Often times I’m asked, “Matt will you mentor me?” The email often continues with a sad story of financial loss, a troubled life, or other strange burden. In most cases, they are legitimate needs and hurts from kind hearted people. Sometimes, the email is rude and the person attempts to manipulate me. Basically, they tell me that if I am really a good person and really care about people, I will gladly say yes and provide training or marketing services for FREE. In today’s post, I’ll share with you how you can land unlimited mentors and become an expert at anything in less than 24 months.
Who’s Responsibility is Mentoring Anyway?
When I’m asked to mentor someone or provide marketing services for FREE, I say “NO”, 100% of the time. No need to pray about it, it is just an emphatic and automatic NO! Here’s why. People who ask for a free hand are sort of like, “Hey, you’re winning already. Quit being so greedy and share a piece of the pie with me.” I call it what it is! (Pure B.S.) What I’m about to say might shock you. There is ZERO responsibility on the MENTOR. None. Zero. Zilch! One hundred percent of the responsibility, yes everything is on the one who wants to be mentored. It might sound unfair, cruel, or even rude, but hear me out on this and then decide for yourself.
When people ask me to be their marketing mentor and share their sad stories, my heart goes out to them. It really does. Not because their lack of money, but because they lack belief in themselves that they could learn. The best way to explain this is to share with you a few of my many mentors.
My List of Mentors
Dean Hawkins – How to be a father to little girls
Louis Pratile – How to love people and walk as a Christian
John Maxwell – How to lead people
Patrick Lencioni – How to be the CEO of a company
Michael Hyatt – How to build a platform
Dave Ramsey – How to manage my finances
Rocky Tannihill – How to be a people person
Hoyle Rymer – How to manage our company finances
Dan Kennedy – How to understand direct response marketing
Seth Godin – How to understand marketing psychology
Matt, who are all of these guys?
You’ll notice that some of these people don’t have links with their names. They are not famous. They are seemingly ordinary. However, these are the people I know personally and respect their lives. I watch them. I listen to them. I try to learn from their actions. Dean is my father-in-law who taught me how to love my two little girls. Louis is my step-dad who taught me how to be a Christian with my heart, not with my head. Rocky Tannihill taught me that relationships matter more than achievement. Hoyle taught me that writing a business plan is easy, getting a business moving takes WORK. The rest of these guys? Let’s just say they don’t have my cell phone on speed dial. While they DO NOT KNOW ME, they are STILL MY MENTORS all the same.
The point I’m making here is that there are people all around you that are role models. You don’t have to look far for success as it sticks out like a sore thumb. You already have people in your life that can mentor you. All you need to do is watch them and build a relationship. Ask them if you can have coffee or hang out for a few minutes. There are guys like that all over the world and you can ask for help. But what about a specialty type of mentoring? Such as marketing. How do you get specialty mentoring?
5 Ways to be Mentored by People You Don’t Know
1. Read their Books – If you don’t like to read, buy a Kindle and have it read aloud to you. Purchase audio books for the blind. The point is, if you’re asking an expert to mentor you, you should read all of their books. In most cases, their books will give you a good 50% – 80% of their knowledge on a subject. Books are FREE if you have a library card.
2. Discover Online Content – Podcasts, blogs, downloadable ebooks and so much more are available online. Yes, for FREE. Most of the experts, especially marketing guys, have loads of FREE content online. Turn off the TV and start downloading content to read.
3. Buy their Resources – Yes, if you can afford to, buy something from them. For example, recently I purchased an audio series from Michael Hyatt on Getting Published. It was about 8 hours long and filled with loads of great information. Sitting down with Michael and having him tell me the same thing would probably cost me $10K+ if it was just me. The course cost only $300.00 and was well worth it to learn about the book publishing business. Over the years, I’ve literally spent over $20,000.00 on information products. That is NOT an exaggeration either, it is probably higher than that if I tallied all the receipts. Buying information products from thought leaders is a very cheap way to learn in my opinion.
4. Coaching or Training Seminars – These are not free either, but they are invaluable if you want access to a person and to have them answer questions. For many years, I was a part of Dan Kennedy’s monthly mentoring package which sent me CDs and other helpful information. I continue to train and coach myself through going to seminars, webinars, and learning.
5. Pay for One-on-One Consulting – Lastly, and most expensively, you can request one-on-one consulting. It is weird how some people can’t imagine spending $200 an hour to pick someone’s brain. As a business owner, I have done this often with accountants and attorneys. This should normally be done last, after you’ve read everything and consumed everything the mentor offers. By this time, you’re probably making enough money to pay their premium price for help.
What I find is that most people wanting me to train them or help them with their marketing, skip all the way to number 5, but want my time for free. They don’t read my blog posts, they don’t read content on our website, they haven’t watched my free videos, and yet they want me to help them for free. I say “no” because they are really wanting to steal from me. Yes, I said steal. They are stealing away my time from being a dad, husband, son, and friend.
Paying Your Dues and Getting Paid
It is important to remember there is a process to growth. You start off as a seedling. You’re a greenhorn that’s still wet behind the ears. I am still a greenhorn in lots of areas in my life. I don’t let that offend me or deter me from growing, instead I know this is precisely why I need mentors. A mentor isn’t a “hero” or “God Like” person, no they are simply someone who is a little further along than I am. I pay my dues every day by reading what they write, watching them, and buying their stuff. I spend money on flights to travel to their locations to learn. I watch how they handle situations. I watch how they handle people. I soak it all in, a day at a time.
What happens over time is pretty amazing. I change. I learn and become an expert in my own right. Soon, people come along and ask me to mentor them. I’m blessed to be a mentor to many businesses and consultants who are learning marketing. That doesn’t mean I’ve arrived. The truth is, I never will arrive. You won’t either. We all need to keep growing and pushing forward paying our dues.
I’d love to hear from you. Can you think of a time you paid for help and that help paid you back in your life? Start the conversation below.