. it takes a village.

And, we must have three essential people in our lives at all times:

  1. A person who is older and more successful than you to learn from
  2. A person who is equal to you to exchange ideas with
  3. A person you can mentor and keep you energized

So, what do you say? Are you ready to stretch, grow and be amazing? If so, surround yourself with at least five other incredible people, become a mentor and begin your journey to becoming your best!

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Point To Ponder:
Are your close friends and relationships inhibiting your growth or are they a reflection of what your best life looks like?

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Action Item:
Determine the areas in your life where you’d like to experience growth and positive change. Then, identify the people who have the amazing characteristics and life you wish to attain. Learn from them and model their behaviors.

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