9 Keys for Finding (and Keeping) a Good Mentor

What a roller coaster!

With another riveting Olympics wrapping up last weekend, over 1 billion people (including me) were glued to the TV for 17 days watching the amazing opening/closing ceremonies, along with all the edge-of-your-seat, world-record-setting competitions.

Now that was good reality TV!  (Heck, I’m still watching some of the games on my TiVo!)

Of course in all of the coverage, virtually everyone put the athletes and their medals in the spotlight.  And rightfully so considering all of the winners devoted their entire lives to their sport, often at the expense of everything else around them.

However the unsung heroes (who also devoted decades of time themselves) are the coaches and mentors…the people who inspired, trained and shaped the athletes into world class champions.  Take Michael Phelps’s coach, Bob Bowman, who has worked with Phelps since he was 11 years old.  Talk about dedication!

That’s why I wanted to update this popular post about finding a good mentor to help YOU achieve your goals and break world records in your chosen endeavors.

How do you find a good mentor and what should you look for and be willing to do?

A few years back, I highlighted the importance of a good mentor in my “mega-success” article series.  Today, I’d like to expand on that and share with you a 9-part “checklist” you can use in your search for your own gold medal coach….

KEY #1) First and foremost, find someone that you have access to. Your mentor needs to be available by phone and whenever possible can meet with you face to face. Setting up a regular schedule to meet in person or talk on the phone promotes accountability aimed in the right direction. (Tip: A great meeting place is live seminars.)

KEY #2) Become attached to someone who’s greater than you. If you stay at the same level as everybody else, there’s no growth. You must stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and reach upward – not backwards or sideways.

KEY #3) Make sure when you find someone “greater” than you, that you find somebody who’s walking in the shoes that you want to walk in one day, someone who is where YOU want to be. If you want to make $100,000 in six months, follow someone who makes $1 million (or more!) in three months.

My buddy Mike Filsaime (doing $10 million+ a year online) says he can’t teach someone how to just make $1,000/month – he only knows how to help people make $10k, $20k and more each month, because a thousand dollars is simply thinking too small for him.

You want to learn from someone like that who can stretch your thinking!

KEY #4) Going along with expanded thinking, make sure you align with a mentor who can help you aim higher than you would aim if left to your own devices. Don’t deceive yourself by trying to attach yourself to someone who just looks good, but find someone who’s actually making their goals happen now – and your association with them will you make your goals happen NOW, too.

KEY #5) Find someone that you respect and can hold you accountable for what they ask of you. Your progress needs to be gauged in measurable steps.  An effective mentor can direct you to tools and strategies that help you measure results – resources you would never have known about otherwise.

KEY #6) You should become a model protégé and follow your mentor.  Copy exactly what your mentor tells you to do and always have the attitude of a student.  A good mentor will care about you and want to walk you through the process, someone who will want to make sure that you’re moving toward successful goals. Remember, they’ve probably “been there, done that” on their own road to success.

KEY #7) Use good judgment when choosing a mentor and stay focused in reality. Rather than being dazzled by what your mentor has been able to accomplish, grill them on their failures as well as their successes. You will often learn as much – if not more – from their mistakes.

KEY #8) Have more than one good mentor. Learning comes from many sources, and having one, two, three or more good mentors broadens your knowledge of how to reach your goals. You’ll find that although mentors share common traits, each is unique and has his or her own story.

Find a mentor or coach for each area of your life you want to work on: business, financial, health, relationships, spiritual, etc.

KEY #9) Last but not least, trust your instincts and be willing to disengage from a mentor if the fit just doesn’t feel right. Even though good mentors are busy meeting their own goals, they still find time to support those who follow them.

Keep in mind it’s important you have wholehearted trust in the person you choose to emulate, otherwise the relationship won’t work out.  Don’t waste time trying to force it…but ask yourself “What went wrong?”  Then learn from it and move on.

And what happens if you can’t get to your perfect mentor in person?

Study their works.  Read their books.  Buy their products.  Attend their events.  You can still gain a huge amount of knowledge from the mentoring they are providing to the masses.

In many cases, you need to start at this level and take action before you contact the mentor personally.  That way you show you are serious and goal-oriented.

Whichever route you choose, a good mentor or coach can help you change your life for the better, so become associated with as many as you can and learn from all of them. The sooner you start, the sooner you’re on the road to success!

*************************

Please feel to leave your comments below.  I’d love to know what you thought of the article, as well as what tips and strategies YOU use for finding good mentors!

 

Comments

  1. Don Pasco says:

    Hey Chris,

    That was great information.

    I’ve had my share of mentors… both good and not
    so good, and what you’ve said makes perfect sense.

    Don

  2. Chuck Bartok says:

    As always, Chris, a number one article. I was just putting together a Video on the same subject.

    I will use a statement or two with full credit to YOU, the number one Trainer on the Net!

  3. Irven Bettag says:

    Hi Rich: Wishing you all the best, and I’m sending you all of Gods Love all I can at least. “God be with you always”

  4. Faisal says:

    Hi Chris,

    Great!! You straightly defined a true mentor. I see everyone requires a mentor at some point in life or another. These tips really will do a good turn for me to choose a coach.

    Thanks!!

    Faisal

  5. Koshy says:

    That really helps!

    I am more of an introvert kind of person, therefore, getting in touch with a new person to look up to as a mentor is not my cup of tea. However I have used a lot of mentors in my life.

    I am interested in playing games like soccer, basketball, Table Tennis. In my endeavors to grow from the amateur to a good player, I have come across many mentors. Some have taught me the basics, some have helped me practice, by making themselves available when I needed them. There are some that criticized. Can such people be mentors? In fact I found my favorite mentor to be criticizing. He was my soccer coach in school. He (Sylvester) helped me grow from “nothing” to “best defender” in a tournament.

