Update: Here is the Smart Passive Income Podcast Episode with Bryan Harris.
AskPat 427 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 427 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business-related questions five days a week. I don't know why I'm getting quiet right now, but anyway, we have a great question today from Corey.
Before we get to Corey's question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, making it incredibly easy for all of us out there who have small businesses, who are entrepreneurs, who are just starting out even organize our finances. When I started out, I organized my finances with Excel. It kind of worked except when it was tax season, it just was super stressful. I didn't really know what I had written and typed in. It just was not organized the way it should have been. When I got hooked up with FreshBooks, it made it so much easier to figure everything out. Plus, now that I have a CPA and people who manage my books for me, it just makes it so much easy for me to go in and just see what's going on, where I could potentially increase my savings and all that stuff. They serve over 3 million small business owners and they can serve you, too. You can check it out for 30 days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and by entering “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, enter “Ask Pat.”
Alright, here's today's question from Corey.
Corey: Hey, Pat. My name's Corey, and I have a question about mentors. Specifically, I always hear other big names in internet business talk about the importance of getting a mentor and what that can do for you. If you're just getting started, how would you go about getting a mentor? If you were to start over, what would you do specifically to find a mentor if you had no experience and none of the knowledge that you currently have? I just want to say a big thank you to you for everything that you've done. I know that the information that you provide and all the work that you've done is definitely changing the lives of people all around the world, so thanks, and hope to hear my question soon.
Pat Flynn: Corey, what's up? Thank you so much for calling in, I guess you could say. Although you're not calling in, you're recording your voice ahead of time. Anyway, thank you. Happy to feature your question here and I appreciate all of your kind words. I do my best, so hopefully this answer will help you as well.
In terms of finding a mentor, it is very important to find a mentor. There's two things that you always hear in this space that you should always have: One, a mastermind group and two, a mentor. Currently, actually I can tell you at this moment in time that I've never had an official mentor. I would like one, and I've been searching for one over the past couple years, one who I really could connect with who could train me and coach me to get even better at what I do, to grow even bigger and do much more good for this world than I'm trying to already do, but I haven't been able to find one. It's difficult. I'm just telling you that upfront, but if I was just starting out, there are certain things I would do. I would probably have different mentors if I was just starting out versus the ones that I'm trying to look at right now. We'll save all the mastermind stuff for another conversation, but the mentorship, it is extremely important to have a mentor.
Now, I had what I like to call “unofficial mentors.” These are people who, in my head I said, “You know what? I like this person. I want to be like this person and do things the way this person did. I agree with the direction this person is headed in their business, and I want to be following their footsteps. I don't want to copy them, I don't want to try and be like them, but I want to get inspiration from them and move in the direction that they're moving or have paved already.” I have a number of people who are like that. Tim Ferriss is one of them, Gary Vaynerchuk, and I have specific unofficial mentors for certain reasons. It's really important to have that if you don't have your own specific mentor, although you could probably have both. It's really cool because then I can follow these people and understand what they're doing and pay attention, follow them on Twitter. I have a whole Twitter list that's just dedicated to these people.
It helps keep my focus because they are reminders of where I want to go and why I do what I do beyond the family and helping all of you, of course. They're just a great reminder of helping me keep on track, helping me keep pushing forward, and all those sorts of things. How do you find those people? Well, you just begin to learn who those people are over time. You begin to see who you keep coming back to, whose blog post you keep on reading, whose podcast episodes you keep on listening to, whose videos you keep on watching them, whose books you keep reading, those sorts of things. I have a lot of mentors who are actually authors, and then I learned more about them because their books were life-changing. Those types of things can help you find these unofficial mentors, and then it's just literally a decision in your head to say, “Yes. This is one of my unofficial mentors and I view this person as somebody who has paved the way for where I want to go.” So that's that.
