Good day to you fellow grower,
I wanted to share a couple of little pointers re; gaining a mentor.
Ever since I ‘woke up’ (around 4 years ago), and am on my journey of success, I have been on the constant look out to find the best mentors I can.
Mentors are anywhere you look. Some are paid, but a lot of mine have been ‘free’ (comes with terms and conditions mind you).
Some seem to have just ‘popped’ into my life, others I have actively seeked out and hunted down.
Yes, I literally write a letter to myself that I will have lunch or dinner with X. (as you will see below)
And then I take action on that.
It’s exactly how I connected with one of the best industry coaches in Australia (he works 250 days of the year…and is literally booked out 250 days of the year IN ADVANCE..with a waiting list.)
Let’s go through the process I used to set that up so you might be able to replicate it.
I heard this coach through my girlfriend at the time who was receiving training at her company by him. She mentioned how much she loved the first Thursday of the month because this guy came in and shared advice, books, quotes and inspiration.
This resonated with me deeply and I said to her…”I’m going to meet him.”
Of course she laughed…but I was dead serious.
She told me I was crazy and how in demand this guy was…”Why would he want lunch with you, Hayden?”
Yet, here is the EXACT process I used to get in touch with him.
Step 1: Researched him further (web, facebook, signed up to his emails)
Step 2: Found his highest priority and what he does for fun.
Step 3: Discovered least path to resistance to contact (email in this case)
Step 4: Sent email with the following:
– Introduced myself
– Pay compliment on his work and what it has done for me (I had read a couple of books he had recommended which really helped so this was genuine)
– Request for quick coffee or catch up next time he is in or around Melbourne
– Happy to pay for time/travel if required
– A reference to what he does for fun (showing I did my research) and linked that to something I did (creating connection).
Here is what I didn’t include:
– Dropped names (I didn’t want to make him feel obliged just because he knew my gf through the training company)
– I didn’t ask to ‘pick his brain’..something you should NEVER ask to do….it’s a pet hate for anyone in the service/information space.
– I wasn’t pushy…I just left it completely open if he wanted to speak further.
Step 5: Wait…be patient and if it happens, it happens.
(Turns out it was good…!)
Around 2 months later got a reply, saying he was busy until after Easter, but I should follow up with his assistant in June for a light lunch (yes, 3 months after his reply email..which was 5 months after I sent my first one).
So I set an appointment in my own diary with myself to follow up. (highly recommend doing this…I imagine only 25% would follow up after someone saying this…but fortune favours the persistent!)
After I got the calendar reminder, I teed up a time through his assistant.
To date upon writing this, We have had around 6 or so dinners in 18 months. Some are long (3 hours), some are short (90 minutes).
Now….I mentioned at the start of this post that there are terms and conditions to these ‘mentorship dinners’. These are as follows:
– I always respond as quickly as I can if he asks if I am free for dinner (and I clear my schedule…!)
– I always pay. I am getting access to him (normally I assume this is in the range of $500-1000 per hour) so a $60-$100 food bill is insanely cheap.
– I always follow up after our meeting with an email saying thank-you (good manners) and anything I said I’d follow up on.
– I always take action and am always hungry to learn.
– I always take 100% responsibility for myself. If he offers some advice, and I blindly take it..which I have previously done, and it results in a pain (ie: me buying something not aligned with my values because he recommended I should consider it). I don’t get upset with him and blame him. It’s my fault. 100% accountability.
– I am always prepared to take a hit. Sometimes I leave with my ego bruised and bashed up. Other times I am pumped for the future. But each time I grow.
This is the price to pay.
If you want proper coaching, you need to be prepared for both good hits and bad hits. Any coach who blows smoke up your ass only is probably just hoping to keep you happy so you continue paying.
Next, before you blast away and fire off emails to potential mentors, I wanted to share with you my 3 rules I would recommend when choosing a mentor.
I advise when you do so, they have at least 2/3 of the following. (3/3 is a bonus, 1/3 is not enough)
1. They’ve already done what you want to do.
2. They’ve achieved a high level of success in a certain field.
3. They have a track record of results.
And that’s the advice I wanted to share with you and believe will have a great impact with you.
There are just too many snake oil-peddlers out there who call themselves a coach, mentor, advisor etc and might simply be looking to take your money.
Mentors are terrific and a huge source of growth, and I advise you have 1-2 in your life at any one time.