AskPat 77 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? This is Episode 77 of AskPat. Welcome to the show. I'm here to answer your online business questions five days a week.
And today, I want to give a shoutout to the people over at SuccessShirt.com. They are the ones that make the AskPat t-shirt possible right now. When you get your question featured here on the show, you get an AskPat t-shirt, and it's sent through SuccessShirt.com. So, check out SuccessShirt.com; you can see what the AskPat shirt looks like. You can even buy it there if you'd like, and there's other podcasts and other businesses that are featured there with their t-shirts that you can check out as well. So, again, successshirt.com. Thank you, Greg from SuccessShirt.com.
Now, today's question is from Zoheb, and he's asking about reaching out to mentors. So, let's hear specifically what Zoheb's question is.
Zoheb: Hey, Pat. Zoheb Noor Muhammad here from London. And firstly, I just want to say a quick thank you for everything that you do. You provide great value to your audience, and it's really motivated me in my business. So, just to provide some context about my question, I listen to various business podcasts like yourself, like John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire, and there seems to be a common theme for most successful entrepreneurs, is that somewhere throughout their journey, they have had a mentor that they can call upon for advice and support. I recently listened to Jaime Tardy, who was on Entrepreneur on Fire, and she gave some fantastic advice on how we can approach someone to ask for them to become our mentor. I actually used that advice and contacted you, Pat, about mentorship through your website, with the subject “Let's hope Jaime's advice works.” So, to my question: what would your advice be, Pat, on helping starting entrepreneurs, like myself, reaching out to the A-listers and asking them to become a mentor? Thank you, Pat. Keep up the good work. I really hope that this question gets sent out on AskPat.com, and also for you; hopefully, you can read my email. Thank you.
Pat: Zoheb, thank you so much for your question today. And, you know, you're absolutely right. I mean, for me too. Everybody who I know who has become successful in some capacity has had a mentor or somebody that they could reach out to for help. That was how I got started: I had some help from some very, very smart people who helped guide me along the way. And even though I can't really call them official mentors—we never really established that mentor-mentee relationship—I thought of them as mentors, and I'm speaking specifically of Jeremy and Jason over at InternetBusinessMastery.com. I really looked up to them, and when I reached out for help, they often replied, and I was a part of their group called Internet Business Master Academy, their online trading program, which did really well for me. But it was more so a benefit to me because of the people I met in that group and also being able to access Jeremy and Jason as unofficial mentors.
But if you have the ability to find somebody who can mentor you and actually guide you and be there and check in with you and hold you accountable along the way and give you tips and strategies, and just kick you in the butt when you need it because you're down and you just don't know what to do next, that is, I mean that's the ultimate. And I wish I had somebody who I could call my official mentor, and I should honestly probably look for somebody like that if I want to go bigger and better, which is what I always want to do. So, thank you for the inspiration, Zoheb, and I hope my answer here to your question will help you.
How do you reach out to potential mentors? Well, there's a number of different ways to do it, and I think the way that you're doing right now is a great example. You know, even though you're not really asking me to mentor you right now, the fact that you messaged me was one thing. I mean, I think that's a lot of things that people don't do—that's one thing that people don't do, is they just don't have the confidence to just ask. And it's not really just confidence; they just don't believe in themselves, they don't believe somebody will say yes. Well, of course, if you don't ask, you don't need them to say no. There's no chance if you don't ask.
And what's the worst thing that could happen if you were to ask? I think that's the first thing that you have to get across your head, is you don't want to think of these people who are going to be mentoring you as somebody who's going to say something like, “Oh man, not another guy who's just trying to ride my coattails or learn from everything that I did and do it much faster than me because I'm already here.” No. I think if somebody were to think that way, you wouldn't want them as your mentor, right? So, that would be… You know, if you were to email somebody who would be a potential mentor and they responded in that sort of way, in a very negative tone, then good! Now you know not to work with them. But if they were to respond to you respectfully, and still decline, at least you know now, and you're not living the what-ifs; you're living with the “Oh, well”s, which is something I'd rather much do, or I'd much rather do.
But there are other different ways to reach out, and I think one thing you did specifically, Zoheb, was you reached out in a different way, you used SpeakPipe, and there's other ways to reach out. I've had a lot of people who have sent me videos, which I feel like if somebody sends me a video—now that I'm saying this, I'm probably going to get a lot of videos… People spend a lot of time to create those videos, which is sort of a higher-quality form of communication in this online world and something unique. And I'm going to take the time to listen to it. And so, if you really have a question or you want to ask for somebody for help, I think going that extra mile to show you're really serious about it, maybe showing your face to that person in a video, is something that's going to help you stand out. And another thing you did is you made a connection between me and somebody who I highly respect, which is Jaime Tardy, and also you mentioned John Lee Dumas as well, and you mentioned that Jaime mentioned me as well. So, making those connections, not just coming out saying, “Oh, I'm this person, and you might not know me” or “I have no connection to you whatsoever” but saying that you do have a connection, even if it's a small one, that can be the start of that relationship. Because any relationship, you know, if you want to kick-start a relationship, you start with something that you both have in common. So, I think that's a very good strategy.
