When you’re trying to find the right mentor, there is no one-size-fits-all. You must know who you are and know who they are, and see if you guys are compatible. That also goes into your goals or preferences. What do you really want? To stay in integrity and in authenticity, especially if you’re trying to learn something from someone, you want to find someone who knows your goals, who has had your goals, and who has or at least has had your preferences so you guys can communicate in a way that resonates with you so that you can absorb the most and get the most out of it. You probably won’t find an awesome mentor for free, so you want to make sure that you’re choosing the right one. That’s all. Just be responsible, know who you are, and make sure that you guys are in alignment with each other.
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How To Find The Right Mentor
I hope that you are ready for probably one of the most powerful and impactful episodes that we’ll be delivering to you thus far. In this episode we want to help give perspective into and some insight and direction in finding powerful mentors, people that can support your outcomes and not just people who can just paint a pretty picture of what it is you want and don’t have the actual tools or strategies to help you get there. As we dive into this episode, Dan and I will both be sharing some stories about past experiences. We can share with you some horror stories along with strategies and technologies that we’ve picked up along the way to help identify how to find a mentor that will meet you where you are, that has what you need, and that isn’t just flash.
In this episode we’re going to be telling it like it is and talking about some confrontational things. If you find that we are describing you in this, not because we’re talking about you but we’re describing you like you’ve done some of these things in here, then instead of allowing yourself to fall into anger or defensiveness or attacking us or any of these low vibe responses, be better. Rise up. If you fall into any one of these categories, your clients know it, your clients feel it, and they’re talking about it behind your back, if not straight up to your face and online. You will do yourself a favor by working on these issues and growing because if you are a coach, if you are in the position of being someone’s mentor, you owe it to them. It is your responsibility to continue to grow, to continue to find and face whatever is going on in you that might yet be holding you back from being your very best self and growing and evolving always.
It’s something that’s absolutely critical. Sophie and I are also always on the path. I have about four coaches that I’m working with who also tell it to me like it is and put up a mirror to my face so I can see what I’m doing and I can see who I am when I’m not aware of it so that I can evolve and I can serve my clients, so I can serve you even better. At no time is this meant to be an attack, but this could be a mirror that you haven’t yet looked at. In that case, it’s time to do the work.
One of the first things that we can dive in here is this concept of fake gurus. The other word that I would use to describe this is shiny. You’re manipulated or blindsided by the shininess of something. Dan, you and I can both happily speak to this one where you’re promised one thing and then you spend all this money and you get in there and you’re like, “This is one-tenth of what I was promised. Where is the other 90% of this?” This is something that, unfortunately, is a very real thing in the personal development, business, and entrepreneurial world. You’re put so much on the shiny object of like, “They have a pretty website and they’ve got all these cool colors. They must be legit.”
It’s interesting when you start to look at what is a brand. Speaking from my perspective of things, what I’ve come to find is that a brand isn’t about the logo or the website or the pretty colors, although that can be a great way to look at things. More than anything, it’s about their reputation, the results and the relationships that that brand has been able to establish for itself. When I say brand, it can be a company or an individual. This is important.
One of the first things that I always look for whenever I’m going to work with somebody from this point forward in my life is, “What’s their reputation online and offline?” Who are people that they have relationships with that I either know personally or that I know somebody knows of them that can share with me unbiased opinions, not just a twenty-second blurb or a pasted testimonial, but a real person that I can speak to that has real words? Getting clear on what’s this person’s reputation, what are the results that they actually deliver, not just the, “Here’s this big pretty picture.” That’s not very clear or specific.
It is in the self-development world all over because people sometimes confuse feeling good for real results. There are a lot of people who do these events and they charge wild amounts of money. I’ve seen a couple of products that my friends spent a lot of money on. We went over what was in it and I saw a session or two and it had no content at all. It just feels good. It was just stories. It was a little dose of motivation or whatever. If you’ve listened to this podcast before, you know how I feel about motivation. Spiritual cup of coffee is great for a little while, then wears off. It’s not useful. You want to find someone who has an amazing reputation of getting lasting, tangible results, not just feel good because that can become a problem. You can get addicted to that.
