There’s no way I would be where I am today if it weren’t for my mentor, former CEO of American Airlines, Al Casey. He took a chance on me, which opened the first door and put me on my path to success.
You know, the apprentice model has been around forever, way before the United States. That has always been the case. The folks in the United States don’t understand the apprentice model, where you’re going to school and you’re doing some kind of job to learn a skill, not because the businesses are trying to get slave labor, but because they believe in the careers and these folks who are apprentices or students or mentees understand that they’re going to be loyal and stay for a few years and learn a particular trade.
Apprenticeships can open up all kinds of opportunities, and the mentors can open their networks, and then these folks can then start their own shop, or do their own thing or, or actually go work at the company. But whatever they do, they do it prepared.
That way of thinking has been lost. Maybe it’s because of the loss of respect for your elders or the idea that millennials need a prize every 30 seconds for attending, for breathing, or loss of patience because of the whole, like distraction of electronic devices.
Whatever you want to call it, the lost art of mentorship is what I want to bring back.
But what I really want is to bring it back at scale.
When I say mentorship at scale, all the stuff that I’ve learned, how to do, which I’ve learned from other people, because you always start with the purest source, I have sought to write it down into checklists.
It could be a checklist on How do you boost a post. It could be a checklist on How you set up a website. A checklist on What do you do before, during, and after a client meeting. A checklist on How do you create a statement of work.
You can take that and systematize it, and that’s mentorship. You know, education and mentorship are really the same thing.
Choose ONE niche serving ONE type of customer doing ONE thing really well, instead of doing many things for many types of people. The latter doesn’t scale and results in headaches.
Even a technology business is still a people business first— you need relationship skill to sell, manage employees, and build partnerships. Develop EQ instead of being “just business” all the time.
The path is longer than you think, costs more than you think, and has problems your best-laid plans don’t account for. Still set goals, but don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong.
Focus on getting results, not on how you look. In due time, people will know you by your accomplishments.
Charge a LOT more than you think. Easier to service a few customers paying a lot than many customers who pay little. The less they pay, the more they expect.
Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Keep a list of mentors who advise you on key issues.
The “hustle” of working non-stop is a young man’s game. Take care of your body and have no guilt in enjoying down time. A fully charged hour of yourself is more productive than a full day of grinding while tired.
Turn the camera on to document the journey. Others will learn from your struggles and things they don’t have the courage to reveal openly.
Rather than trying to “network”, be choosy in having a close group of high vibration friends who have done what you want to do.
Take advice only from people who have achieved the goals you have— everyone, especially friends, love to offer you their unqualified opinions.
People who are mean to you are actually revealing their hidden pain. Be kind to them. It’s not personal.
Honor promises you made to yourself at the same level of an important client meeting in your calendar.
Happiness comes from serving others— toys and status soon lose their shiny appeal.
Your income is in direct proportion to the value of the problems you solve. What do you do well that you can scale through people, process, and platform?
Wealthy people own assets that produce residual income— so they focus their efforts by impact, not by hours worked, meetings had, or tasks done. Build a business or multiple businesses that can operate without you, but set the example as the first employee.
Give away your knowledge freely— karma will come back 100 fold, even years later.
Someone just asked us what they should send to a potential client who is asking for case studies– but they have none.
You partner with an agency that does.
Trying to sell without authority is not only hard, but it sets you up for failure on something you’ve done before many times.
Would you trust a heart surgeon to operate on you if they’ve not done heart surgery before?
I feel for consultants who are trying to get their first few clients– it’s hard.
If I were starting from scratch, I’d find a mentor who has done what I’d like to do and work for them for free– doing anything necessary to build their business, while having the chance to learn from them.
Maybe they aren’t paying you– but consider how much you’d have to pay them for mentorship and to grow your career.