If you’ve spent any amount of time in the self-improvement space on the internet, you’ve probably heard people mention that you should find a mentor.
You’re told that you can’t become a better person without one, and you need one to achieve your goals.
Now, it sounds great on paper. Having someone guide you through the pitfalls in your life, and knowing how to get you to where you want to be.
But if you’re like I was 5 years ago, with no knowledge of mentors, then this article is for you.
What we’ll be discussing:
- what is a mentor
- should you get a mentor
- why the internet is your most valuable tool
- how to find a mentor for free
Let’s jump in.
Oh, and if you prefer to listen instead of reading, check out the Life Unlocked podcast episode that goes along with the post!
What Is a Mentor?
Aside from stating the obvious that they’re someone who mentors you.
A mentor is someone that provides coaching or advice on anything from business and mindset to motivation, fitness, health or money.
There’s no end to the number of things you can be mentored in.
It’s just about finding whichever one is the right one for you based on where you’re at the moment.
For example, it could be an online chess teacher reviewing your games or it could be a freelance writer you meet for coffee once a week.
That’s all there is to it.
Now that you know what a mentor is, it begs the question…
Should You Get a Mentor?
It’s difficult to give an answer to this question that isn’t just – it depends.
Usually, you’ll know if you need to seek out a mentor. You might encounter a specific problem that needs the right guidance. Or you just want advice on how to proceed with a difficult situation.
It’s entirely up to you.
I’ll give a few examples of situations where you may want to consider finding a mentor:
You need guidance for your business: This will only apply to a small minority of people, but if you’re in that position then it’s very to get advice from someone who has been down the same road you’re on. Usually, it comes from someone who is a key figure in the industry you work in.
You want very specific coaching on a skill: This is very popular in sports. Every top athlete has a mentor, although they’re usually known as a coach, to keep on the right track. However, it can be applied to any number of skills, depending on what you want to make progress in. Due to it being more niche, it’s generally higher in price.
You want to improve your mindset: This has become a lot more common over the years. Mentors will often help you to see things in a different way, offer clarity on particular problems, or help you make an important decision. Mindset is a big part of self-improvement, and you’ll often find other mentors helping you build up your mindset to go along with their coaching. Despite this, it’s still possible to find dedicated mindset coaches.
Now, you might be wondering – what if I’m a complete beginner and want to begin improving myself as fast as possible?
Before you start thinking that you need a mentor in order to get anywhere, you’ll be much better off in the long run if you try to work through your problems alone. At least in the beginning.
Fortunately, there’s an amazing wealth of knowledge available to you; especially in the modern era.
Introducing, the internet!
How to Become Your Own Mentor Using the Internet
The internet has become an amazing place over the last 30 years. You can find the answer to any question you have. You can connect with anyone in the world no matter where you are.
This is what makes it the perfect tool to start your journey into personal development.
You can get invaluable advice from:
- Courses (free and paid)
- Social media
You’re only limited by your imagination.
Now, one thing that’s important to note. There’s definitely a right and a wrong way to go about using these tools. The majority of people use them for entertainment, instead of helping them to become a better person.
Instead of watching videos on mindset and business, you mindlessly browse the internet.
You choose to follow ‘influencers’ and celebrities instead of experts, entrepreneurs, and people who are giving out amazing advice.
You can gain insights into the minds of billionaires. Yet most people would rather read fiction books and escape the real world.
Now, there’s definitely a place for all of the things I’ve mentioned. I’m not saying you abstain from everything you enjoy. Who doesn’t love a good fantasy book?
But, it ties into the mindset portion I mentioned earlier.
The first stages of personal development are about evolving your mind. Learning to go from a fixed to a growth mindset. Finding the right people to follow, and removing any boundaries you might have put on yourself in the past.
With the power of the internet, the sky isn’t even the limit anymore.
It took me a long time to realise that the people I was following online were actually acting as mentors. However, once I opened myself to the possibility that not every mentor needs to know I exist, I noticed a big shift in my mindset.