When we talk about how people can become addicted to their emotions, that’s also somewhere in the toolkit in one of the first ten episodes, but when you have one of these fake gurus and they have followings but all they’re offering is little doses of feel goods and those wear off, their followings feel like, “I’ve got to go back. I’ve got to see what they’re doing. I’ve got to buy some more stuff,” or “Here is a new program. I’ll feel even better with that.” Because they aren’t learning how to feel good on their own for themselves, there is this dependence that’s being built and that is pure manipulation, whether it’s conscious or unconscious. Whether the people doing this are aware that they’re doing this consciously or not, it’s manipulation. Check out their reputation, see if you have any shared contacts that you can speak frankly with and look for real, tangible, measurable results. Anything other than that, you might be getting a fake guru.
[Tweet “Don’t model a fake guru, but if you have a rock star mentor, start bottling them.”]
This is still a little bit of a sore spot for me. It’s something that I’m passionate about. It was just getting clear. One of the other things that I look for is if people are promising like this and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If people aren’t willing to have the honest conversation with you and sit down and feel into it and they’re just, “We can get you to six figures in six weeks. No problem.” When you’re starting with no business model or strategy whatsoever, you need to start looking at that. You need to look into it honestly. What are the legitimate results? One of the biggest things that you can look at here is how specific is this person with who they work with?
I say that because working with a bunch of entrepreneurs but also having been around and worked with as being the receiving end, when you’re working with anybody, you are not clear on the needs of your specific audience. You are taking things and you’re trying to apply it to the broad and people don’t work that way. Every type of person has very different needs based on where they are and it’s important that whomever you’re working with is very clear on the type of person that they work with. Meaning that if somebody is like a business coach, what kind of businesses do they work with and at what level? Because you can’t just work with anybody and everybody. Product-based and service-based businesses are very different things. It’s completely different entities. If you have somebody that’s saying, “We work with everybody. We help anybody,” that’s a huge red flag. That’s telling you that this person’s trying to get anybody in the door.
The other thing that I always look for is who are they willing to say no to? If they’re not willing to say no to people, that’s another red flag if they’re willing to take anybody on. I always like to look, “Who’s their following? What do they seek on consistently? What kind of content and value are they consistently putting out that aligns with what they’re teaching and what they’re offering?” I look at that to make sure like, “Is this in alignment? Are they putting out into the world what it is they do?” Another big thing is how much of it is free? This is the one thing that grinds my gears are when people are like, “You have to pay for my $10 thing and this and that.”
For those of you jumping into the entrepreneurial world, here’s a heads up for you. It’s not about the information that you have, it’s about the experience that you can create with your client. Meaning that the information is valuable, but anybody can go online and Google anything. It’s more so about the experience that you deliver with the information that you have. You need to be willing to go ahead and put enough value out there to where people can start to trust you and trust your strategy and know that you know what you’re talking about. It’s not just all fluff.
[Tweet “You need to connect with people that you can authentically connect and relate to at a human level.”]
We’re talking about avoiding fluff. Look at testimonials and make sure that they’re not fluff. When I see a lot of testimonials like, “Jane is great, Jane’s the best,” and that’s all that’s there, I’m like, “Jane is bullshit.” Sorry, that’s how I think. I’m going to say how it is. “You’re great?” That’s it. What does that mean? What is that? You want to see testimonials from a certain kind of person. If you check my Yelp page, they’re pretty much all business owners. Every once in a while, someone else will sneak through and that’s because I like who they are as a person and that I’m excited to work with them.