Now if I was just starting out and I really want to find a mentor who would train me, who would take me under his or her wing, this is what I would do. Obviously, I would follow their work and learn more about them and that sort of thing, but I would actually go and do their work. Whatever it is they're teaching, I would try and become their number one student even before they knew who I was. I would try to become their number one student, to put more work and effort into following their teachings and doing it in a way that nobody else has ever done it before. Maybe taking it up to a next level, maybe putting a spin on it, something different to try and stand out. The whole goal here is to eventually reach out to them and actually build a relationship and show them that yes, you are an action-taker because all mentors want people who are taking action. You don't want to mentor anybody, or nobody wants to mentor somebody who's not going to take action. You need to prove yourself first. If you take action on their material and it's working, they're going to want to showcase you as well because you're proving that their stuff works.
We've heard strategies like this before. How do you get on a person's radar, how do you get featured on a blog post or in a list post, how do you get on a testimonial, that sort of thing. This is actually a really cool strategy that I learned from Bryan Harris from VideoFruit.com. I recently interviewed him for an upcoming episode of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Man, it just blew my mind. One of his strategies was called the “Poster Boy” strategy where you actually become the poster boy for this person, similar to what I was saying earlier. The whole idea is to get a testimonial of yours on this person's homepage. That becomes an amazing traffic generation tool, an amazing back link that comes to your site and all those sorts of things. He did it for that reason, but I would do it also to find a mentor and to show and prove to this person that you are taking action on what they say. You are getting results, and you're there to also provide value to them by using yourself as an example and potentially you meet this person.
I wouldn't ever ask somebody to mentor me without having met them first in person. You just want to make sure that you click in person as well, so I would go to events that they go speak at and try to schedule a time with them. Of course if you're doing the work and they know about you and what you've done based on their teachings, they're going to want to spend 10, 15, however many minutes with you. I've spoken with people for hours at events before who I know have followed my work and have done great stuff. I just can't stop talking to them because it's so cool and interesting to see how they've learned from what I've taught. A lot of mentors are like that too, so that's how I would go about it.
Then I would just ask. You'll never know unless you ask. That's the biggest thing. Build a relationship first, prove yourself, and show you're an action-taker. Use their strategies, become a success story of theirs, and then find them in person in some, way, or form. Don't be a creeper or stalker or park outside of their house or anything creepy like that. Find them at a conference, invite them out to dinner just to thank them, and then say, “Hey, you know what? So-and-so, I am so thankful for everything you've taught me. You weren't even an official mentor, but I would love to make that actually happen. If you had any room to have somebody like me become one of your students and actually, you could help guide me along the way even more, I'd be more than willing to share my story with your audience,” and all that sort of stuff. That's how I would go about it.
Corey, I hope that answers your question, and I look forward to seeing how that works out for you and for everybody else out there. I appreciate it. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, Corey. You'll hear from my assistant Jessica in the next couple weeks who will collect your information so we could ship that over to you no matter where you're at, unless you're in one of the four countries that we don't ship to. Anyway, you're probably somewhere where we can. I also want to thank everybody out there who's asking questions. If you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page, thanks to the widget from Speakpipe.com.
I also want to thank FreshBooks.com for being a top service provider in terms of making it easy for all of us to manage our finances, our income, our expenses, and they also have a super slick invoicing tool and interface. They just make it super easy for you to send invoices to your clients, your students, anybody you're consulting with, so that you can get paid faster and continue just doing the work that you need to do without all the headaches and stress and all that stuff. Go ahead and check it out. You can check out FreshBooks for 30 days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and by entering “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, enter “Ask Pat.”
Alright. Here's a quote today from serial entrepreneur Steve Blank at a commencement speech at University of Minnesota. If you've been listening this week, you would see that a lot of these quotes, or actually all the quotes from this week and even the two after this one in the next days, are from commencement speeches. “At the end of the day, you can decide whether you want to be an employee with a great attendance record, getting promoted to ever better titles and working on interesting projects, or whether you want to attempt to do something spectacular. This be or do should be a question you never stop asking yourself for the next 20 years and beyond.”
Love that. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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