Back in the early 80’s, I remember a commercial for real estate seminars that was unique, to say the least. It featured twin brothers and real estate moguls John and Greg Rice, who – whilst wearing matching pink suits, and standing only 2 feet, 10 inches – were pitching seminars on how anyone could make millions in the real estate market, the same way they did. The things they had to say were so compelling, viewers quickly forgot the gaudy suits, instead wanting to hear more of their philosophies and ideologies. All in all, their key message was simple, yet profound:
“If we can do it, then so can you”
The beauty of an idea this simple is that it’s hard to misinterpret, or mess up. In their interview, John and Greg went on to discuss aspects of their lives – most importantly, key philosophies taught by their adopted mother, a woman who really knew how to make these two kids feel, well, “special” and grounded in their uniqueness – something I can relate to. She instilled within them the idea that they were made to do great things, referring to them as “Dimes in a world full of nickels: smaller, but worth more”, insisting it was their responsibility to reveal what their true worth was to the world. This advice clearly founded a burning drive and ambition in the twin boys; they took her words very seriously, eventually becoming very wealthy real estate moguls, as well as outstanding community leaders.
Despite the poignancy of their story, all these years later, one key point they made still sticks with me; it was while they were discussing the important role mentors played in their success, and why anyone who wants to be successful at anything, should seek one out. I’m paraphrasing, but their comments went something like this:
“If a rich person and a poor person go out for lunch, then who should pay the bill? Why the poor person of course! This is because they can learn something valuable from the rich person. If someone believes that the rich person should pay simply because they are rich and not the other person because they are poor, then the lesson is lost. They simply will never “get it”
Mentors Aren’t Just For Building Wealth – No Way
I believe this profound bit of wisdom applies not just to earning scads of money, but to all of areas of life; something we learned from an earlier guest post by my friend Dustin Hogan. In other words, in order to get on a “fast track” for anything, it only makes sense to find someone who has already done whatever it is that you want to do, then get some face-time with them to ask questions. And by “someone who has done it” I’m not referring to a paid professional who does (insert “thing” here) for a living; but rather someone who has actually journeyed down the same path you are looking to begin going down. Just like picking great teachers and trainers, you want to find someone who has “been there and done that” to talk to about your upcoming adventure… whatever it looks like for you. For example:
Recently my friend Crystal over at the enlightenedglobetrekker.com decided that she wanted to visit Thailand with her daughter, and experience the amazing culture, etc. – but if you’ve ever been to Bangkok, you’ll know there are definitely parts of the city where you don’t want a woman and young girl walking around alone. Not to worry; Crystal is a true pro! She knows any travel agent will furnish her with flight and hotel costs, possible charters to the islands, etc.- but unless those same travel agents have a “been-there-done-that” working knowledge of the country, it’s nothing more for her than a bunch of information from brochures and websites. Crystal needed to hear the “do’s and don’ts” of Thai travel from the horse’s (or in this case, the many horses!) mouth.
She reached out through her website, asking for some “Thailand Mentors” to come forth; and in return, got a ton of information and advice from people who’d spend time all over the country – you know, people who’d backpacked through the jungles and rice paddies, swum in the crystal clear blue waters of Krabi, and who had explored the temples and ruins while traveling by Tuk-Tuks. And with the plethora of first-person experiences she received back from her many mentors, Crystal was able to plan a trip she’d love, knowing her choices would be solid, because of one fact: They were all based on advice from people who’d been there themselves. F.Y.I.: My suggestion was spending time at Railey and Phra Nang Beaches, just outside of Ao Nang… the most gorgeous beach I’ve ever been to.
Finding a Mentor is Easier Than You Think
It’s true: When you want to undertake a new adventure, but don’t know where to start, find someone who has already done it, and then ask them out for coffee or lunch. If you don’t have a website like Crystal, no worries – just ask around online (Facebook) or within your circle of friends if they have, or know of anyone who has been done the road you are looking at; and if you ask enough, trust me someone WILL come forward, and for the price of a sandwich or latte are usually very happy to share all of this information with you. People love to talk about their experiences – especially if they’ve gone through any adversity to get to succeed, and being asked to share this kind of information is a very big compliment to them.
Do you want to start a small business? Find a “Small Business” mentor and buy them lunch. Do you want to renovate your home? Find a “Renovation” mentor and buy them a coffee. You want to lose weight? Make more money? Backpack around the world? Learn a new skill? You guessed it – find the mentors and offer to buy them a coffee or lunch. If they agree to meet with you, I promise it will be one of the best investments you ever make. Even better, don’t be surprised if you also make a really great new friend out of the deal, since you may have found a kindred soul in the process!
Here’s a bit of advice: When you are actually sitting face to face with your mentor, make sure that you prepare some questions ahead of time, and take lots of notes: This will help your mentor know that you are a serious student of the topic. Who knows? They may even offer to help you with contacts and resources that reach far beyond this initial meeting, helping you to save a ton of time (maybe even money) putting you on the fast track to making your goal a reality. Since they’ve already “Been-there-and-done-that” then you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, right?
And as your own life experiences grow, don’t be surprised when someone comes up to you one day and asks if they can buy YOU lunch in exchange for your thoughts and knowledge. You too will be flattered, and will think back to the time you asked someone for this same gift. You will enjoy the feeling of being able to “Pay it Forward” and share your own ideas to help someone, be it in a fledgling enterprise or project, which is also cool because you will also feel the excitement as this idea comes full circle! And to think it all began from watching a cheesy television commercial way back in the 80’s… Wow. I couldn’t find the original one, but here is a commercial the Rice brothers did in 2001.
For more on their story, click HERE.
Oh, and if you ever want me to mentor you, forget the coffee… it’ll cost you a bacon cheeseburger and fries! Cheers!