When it comes to success mindset is key. Look for mentors who can help you overcome anything that is blocking you. Be careful of who you listen to. It is important that they are authentic and not just talking dollars to take yours.
Before jumping into story mode, I’ll give some actionable advice:
- Find 100 people you want to mentor you.
- Reach out to them via mail, social media, phone, or hand written letter. Don’t just rely on one mode of communication, try every possible one.
- Start a blog, podcast, or YouTube show where you can interview the people you want to mentor you. It’s somewhat sneaky, but it could work.
- Whenever you read a book, watch a YouTube clip, read an article, watch TV, or what have you, keep an eye out for things, concepts, and names of people who interest you. Do some research and reach out to them.
So, there was a time when I used to bother other people about how stuff worked. how and why. Little by little I started noticing that it bothered them. So I started thinking: “OK, questions annoy people and apparently I really should know all this stuff, guess I must be stupid”.
I didn’t lose my curiosity, I just stopped asking and acting on it.This went on until I got to high school and had some teachers who actually rewarded curiosity. By this time however school was of little interest. Hooray for chicks, under-age drinking & music! Or more like awkward conversation followed by touching of the boobs, chunder & music.
It wasn’t until after high school I realized: “Man, I need some help with all this life stuff”. I tried to solicit advice from people I looked up to. Because, you know, parents just don’t understand, man! Some people answered, most didn’t. Around the same time I started to really get into books. They gave me so much information to me, they even referenced their sources so that I could go and check them out for myself.
Then it dawned on me. Whoa… These authors are my mentors, they can’t even refuse to be! The same thing happened with my music. Sure i’d studied my heroes but now I could really see what they’d been teaching me. I also started to understand and appreciate the advice that my parents gave me. Thanks mom & dad, it’s been invaluable!
Why are mentors so important? First of all they’ve made the journey you want to make, so they’ve experienced a lot of the things that you’ll encounter on your way. Secondly there’s probably a quality to them that you admire and/or would like to incorporate into what you do.
With so many tools available today you can basically find out any damn thing you want, you just got to search. I should also say that even though books, documentaries, interviews etc are AMAZING ways to find mentors who can’t refuse to mentor you, try to get at least one IRL too. Why? Because I say so. More importantly, even though you can learn a lot from other media they aren’t interactive. You can’t ask follow-up questions.
Today I have countless mentors, both in the meatspace, cyberspace and in my bookcase. I also enjoy the benefit of being in mentor-mentor relationships with other people. I used to enjoy the mentor-mentee relationship, but I realized along the way that I can learn and teach more effectively by being an equal.
Last night I was watching Spike Lee’s documentary “Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off The Wall”, and one theme that kept repeating was the value of mentors.
Now, the most valuable ones are usually those who can be with you on your journey. Helping you to tackle specific issues that aren’t always that clear to yourself.
Let’s just say you’re having a hard time finding one.
Well, one amazing example of what you could do appeared in the documentary when Kobe Bryant explained how Michael Jackson influenced and mentored him.
The thing was that Jackson would study dancers like Fred Astaire, James Brown, Gene Kelly, etc.
They didn’t exactly mentor him but became mentors by him studying their moves, letting them go through his filters and incorporating them into his own style.
Basically, something we all to some degree do naturally. Difference being that he did it intentionally and purposefully. He studied the masters in various fields and whether or not they directly mentored him, he learned a lot from them.
It’s probably easier now than ever to get mentors. You could easily find out when they’re coming somewhere close by and meet them, hit them up on social media/mail, etc.
What if they say no? What if they’re dead?
Well, they might not have the time to mentor you one-on-one but by studying their work, reading books, listening to interviews, watching YouTube, connecting with others who’ve worked with them, talking with historians, and so on you can learn a great deal.
Here’s a list of people currently mentoring me, whether or not they want to:
Malcolm Gladwell, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ryan Reynolds, Quincy Jones, Brené Brown, Jeffrey Pfeffer, W. Edwards Deming, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Ryan Coogler.
So, how do I become mentored by them?
Read their books, watch & read interviews, read articles with and about them, watch their movies, watch documentaries, listen to their music, search for quotes, listen to and look at people they’ve worked with.
Some of the sites & apps I use to connect with and/or find mentors are:(because, of course!), , , , (great platform to ask questions), , , , , , , LinkedIn, , , , .
Now, you don’t have to always go for the biggest personalities. Sometimes nature, animals or inanimate objects can teach you a thing or two.
“When you really pay attention everything is your teacher.”
Do whatever you can to absorb the lessons they have to teach. You’ll constantly find new ones. Remember to return to the old ones later, as you go through life you’ll understand more of what they have to teach.
What do you think about her advice? Drop your comments below.
Author: Zac Scy is a Quoran best writer who is also the most viewed in Books, Reading, Mentors and Mentoring. She is experienced, knowledgeable and still learning. She shares some actionable advice on getting a mentor either in business or in life.