No one will mentor me

A recent podcast listener says my advice doesn’t work in Atlanta.

“Good Evening Dan Miller, I listen to your Podcast show every Friday. I have taken your advice but it does not seem to work in Atlanta, Georgia. I have tried time after time to acquire successful Mentors but most of the time I’m told No or they don't have the time. Most people will not share any wisdom or knowledge on how to become more successful in life. Most of the time people judge people based on the news channel here.  I know there's more to life than getting paid 11 dollars an hour. My question is can you be my Mentor or can you give me some ideas on how to become more successful in life.”   Connor

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Well Connor, I’ve got great news.  I just lined up a whole lot of really smart people who are willing to mentor you.  And you don’t have to wait or even ask permission.  I’ve checked it out and they have proven they are eager to pour out their principles of success – for you – right now.

Let’s get you started:

Ten Steps to being Mentored – and Becoming Rich

  1.         Read (or listen to) at least 12 great books – I have an Amazon.com Prime membership with unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping – and buy books liberally – and encourage you to do the same.  However, if you feel you cannot invest even small dollars in your education then check them out of the library. (See complete list here – Dan’s Reading List)

I know of no way to more quickly change your level of success than to read good books.

Old Classics like

  • Think and Grow Rich
  • The Magic of Thinking Big
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • The Strangest Secret

Timeless Greats

  • Thou Shall Prosper
  • A Whole New Mind
  • How to think like Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Success Principles

More recent titles

  • Take the Stairs
  • Linchpin
  • The Compound Effect
  • The Art of Non-Conformity

 2.       Attend 3 or 4 seminars

Chose what you’d like – but go with an open mind.  I attend a lot of seminars each year.  My goal is not to change my life with any ONE seminar, but to learn at least one great idea that I can use from each one.

“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

3.       Subscribe to at least two great magazines

You can get any magazine on line if you prefer.  I still enjoy holding the magazine, turning the pages and returning to them again and again.

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”  ~Chinese Proverb

 

4.       Listen to 3 or 4 informational podcasts  & read 3 or 4 blogs each week

You may be an audio or print learner.  No right or wrong – just select what works for you.  The free information is priceless. 

  1. Dan Miller  How to find or create Work you Love
  2. Guy Kawasaki   How to Change the World
  3. Seth Godin How to be Remarkable
  4. Chris Guillebeau Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel
  5. Jon Acuff   Stuff Christians Like
  6. Mike Hyatt  Intentional Leadership
  7. EntrepreneurOnFire – John Dumas
  8. Eventual Millionaire – Jaime Tardy

 

5.       Get involved in a social networking community like 48Days.net

I’m also a member of Triiibes.com  and RansomedHeart.net and FreeAgentAcademy.  Find a couple where you can identify with the group – then get involved.  Contribute, ask questions and give advice.  You’ll find your center of influence will grow rapidly. 

  1. Start your own blog  (WordPress)  It’s free on WordPress or you can just jump into the community at 48Days.net
  2. Write and then comment on others’ blogs
  3. Ask questions – seek advice

 

6.  Reach out to help someone else

These are people around the world who are committed to living a better story.  Helping them will help you feel connected to a larger life than what you have now.  And it will likely cost you $0 since 98% of the loans are repaid.  You can do this over and over.    I recently loaned $50 to a guy in Ecuador who is an auto mechanic and wanted to expand his tool supply.  And then I made another loan to a lady in Peru who has her own little Laundromat.  She has two washing machines now and allows the village women to come in and do their laundry.  She wants to add two more machines to expand her little business.  I saw the loans being repaid with amounts like $3.47 a month.  Both loans have now been totally repaid and can provide those funds for others finding their own success.  I enjoy being part of stories like this.

  1. Or you can go to http://www.worldvision.org/ and provide a goat and 2 chickens for $100.  You’ll be giving a precious start to a family that is looking to improve their lives.
  2. Volunteer for a Habitat for Humanity house project
  3. Mentor an ex-felon who needs a hand up (Leaving the CocoonMen of Valor)

 

7.       Acquire at least one new skill this year

Each year I select an area of interest – having nothing to do with business or making money.  Purely for the “education.”  Imagine that.

  1. Photography
  2. Martial arts
  3. Astronomy
  4. Our Spiritual heritage
  5. Birds in your local area
  6. Learn a new language
  7. Take the Drawing onthe right side of the brain (Betty Edwards) class.
  8. Start a book discussion  or Mastermind group
  9. Get a vocational degree in something you can use immediately

 “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”  ~Henry Ford

 

8.       Become comfortable with your presentation skills

No matter what your career or business you must be comfortable presenting your ideas.  It will do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem.  You will find it easier to complete a sales transaction, have conversations with family and friends, and find success in your career.

