Being in business for yourself can be difficult. When you aren’t a part of a large organization, you don’t have built in mentors, managers or leaders. You’re in this on your own, or are you?
When I left my corporate job as a financial advisor I was nervous. At the time, I had 4 different coaches, leaders and mentors that I had scheduled meetings with and could reach out to whenever I wanted. This was a huge help in building my financial practice but now what? Now those relationships are gone - or at least not formalized anymore.
I was left by myself and on my own 100%. Sure, I had friends and family around me to support me but they weren’t experts in where I wanted to go and in the consulting space that I was entering. So I had a choice to make - I could either try to figure it out on my own or I could absorb information.
This leads us to the 3 ways in which you can create and find your very own mentors regardless of what business you are opening…
Podcasts are absolutely amazing. I never really listened to them until I went into business on my own. I first discovered the MFCEO Project with Andy Frisella and I can honestly say that it changed my life. His business acumen and delivery is on point and I’ve learned so much from him. What I do whenever I listen to a podcast, is I listen to them at 2x speed to listen to them in half the time. I’ve found that a lot of these people talk on the slower side and my brain can handle it at a little bit of a fast pace. This is critical because I can listen to an hour long podcast in just 30 minutes…we can all find an extra 30 minutes in a day.
One thing I love about podcasts is that they typically have guests on their shows and you end up being introduced to other very successful people that in turn have their own podcasts that you can dive into as well. There’s an endless supply of information out there, it’s just a matter of setting aside the time to absorb it.
I started reading again at the beginning of this past year starting with Gary Vaynerchuck’s book, Crushing It!. I literally couldn’t put it down and ended up reading all his other books as well within the next few weeks and then went to a book signing of his to meet him - he’s had a huge impact on me.
I then found myself getting “busy” and unable to find time to sit down and read. I went the next couple of months not really reading as much as I should have been until I came across a stat. That stat states that the average CEO reads 60 books per year whereas the average American reads less than one book per year. The average American also in turn makes 319x less the average CEO. This really hit me. Reading is 100% in your control and if I just did it and took action on what I learned, I would be on my way to the top. The problem still was - lack of time. I was running all over the place and couldn’t see where I could fit it in.
I then saw a friend of mine post about the app Audible so I decided to give it a try. I filled all my “dead space” with listening to books. This included when I was at the gym, driving, walking, getting ready in the morning etc. I found that all those times added together were anywhere from 3–6 hours depending on the day. The average audio book is about 8 hours long which means at 2x speed, I could average about a book per day and that’s exactly what I did. I now average 5 books per week and then spend a couple days game planning how I’m going to implement what I learn.
What I love about reading (or listening in my case) is that you are taking someone years of experience, trials and tribulations and absorbing a lot of that in just a four hour period of time. That is amazing! Can you see how these authors end up serving as mentors for you? I mean all a mentor really is, is someone that you can look up to, learn from and be guided by. All of that is in a book and listening or reading is 100% in your control.
3. Social Media
As I listen to podcasts and listen to books, I always make sure to follow all of the authors/hosts on their social media portals. This is where the fresh information lives. What I then started to do was liking their posts, commenting on them - basically using the social network for what it is - being social.
You’d be shocked how open-minded, responsive and willing to help these successful people are. I’ve messaged them on Instagram, scheduled calls with them, communicated on those platforms asking questions and sharing ideas - all for FREE. They are willing to help, extend their impact and see you grow. Now here’s the things, they know, as do I, that things come full circle and when I can repay them in the future I will and in some cases already have. I can’t stress enough the importance of putting yourself out there and seeking advice - I mean as the saying goes, “you have not because you ask not.”
These are the three strategies I’ve used to build my own personal team of mentors that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. I encourage you to take the next step and pick a podcast, pick a book and start listening, filling your brain with positive ideas. If you follow that up with consistent action, you cannot fail.
Thanks for reading and I’d like to invite you to follow me on Instagram @david_decelle