Suddenly, they were no longer people I was just taking advice from. They were people I could study and model my life after. I could follow in their footsteps, and learn how to fast track my way towards building a business.
What we consume determines the lives that we live.
I’m always reminded of this quote when I find myself wasting a couple of hours on some mindless activity.
I know that if I continue down that path I’m not going to make any progress.
However, if I become mindful of what I consume then it will have a knock-on effect on the rest of my life. I’ll be more likely to stick to my habits, I’ll be more productive, and I’ll get to where I want to be much quicker.
So to summarise, the internet has an unlimited amount of potential to help you create the life of your dreams. Just make sure you don’t consume the wrong material too often, or you’ll find yourself taking 2 steps forward and 2 steps back.
With that being said, what if you feel like you’ve exhausted the free resources available to you? How do you go about approaching someone to mentor you, and how much should you pay them?
Let’s find out.
How to Find a Mentor for Free
By this point, you’ve probably found some people in your industry that you would love to learn more from.
But how do you go about approaching them?
There’s definitely a right way and a wrong way – and it’s all down to creating value.
You have to remember, the ones at the top of their industry didn’t get there by building poor relationships and wasting their time.
When you’re considering someone to be your mentor, think about how you can offer something to them in return.
The most straightforward way you can do this is by offering your skills.
If you haven’t got any skills, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Click here to learn why.
If there’s something you can offer that will allow them to get more out of their business, they’re going to be much more receptive to you asking for help.
For example, maybe you’re skilled in marketing and have seen a way that they can optimize a huge part of their sales funnel. Or you might be a graphic designer that wants to help them create social media templates and improve their branding.
That doesn’t mean you should send them a message straight away saying “hey I’ll improve your website if you mentor me”.
Lead with value and focus on building a relationship.
So instead of saying what I just mentioned, you could send them something like:
“Hey, I really enjoyed your book on A, and it really helped me develop my skills in B. Especially where you talked about C. Speaking of which, I’d love to be able to give back to you in some way, and I think my knowledge in B would be very beneficial to you – especially when it comes to designing your adverts. I think by doing ‘so and so’ you could really get a lot more out of it. I’d handle the whole process, at no cost to you at all. Let me know if you’d be interested in exploring it further and we can jump on a call and get things moving.”
Right, there’s a lot to that message. So let’s try and break it down.
You start by letting them you know you’re a fan of their work, and bonus points if you can point to something specific from them. If they don’t have a book it could be an e-mail they sent, a course they’ve created or something else.
You don’t want to waste words, so don’t spend ages gushing about how much of a fan you are. It doesn’t look good.
Then you mention how you can be valuable to them. Emphasise the fact that you care about their time, and again, don’t waste words. Give them a specific way that you can improve their current situation with as little effort from them as possible.
Notice how at no point did we mention we want them to mentor you?
Like I said earlier, you just want to add value in the beginning, without expecting anything in return.
More than likely they’ll know what they’re doing, but one thing I’ve noticed about people in that position – they love to share their knowledge and help people.
They’re usually some of the most giving people you can find, and if you can build a relationship with them in the long-term you’ll get so much more value out of it than you put in.
Finally, it should go without saying, but don’t just copy what I wrote. Adapt it to suit you and your situation.
Just remember the three key principles:
- lead with value
- don’t waste words
- give more than you take
And before you know it you’ll be well on your way to success.
What If I Want to Pay?
Of course, you can also go the route of paying for someone’s time. If you want to speed up the process and have the capital to invest in yourself, feel free to go that route.
Again, just contact the person, and see if they offer coaching services. If not, see if you can pitch them on a 1-hour call each week for $X. Just make sure you put the advice they give you into action.
The teacher can only be as good as the student wants to be.
So don’t waste their time. Come prepared for each session with questions, struggles, and solutions. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money – and nobody wants to do that.
Mentors can be an invaluable, and almost necessary, resource to catapult you towards success. You just need to know when and how to make use of them.
The rest is up to you.
Hopefully, this article has given you the information you were looking for. If not, let us know and we’ll see what we can do to help!
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As always, thanks for reading.
Until next time.