The top 3 things to look for in a mentor

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Here’s the transcript from this podcast episode, please excuse any typos!

The first tip is you need someone experienced. It might be obvious to some of you to find someone experienced. But a lot of people out there I’ve noticed they just go to anybody who offers advice and more often than not the people you’re talking to are blowing smoke up your butt. Right. They’re shoveling BS into you and you have to be careful. The first thing to do is to look up the people that you want to talk to online, LinkedIn, Google blogs, you know, possibly news and media coverage. You want to find people who are not only experienced in the industry that you’re in, but they’ve had successful exits, which means they’ve sold a business in that industry already. So they’ve already succeeded. Okay. You want to find people who maybe hold a PhD in your field that you’re in. So let’s say you are starting a new website or a new mobile app, whatever it may be social, consumer based, or b2b. If you can find an entrepreneur who sold a company that was building a product similar to yours, a website or a mobile app similar to yours, and they sold it for like $100 million to Google or whoever. Well, that’s someone you want to talk to. And not only that, if you’re lucky enough to be mentored by this person, well, then you’re going to get really good information. So by finding someone experienced, the thing is, you’re going to find that they can help you navigate in a way where you’ll avoid mistakes. And you’ll avoid spending a lot of money on those mistakes. So that’s really the main thing you have to do is find someone who is super experienced in your field.

The second thing to look for in a mentor, and it might not be the thing to look for in a mentor but the second thing to do in order to get a good mentor is try to get a recommendation for one. This is huge. So family, friends, business partners, coworkers in you know, networking events, college professors, anyone in your network that can potentially point you in the right direction have a mentor is a really good way to do this. And here’s why. So let’s say that you are at a holiday party with your family, and you have a business idea. Okay, maybe it’s an online store, maybe it’s a gadget. Maybe it’s a new movie or a book idea or anything at all. Someone in your family says oh I happen to know Person X at this company who already built something like that five years ago and sold it for, you know, $20 million, and now they’re helping people like you. There you go. Now that person can recommend you to that other person through an email or a phone call or whatnot. And you’ll have already mitigated the risk of not finding someone experienced and someone who somebody else knows. So they’re kind of vetting for that they’re, you know, they’re vouching for you. They’re vetting them for you. It’s a huge way to not only find the right person to mentor you, but now the person that is going to mentor you also has a relationship with say your uncle or whoever it is. And so they already feel kind of, you know, not compelled to help you, but they have a better reason to because they have a personal connection to it. Because in the world of mentors in the world of reaching out to people, cold emails and cold calls, they just don’t work that well. There have been far and few between examples of people who have crafted some really witty messages or social media stalking or whatever they’ve done to reach out to Mark Cuban or whoever other entrepreneur who’s a bit later, but it’s just so hard to do that and why waste your time when you can find a legitimate mentor through your network. So being recommended to somebody is huge. And then the mentor will also feel like it’s a mutual recommendation because not only can they help someone that they know in some you know, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon type situation, but you also know you’re getting someone really good and a really good fit for you as a mentor.

And the third and final tip and this is the one where I’m probably gonna get a little heated. So excuse me if I get a little upset here, but gurus, right there are so many gurus quote unquote gurus out there who have books and courses and master classes and they sell them for like $5,000 you can learn how to be an entrepreneur just like me. You can be a millionaire just like me, just follow my steps and I’ll get you on the right path. Meanwhile, they sell that master class for 1500 3000 5000 Whatever amount of money they sell it for, to like 10,000 people across the Internet maybe even more, and then they make millions of dollars off of you paying them for something that’s not going to work. Because here’s the thing that I have found over the years and I’ve read all the books Rich Dad, Poor Dad, you know, the four hour workweek, all those books that teach you how to, quote unquote, become an entrepreneur and be rich. They don’t work. For the most part because the people who became rich from the ideas in the book, they did it in a certain time, a certain you know, they were lucky in some way. They had some kind of financial success early on, that allowed them to do things. For example, a lot of the people who made their wealth in the past 20 years. You’ll hear them say that in the 1990s. They either sold a software project, invested in real estate, or got some sort of inheritance from a family or friends unless you’re selling a software product, investing in real estate, or getting inheritance, which those three things are very situational, right? They’re not very easy to get. And for the most part 99% of the world is not going to get them if you follow these gurus. So for the first one, selling a software project, when these people did this in the 90s This was before the 99 bubble bursts, right bubble burst and all these people were investors were throwing money at software, but eventually that kind of died, right? And then the aughts, the 2000s, you saw MySpace and Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat and Tinder and all these other things kind of start to get big, right? So it’s a new era of software, but it’s very difficult to sell a platform, let alone build one. Then you have the real estate thing right there was a real estate crisis that happened in 2008. So if you had invested before that and you sold your properties before that, or if you sold your properties last year during the pandemic or even now during the pandemic, you’re going to make money right but again, how do you get into real estate you need money to buy properties. So these people the third party inheritance, they might have gotten an inheritance from a family member say $100,000. They took $100,000. They bought an apartment building or they bought a duplex. And then they earned income from that and they bought a second duplex. And they kept doing that over and over again until they had five or 10 properties. And now they’re rich and they can build other products and platforms, they can invest in things to earn more money, right? So the Guru’s it’s a big pile of crap. I had to say it, right? You have people like me out there who have a book and a course in this podcast, my YouTube channel and all my offerings that you see online, that they’re very affordable. First of all, my book is like 10 or 15 bucks, my course is like 50 bucks, maybe even less. I mean, you’re not breaking the bank to take my course or might read my book, but the difference is the stuff that I give you in my book in my course, it’s actionable. It’s replicable. You can actually do the things in my book in my course, to build your business because they’re proven I’ve done them a million times. I still do them every day in the startups that I’m running now and the businesses that I’m starting with clients, and why would I not you know what I mean? Like I’m using my own methods, so why wouldn’t you? So my tip here is to be careful for mentors who are charging you upfront life coaches, these these coaches who say they can coach you in your business, these gurus that say that they’ll make you rich if you take their class, but you got to pay a monthly fee 500 bucks a month or you got to pay 1000s of dollars for a class. Personally, I would avoid all of them, like the Coronavirus. Just avoid them. You can learn a lot on your own. By taking courses like mine or other free courses you’ll find online you don’t have to want to be anybody’s free stuff and do the work. Reach out to people who are willing to help you without getting paid for it because they’re the ones who are already comfortable financially so they don’t need more money from you. They would rather the payment that we get as mentors is helping someone avoid the pitfalls that we had when we were starting out. Helping you avoid mistakes helps you not lose money.

So why would I charge you $5,000 for a class if it’s not going to work? So those are the three tips. I hope that you follow them. I hope that it helps you. I hope that you’re able to find an experienced, recommended non paying guru to help you through your journey as an entrepreneur. And as usual if you have any other tips or suggestions, feedback or questions, please leave them in the comments as always, I answer them as you know and I will look forward to seeing you guys all in next week’s episode.



Jason Sherman