Probably the best strategy for this is a strategy that I've heard from Derek Halpern. And he says, “If you want me …” and this doesn't necessarily have to do with mentorship, but it can totally relate to it, so Derek's use of this strategy is not for finding a mentor, but it's for finding an influential blogger or somebody who has a large audience, to share you or to talk about you. And what he says is, if you have this person that has this influential audience, or for those of you listening to this episode, if you have a mentor that you want to work with, do what they teach first and then share the results with them. And this does a few things, especially for what Derek was trying to do. If, for example, you wanted me to feature you on Smart Passive Income podcast or on the Smart Passive Income blog, you would take my strategies, you would be successful with it, and then you would share your results with me. Every time that's happened, somebody … Any time somebody says, “Pat, you've helped me make another $100,000 a year this year”, “You've helped me quit my job and be closer to my family this year,” whenever that happens, I mean, that makes me feel great, and I want to share that with everybody. Not just because it's a great story but, I mean, let's be honest, it makes me look good too. And so, if you're making somebody else look good, they're going to want to share it because it makes them look good in front of everybody else as well. And so I'm not saying you should just do this for the purpose of making people feel better about themselves, but you should do this to show that you are somebody who is an action taker. Because if, I mean, at least for me, if I'm going to mentor somebody, which unfortunately I can't do with the time I have right now, but if I were to choose somebody to be a mentor to, I would want to know that that person is an action taker. That that person is going to take my advice, use it, and go above and beyond with it.
So, that's the best strategy I can share with you. If you want to reach out to a potential mentor, do what they say first to everybody, and then individually contact them and do it in a way that is unique, perhaps through video, and share the results of taking that strategy that was shared with everybody, and say something like, “You know what, I wanted to ask you because I highly respect you and it would just be an honor to be your best student. And I hope I've showed you already that I can be a student of yours. I've taken what you have taught everybody and put it into use and found results with it, better than anybody else I've heard on your blog or your podcast. And I'm willing to go the extra effort to make sure that whatever you teach me, I'm going to put even more effort than you did into it.” Or something like that. You know, I'm just going off the top of my head here, but really showing this person that you want to be a mentor that you are serious, that you understand what this person is all about, and the kinds of things they teach and how you could take it to the next level. That's the kind of person that I would want to, you know, to help.
And obviously, I would want to know that you're doing it for the right reasons too. So, not just what you would do, but your why. What is your why? If you were somebody, for example, who really wanted to do this to be a good example for their kids, to be there more with their family, and you were an action taker, and I saw the drive and felt the drive and maybe heard that through a video, I think that would make me more likely to choose you over everybody else who's asking, for sure.
Now, you've gotta realize that a lot of times, people are going to say no. That doesn't mean they're going to say no the next time you ask, but at the same time you don't want to bug them about it. But I know for me, for example, at this moment in time, I can't possibly mentor anybody and put the amount of time that I would want to—if I were to be a mentor to somebody—into it. However, that doesn't mean six months or a year down the road that that can't happen, and I've mentored people before. So, I hope that answers your question there, and I hope that gives you some advice that you could use to reach out to mentors of yourself too.
So, I'm definitely going to check out that email that you mentioned. Again, thank you so much for the wonderful question. Now, Zoheb, an AskPat t-shirt is going to be sent your way, again, courtesy of SuccessShirt.com, I've been working with them, and they've been really great at processing these orders and printing the shirts on a very, very fine-quality American Apparel-type t-shirt, which is extremely comfortable. So, again, check out SuccessShirt.com. Now, if any of you out there listening right now, if any of you have a question, head on over to AskPat. You might get your question featured here on the show like Zoheb, and get a t-shirt as well.
So, as always, I want to finish off with a quote today, and that quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson. And this is an important one, because I think mentors understand this. You know, the people who actually cared remember where they came from. And this is from Ralph Waldo Emerson. He said, “Every artist was first an amateur.” And that's something that I continue to make sure that I remember. I always try to remember where I came from. It helps me put myself into the shoes of those in my audience, and it helps me care more about those who I'm serving, because I was once that person. And it helps me understand what kind of content to write and how to write it, or what to put in a podcast, or what would be useful, or what would not be useful, or what to promote, or what to not promote because it wouldn't provide value to somebody who was like myself back then.
So, thank you so much for listening to this episode of AskPat. You're amazing. Please leave a review on iTunes if you have time. I really appreciate it. Thanks. Take care. Peace.
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