They’re all business owners and you see people saying like, “Doubled my income,” “Tripled my income,” “I was on the brink of divorce and now we’re back,” “I was depressed and now I love my life.” These are specific things that you can see, and you can maybe even relate to. It’s way different than, “I always have great sessions and I always feel good walking out of them.” What does that even mean? All of this, clarity, so that you know what you’re getting into and what you can expect walking out of it. Another one that is pretty important, who is the person? Do you like them? A lot of people say, “Liking the person has no place in business.” That’s bullshit. Maybe that’s true for a lot of other people, it’s not true for me. It’s important to like who you are working with and like who you’re learning from because you’re going to be learning a lot more than what you bargained for if you spend a lot of time, especially if someone is holding the position in your mind as a mentor.
When I first became a coach, I worked with someone who had a very profitable business and was supposed to be my mentor, supposed to show me how to create a profitable awesome coaching business where I could help a lot of people and this person turned out to essentially be a sociopathic narcissist. He was coming from a complete scarcity mentality and created so many problems in me because I learned so much more than I bargained for, so much more than I meant to, and I picked up all sorts of bad habits, of unhelpful perceptions, of negative emotions, negative feelings around money. I learned so many more things than I wanted to that I spent another two years unlearning them. There might even still be some stuff that I’m trying to wipe out from my time there because I was not careful with aligning myself with someone who I enjoyed as a person.
The other thing that Dan is touching on here is just because somebody is successful doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be successful with you. This is an important thing to tune into. It’s tying back to what we were talking about previously like, “They helped all of these types of people,” but if you cannot authentically relate or connect to any types of those personalities, that doesn’t fit you or your vibe or what your business is or any of that. It’s like a sign of, “How’s their success rate been?” It’s not to say that all of these people are terrible people, it may be that they’re not clear on who their audience is and they are still trying to figure that out. Save yourself.
Find somebody who is clear and who does speak directly to you as an individual, as the human being that you are, and what you stand for. Part of what you can do is you can look at their values, their beliefs, how those show up, how those align with yours, and getting clear on, “I love this person for the human being that they are.” This is another thing that can give you a lot of insight is how much of what this person puts out is first show. We talked about in previous episodes that you’ll see a lot of well-polished fluff, but how comfortable is this person in being a real human? How much can you connect with this person at the human level?
This is such an incredibly crucial component because if you’re going to be spending so much time and diving deep in this stuff, especially in the coaching world, you need to connect with people that you can authentically connect and relate to at a human level. If all this person does is talk about their strategy and they’re not showing you who they be, it’s a red flag into, “Who is this person actually? Are they somebody that I can connect to or are they just somebody that talks about this fancy thing?”
There is no one-size-fits-all for mentors. It might not necessarily be anybody’s fault. It’s like diets where you can go online and you can see pictures of shredded abs and a lot of people who are like, “I lost 150 pounds.” Awesome, beautiful, but your body might be very different from theirs. Their diet may be poison to you. It’s important to know who you are, know who they are, and know if you guys are compatible. That also goes into your goals, your preferences. What do you want? Stay in integrity and in authenticity, especially if you’re trying to learn something from someone. You want to find someone who knows your goals, who has had your goals, and who has or at least has had your preferences, so you guys can communicate in a way that resonates with you so that you can absorb the most, you can get the most out of it.
Know if you are compatible. I’ve had business coaches who I could tell were rockstars, but I didn’t do the best job of letting them and so I got maybe 20% or 10% of what they taught me to work. It’s not that they were wrong or they’re bad. I wouldn’t classify them as a fake guru. I would say, “I didn’t do a great job of picking them. That’s all.” Nobody committed a crime here. Time will be spent, money will be spent when you find a mentor. You probably won’t find an awesome mentor for free. You want to make sure that you’re choosing the right one. That’s all. Just be responsible. Maintain your authenticity, your integrity, know who you are and make sure that you are in alignment with each other.
