For a long time, I was in a search for a mentor.
In my early 20’s, I would interview people who appeared to be doing well in life. For a little while, they would tell me stories and I would assiduously apply their lessons—only to find myself in deeper frustration.
It wasn’t that their advice was bad, it was just they were average mentors. For instance, I remember one guy who was divorced for 10 years. He was trying to tell me how to find the perfect wife. That day, I learned to never take relationship advice from a divorced man. He also tried to teach me about entrepreneurship, but he was an employee! Great guy, bad advice.
Since I was in college, I also sought advice from professors. I figured they would have the answers to life and business. Most of them told me a get a Ph.D in entrepreneurship. I knew I couldn't wait 5 years to get a Ph.D. Plus, I questioned what they really knew about business, specifically since the majority of them never even left the classroom.
They also told me the proverbial "It takes money to make money." I also heard them say, "98% of businesses fail within the first 3 years!" According to their contradicting advice, school would take all of my start-up capital. Since I did the math, I figured that '3 years of failure' was better than 5 years of college. Yes, they were wrong too!
Then I went to talk with entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, accountants, architects, musicians, salespeople, and other leaders in their respective industries, learning about their efforts to create and maintain their careers. Their stories weren’t enough for my restless soul. Most of them weren't even six-figure earners.
I had big goals. I wanted to be a millionaire.
I find that people often have the right intention, but offer the wrong direction. They want to serve, but they don't know how. They spew out advice, hoping some would latch on. However, I've learned that sifting through random people around town isn't a strategic way to find a perfect mentor.
There are only 5 Strategic Ways to Find the Perfect Mentor. Here they are:
1. Extensive Self-Education: It wasn’t until I started reading hundreds of books where I got closer to realizing my true purpose in life. As an ambitious aspiring entrepreneur, my 20-something year old mind could not wait around to extract minimal knowledge from slow mediocre stories. I had to learn fast. I devoured books, attended dozens of conferences, and took excessive notes.
Learning fast will expedite your dreams. Most people think they have all the time in the world to learn. They believe that they will accrue knowledge once they gain experience in the 'real world'. However, this trap must be avoided. You must take your lesson into your own hands. Don't wait for others to educate you. Be proactive and learn your lessons swiftly.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” -Ernest Hemingway
2. Mediocrity: Early on, I learned a lot from mediocre people. A mediocre person is someone who choose a paycheck over their purpose. There's nothing wrong with them, they just haven't achieved as much as they could have. You don't need to go far to find mediocre people. Many of them are at your school, work, home, church, gym, and grocery stores.
They come in all forms and you must discern who they are. They are excuse-makers, idea-rejectors, and success-haters. All you need to do is listen to them talk. If they criticized, condemned, or complained in any way, you know they're mediocre. Rebuke them and try to do the opposite of what they say. They will mentor you out of mediocrity!
"The people are you looking for are also looking for you!"
3. Celebrities: Once I deviated from mediocre teachers, I realized that many of my leaders were famous. Many of them were celebrities. When I studied celebrities, my expectations of my dreams took a dramatic leap. There's nothing more thrilling than pursuing and meeting a celebrity as a rookie. The journey of doing so offers many worthwhile rewards.
After I met a few prominent billionaires, superstar athletes, and A-List celebrities, I stopped getting star-struck. The greatest lessons I learned from the majority of celebrities is simple: I can do it too. You'll find that their influence will rub off on you and give you the confidence to wholeheartedly pursue your dream. Do whatever you can to meet the celebrities who inspire you. They aren't that hard to reach.
"The people you used to look up to will start looking up to you!"
4. Hire a Coach: With the right coach, you can gain 6 years of experience in just 6 months. If you are willing to pay the price for a professional coach, you will get the results that you want. Just think, if the greatest people on the Earth need multiple coaches, you should too. No one can reach success without a coach.
Personally, I learned how to correct myself by having accountability in my life. If I had not hired my first coach, I would have been stuck and lost hope. I learned how to serve others on a larger scale because of the unforgettable advice my coach gave me. Today, I have multiple coaches that help me with fitness, business, finance, and many other subject. Your coach can teach you lessons you will learn no other way.
"Mentorship is the shortcut to success." -Daniel Ally
5. Mentoring Others: This is personally my favorite ways to grow. Since it might take you a while to find the perfect mentor, you might want to start mentoring others. Your advice will benefit them better than the advice that they are getting! There will always be people who need your help and you can touch dozens of people personally every week.
Mentoring others can be as short as five seconds. It can also be as long as five decades. Be sure you find the right commitment for the people you want to mentor. Putting your time and energy into the right relationships will help you sharpen your mind. It will pay off in the long run when you see that you've gotten more out of it than they have!
"If I had 6 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 4 hours sharpening my axe." -Abraham Lincoln
Finding the right mentor happens naturally. If you're still searching for a mentor, make a list of ten potential mentors. Call them persistently until they accept your offer. Be sure you give them something worthwhile in return. If you think I'm the perfect mentor for you, make sure you reach out to me on www.danielally.com.