  1. Join Toastmasters
  2. Take the Dale Carnegie Human Relations course (free first session)
  3. Teach a Sunday School class at your church
  4. Volunteer to lead a book discussion at your local library

 

9.       Design your own health and fitness program

Success is never just about making money.  If you deplete your physical resources you will fail at everything else.  Make sure you are making deposits of success in this area every day.

  1. Join a club
  2. Design your own plan
  3. Read two great nutrition books
  4. Control your diet
  5. Make consistent good choices

 

10.   Plan two trips this year

Many people think they cannot afford to travel.  Joanne and I continued to travel even through our toughest times financially.  I’ve been treating her to Christmastime in Chicago for over 20 years now.  Direct flights from Nashville used to be $69 round trip (a little more now).  And few people travel on business the week of Christmas so 4-star hotels are cheap and easy to get.  Typically I have used PriceLine to put in my bid of about $79 a night.  But just do something that excites you.  Be creative.  Joanne and I often go downtown Nashville and just pretend we’re tourists.  We walk through the classic cathedrals, over the unique pedestrian bridges, and visit the art displays. 

  1. Off-season (Chicago at Christmas time)
  2. You can swap houses with someone anywhere in the world:  http://www.homeexchange.com            http://www.homelink.org/
  3. You can rent a unique place from the owner (like a cottage in Ireland for $280/wk)

Vacation Rentals by Owner   http://www.vrbo.com/

 

As soon as you start anywhere on this list, a couple things will happen:

  1. You will separate yourself from about 98% of the people around you.  You will “see” more and “expect” more and Dan & Seth Godinnew and better opportunities will appear.
  2. You’re self-confidence will increase.  You will be more attractive to your current and potential new employers.
  3. You will be more engaging with those real-life mentors you are approaching.  You will talk with more knowledge, enthusiasm, boldness and confidence – and those characteristics will make people more willing to spend time with you.

You are in the driver’s seat.  You don’t need to wait on anyone or ask permission.  Incidentally, this is exactly the process I used for many years before I had the privilege of actually meeting mentors like Zig Ziglar, Mark Victor Hansen, Ken Blanchard, Les Brown, Brian Tracy, Stephen Covey, Seth Godin, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Michael Hyatt and Dave Ramsey in person.  You can do the same.

 “Never rest on your achievements; always nurture your potential.”  Denis Waitley

What have you other readers used as ways to be “mentored” by the greatest minds in the world?

Share this Post

  • Wow, this is an outstanding post! I was just talking to somebody yesterday who was lamenting never being mentored. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my husband and I have made a habit over the last decades of living most of the points you described here. No wonder it never occurred to us that we’ve failed to be “mentored.” We were often busy mentoring others on whatever level we were.
    I LOVE #7 though, because it’s one thing I haven’t done intentionally every year, due to feeling so busy with my current commitments.

  • Great post, Dan and very timely! I frequently work on formal and in several informal mentoring relationships and this will be very useful for me to direct people to a one-stop shop for several options. I am an avid believer in each of these, although I tend to fall behind on my magazine reading these days.

  • ScottAbsorbing

    Great post, Dan! I just wanted to say…thank you.

  • Diana

    Dan, having lived in Atlanta for over 20 years I can relate with the writer. There is closed mindset here I have never encountered anywhere else. Like pretty much only associates with like, in many places. However, in addition to all your excellent advice, I would tell your listener to get very clear on who they are and what they want and look at what people just a few step ahead are doing, and follow their lead. Mentors exist here, you just have to know what you’re looking for.

  • Great message, practical ideas, actionable information. There is nowhere to go but up from here!

    Being part of a supportive social community is so important! I have learned so much being part of 48 Days, and the people I have met have changed my life.

    Earlier this year, I was part of a 100-woman launch team for Holley Gerth’s book You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream. Another dreamer, Crystal Stine, just wrote today about the community, and she echoes my thoughts: I have also come to discover that God will not give you a God Sized Dream without also giving you a community of supporters, prayer warriors, advocates, and encouragers. And in return, He has taught me to be this person for others.

    Thanks for being such a dream warrior, Dan!

  • Mark Lilly

    Such a great post and very clear as to how to get the ball rolling. Get a few easy wins under your belt like reading some magazine articles online or reading one of the recommended books and continue on from there. It may be true that things are more difficult in your particular region but you can’t underestimate the virtual resources you have available to you.

  • arch1960

    I just try to be ME, and encourage anybody and everybody that will allow me to! And by that, I’ve met (and quite often built pretty good relationships with them) lots of really cool folks that are out there changing the world for the better! I believe most people know that I REALLY DO believe LIFE IS GOOD!!! I also believe that being a positive minded person attracts the very best of everything, including magnificent mentors! 🙂

  • Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

    Great action suggestions!! Today more than ever it is easy to connect with members. Like anything finding excuses is a whole lot easier than deciding to take action to connect with greatness. Another brainstorm idea that I teach in my group coaching IFA program is to find mentors you want to be around and start serving. This can also go for organizations that you want to know more about.
    Thank you for the great ideas!!
    Jen

    • arch1960

      So make sure to hang with the GREATS, like Ms. Iron Jen! 🙂

      • Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

        HA! Right back at you Archie – YOU are not only one of the “GREATS”, but also one of the “FUN GREATS” I get to be associated with!!!!!!!!!