One of the biggest things that you can feel into here is how understood and how heard and seen you feel when you’re connecting with this person. It’s easy for people to drive on your pain points, but how connected, seen, and heard do you feel and how tangible and realistic is what they’re speaking to in relevancy to you and where you are rather than like, “This big pretty picture,” and getting clear on those things. It’s hard to decipher, “This person’s just being a manipulative prick,” versus “This person just isn’t at the point where they’re aware of the fact that what they’re teaching isn’t necessarily for me.” Get clear on those things because it’s easy when you’re in a place of your life where you’re like, “I’ll take anything. I want to get out of this place. I want to get to the next level.” Slow down sometimes and feel into, “What is this person teach? What do they work with? What are the results?” and looking at those deliverables. That’s one of the biggest things where you can start to get a feel into, “That would apply to me or maybe not the best fit.” Start to get clarity around those components.
[Tweet “When you can model someone’s successful beliefs and thoughts, you will be able then to model their successes as well.”]
Maybe you’re in a place where you don’t have the funds and the resources to hire a mentor. You can find them in other places. It’s a little bit more challenging and it takes a little bit more work on your part but you can find mentors in books. Fortunately for us, a lot of the greatest thinkers who ever lived wrote books. They wrote their autobiographies. They wrote their philosophies. I get a lot of pleasure from reading philosophy, like reading Socrates and Plato. It’s great, especially talking with people about it. My philosophy classes have been some of the most interesting I’ve ever taken. Reading. You could read Richard Branson’s autobiography. You can read them for entertainment or you can read them to design some mentorship.
There are a couple of things in here when you’re reading these things, but this will also go into choosing a mentor when you are ready to hire someone who’s still around and accessible to you. Find what their beliefs are about life, especially about the area you’re concerned in. If you’re an entrepreneur and you want to boost your business, read Richard Branson’s autobiography and pay special attention. Write it down whenever he hints to a belief that he’s got about money, about business, about negotiations, about collaboration and competition. Richard Branson is known for having fun. Part of his brand is being the CEO who will cross dress on a flight and handout mimosas to all of the passengers. This has happened. There are awesome pictures online. They are amazing.
Here’s a guy who believes that if it’s not fun, don’t do it or get it done as fast as you can, so you can get back to having fun in business. If you are living a life that you’re not in love with, there’s no point. Change it. That is his belief. As you go through the works, as you go through the autobiographies, you can write down all the different beliefs and then see what you can do to embody them. Take them into yourself remembering that your success is determined by the quality of your beliefs and your thoughts. When you can model someone’s successful beliefs and thoughts, you will be able then to model their successes as well. That’s how you can get a mentor and all you need is a library card.
Whomever it is that you’re seeking to explore potential opportunities with, spend the time to get to know, get to see inside, and connect with that person and see how much you can mirror, connect with and you feel like this person gets you, that they understand you from their human the level. That’s the first step to finding a powerful mentor, one who has incredible relationships, incredible results and a reputation that precedes them.
Your task for this episode. Step one, get yourself a mentor. Find in any area, whether you want to become an even better chef or whether you want to become an even better lover or whether you want to become an even better business person. Have a goal. Have something you’re focusing on. Get a mentor. It can be in a book. I’m not saying you have to go out and spend an extravagant amount of money. Get a mentor in any way you can. Step two, and this kicks in also if you already have a mentor, start modeling them only if your mentor is a good mentor.
Don’t model a fake guru. If you have a rockstar mentor, start modeling them. You could even ask them, “What do you believe about this, that or the other?” Write that list down if you’re reading a book. Start imbuing yourself, your day-to-day life with these beliefs. Think about what kinds of decisions you would make when these beliefs become true, and then make those decisions. That’s almost like a fake-it-until-you-make-it thing, until the belief slowly becomes a reality for you and then you will start modeling their successes as well.
Have some fun. If you have any questions, any curiosities, feel free to reach out to us. We love that. We love reading what you guys have to share and tuning into some of the beautiful and insightful responses that we’ve gotten so far. Thank you so much for spending this time with us and we do hope that you have gotten plenty of gold nuggets and a lot of clarity on where to go next.
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