    I like the point “KEY #3) someone who is where YOU want to be”. I guess this is a very important part of a mentor. While playing, I often realize that your game depends on the opponent. If you play against a good player, you may lose but in the end you will be satisfied that you fought well and that you learnt a few tricks. Similarly when you play with someone who is of the save level as you or at a lower level than you, you may win them game, but you may not gain much from the encounter.

    There are other mentors to whom I have looked up to for my studies. They have helped me compete, by giving tips and sharing their strategies.

    A mentor should be accessible(very true! Can someone whom you do not have access to, be a mentor, leave alone a good mentor?), at least someone whom you can see or have around to look up to in difficult situations.

    Finally the blog very truly acknowledges that it is in our hands to decide, whether we should learn from a particular person or not. Sometimes the annoying boss or an irritating person, can teach you more than a very understanding friend. An enemy will show you your weaknesses, and you can use this as an opportunity to build on those weaknesses( if you take it in the right sense!).

    Thanks Chris. This is a set of guidelines that I will use.

    Koshy

  6. Irven Bettag says:

    Chris Please check into this: Daily Health News (“Finding the Clinical Trial that Can Cure Your Cancer”) my page. I hope you can find this 5 page sheet and I pray it can HELP God be with you also.

  7. Revathi says:

    Hi Chris,

    This is a very in-depth and detailed article. It was well-written and contained sound, practical advice. You pointed out several things. Thank you for your thorough research and clear writing.

    keep these good articles coming.

    Revathi.S

  8. david fitzgerald says:

    Indeed – useful ideas on selection of a mentor. Like other responders I too have good and bad experiences with mentors.

    Is there a follow-up article on where to find them? Joined several membership sites hoping forums and mastermind groups would “fill in the gaps” – wishful thinking!!

    Lots of information on “what to do” and little on “how to do it” to quote the great Jim Edwards.

    David

  9. Hi David and everyone else,

    Thanks for your comments — always welcome!

    You raise a good point about actually finding them. Might make for a good follow-up article like you suggested (you may see these comments below expanded a bit into an article soon…hehe).

    There are 3 levels really:

    1) I’d refer you to the last part of the article above where I mentioned getting mentorship via products/courses. That is a specific way to accomplish getting the help/info you need.

    For me, that was HUGE in the beginning since I had NO name. One thing to consider when looking for a mentor is that you’re asking THEM to make a time investment too…so you must show you’re actually worth it (versus the majority of people who can talk a good game, but who don’t take action).

    2) Live events. This puts you closer to the expert…but you should expect to attend a few…so you can show GROWTH from one event to the next.

    3) Mastermind programs/coaching groups. Some are hit or miss, but if you do your homework right, you can end up in a room with some people who are top notch players…which puts you closer to a mentoring relationship.

    A mentor does NOT have to be someone who is a “big name” either — just someone who can help you get to where you need to go. There are millions of people out there who are more successful than you and me…and would be willing to give back and help someone else.

    I went through the progression above and it was worth more than just $$$ to me, but also great friendship with many people. (Search the blog for my “mega-success” article series…I think it’s Part 2 where I talk about some of my personal experiences and share an example). For me, I bought everything I could get my hands on…and started going to live events.

    Two of my very close friends, Yanik Silver and Jim Edwards, started out as people I just bought products from. Then they saw me at live events….saw me taking action. And I moved into a mastermind program….and now, years later, I’m great friends and business partners with them. We’ve gone on trips together, hung out with each others families, and have worked together for years.

    A lot of this happened because I took action and got results — and they were aware of it. That’s key.

    The funny thing is, when you get to a certain level, the tables turn and YOUR input is requested. Jim and Yanik bounce stuff off me and bring me in for advice (if you’re on their lists, you’ve probably seen what I mean), just as much as I was looking to them for help in the early years.

    In other cases, a mentor relationship started from simply writing a letter or getting a meeting with someone and ASKING for the help. Yes, it can be that simple.

    Many people don’t ASK and TAKE ACTION for what they want — that’s one of the big “secrets” to making it happen.

    Hope that helps you out — and thanks again for the comments!

    Chris :)

  10. Koshy – thanks for sharing your personal story. That’s an excellent example!

    Chuck – thanks for your kind words…good timing. Appreciate you including me in your video!

    Chris :)

  11. Keith Howard says:

    Hi Chris,
    sorry I missed your blog last week . But please give my best wishes to your father and I hope and pray that he gets well soon …

    Keith.. :-)

  12. Ernest Troie says:

    Chris,I’m sorry to hear about your father.I’ll keep him in prayer. What’s his name? Has anyone told you about the power of Xanthones and their power as an anti-inflamatory? Cancer as well as most diseases seam to be of inflamation. You can find out more at pubmed.com.
    God bless you,
    Ernest Troie

  13. Sean says:

    Some more good advice: Realize your mentor is not perfect and may make a mistake now and then!

  14. Josh Bradley says:

    Enjoyed reading this Chris… Especially like that example using Mike Filsaime…

    My buddy Mike Filsaime (doing 10 million a year online) says he can’t teach someone how to just make $1,000/month – he only knows how to help people make $10k, $20k and more each month, because a thousand dollars is simply thinking too small for him.

    Great concept!

  15. I really like the idea of having more than one mentor. Also, to make sure that your mentor has already accomplished what you are trying to accomplish. That is some sound advice. Let’s face it if Presidents, CEOs and top athletes have mentors, so should we.

    Just my two cents.

    Chuck

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