    • IFA is definitely where it’s at!

      • Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

        Brad, oh my gosh, THANK YOU for the kind note!!! IFA has been not only a joy to be able to share with folks, but also a great learning experience in learning from those participating. Thank you again!

  • Dan,
    Loved this one! What a great list… I book marked it to come back to again and again.

  • The gatekeepers left the key in the gate!

    • 48DaysDan

      Sonya,

      OH – I love that. They did indeed. All we have to do is walk in.

  • kellie

    I watch lots of free videos on YouTube. My favorites are Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer. I can always learn something new.

    • 48DaysDan

      Brad,
      Ha – I’m sure there are plenty of other “Connors” out there who are watching you.

  • Maria

    This is what i needed as well. Lately, I’ve been feeling stuck in a “life rut”. Thanks so much for the mentor list!

  • Charisnotparis

    I LOVE this post. I’ve been mentored by others not necessarily because I’ve sought after people but because I kept focusing on seeking after God. And, a lot of the time I’ve had to ‘invest’ to receive that training! 🙂 Personal development is so well worth it.

  • Wow. Wow. Wow. What a powerful list. Thanks for sharing it, Dan.

  • Tymikia Glenn

    This was awesome! I am a small business owner and wanted a mentor but was also having a very hard time finding one. Thank you for this valuable information. Your site has been bookmarked on my iPad. Be blessed

    • 48DaysDan

      Tymikia – thanks for your comments. Mentors are all around us if we’re intentional about finding them.

  • Royce Harrell

    Dan, great advice and list as always. But I particularly like the advice of starting anywhere on the list but as Jon Acuff says….START!

  • Marian Samela Dingus

    At 59 years young, this was incredibly valuable information! I just started a production company. We did our first Dance Concert in June and it was a hit! It is encouraging to know that I need look no further than my public library for mentors and inspiration. Thank you!

  • Jason Pockrandt

    What a great post Dan. I appreciate all of the simplicity and effort you put forth in listing these out. I feel the same way that I know one day by doing this I will in fact meet these mentors of mine. Although I have been blessed already to meet Dave Ramsey. He is changing my life as I speak. Looking forward to the day I attend your conference. Thanks for this article and your sources on giving. I am excited to look into Worldvision.

    • 48DaysDan

      Jason,
      It’s funny how if you begin modeling the behavior of successful people your lives start to intertwine – and suddenly you look up and are standing next to them.

  • HerronS

    Dan I love this exhaustive list of ideas! I have been implementing these very things for quite awhile now. My mentors are now waiting in line to speak life into me. They line my bookshelves, they are in my iTunes library, on my smartphone through apps like Stitcher and my inbox through subscriptions and my traditional magazine subscriptions, and in my car’s CD player. My only frustration is that I can’t get to all of them quickly enough! That is a great problem to have. My mind is constantly thinking of new ideas and how I can become someone others want to be around. Love your input!!!

    • 48DaysDan

      Steve – wow that’s a great mental image you’re created. The scary thing is to realize you can walk into anyone’s home and see who their mentors are. If Southpark is blasting on the TV, Kim Kardasian is looking at you from the front of three magazines on the coffee table, Find Me by Rosie O’Donnell is the most prominent book on the shelf and there’s an O.J. Simpson football jersey hanging on the wall – you know who’s mentoring the people that live there.

  • Karen Ray

    Dan, what a great list of resources. I consider “continuing education” to be a great investment; sharpens my thinking and sparks creativity. I’ve met a great co-worker (Margie Latch) through the 48 days network for book formatting for my memoir business. Have passed along many of 48 days’ great posts and podcasts to friends, family and adult children looking to find their own inspiration and passion. Travel and new experiences are also great for getting outside your box. Returned refreshed from a hiking and camping trip with pages of notes/photos/poems and descriptions to be used in future magazine articles. Always travel with a good book, pencil and notebook and use that travel time for inspiration and spending time with your mentors.

  • Brad Miller

    Cool! Thank you Dan Miller!

  • Mary Kathan

    This is one of my favorite tips you have given….it makes such a huge difference and opens your mind to the possibilitiy so much more in life. Blessings!

  • Bill Dyment

    Great ideas, Dan. Thanks so much for sharing. I will be sure to pass these tips along. Blessings!

    In return, here’s a recent great Wall Street Journal article on how to graduate from a private college debt free. In this case, from Biola University, which is roughly $40K/year! I thought it was right up your make-it-happen, no victim, alley. Enjoy!

    http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424127887324105204578382561144181552-lMyQjAxMTAzMDIwNDEyNDQyWj.html?mod=wsj_valettop_email