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Information Marketing Tip: Picking Your Mentors

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I just heard another HORROR story regarding an authors who was getting coached by some supposed expert. The mentor (who I would love to name and I can’t) gave the author very poor advice. As a result, this particular author completely alienated a number of other potential vendors.

What’s the message here? Pick the people you work with VERY carefully. If you’re an author, does it mean that your best mentor will be someone who has sold 10 millions books?

NOT at ALL! A mentor’s success in helping others has little to do with their own personal success. I’ve used the example before, but just because Tiger Woods is the best golfer on the planet, it doesn’t mean he’s the best golf TEACHER. Doing and teaching are two completely different skills.

I sincerely believe I am the BEST teacher in the field of creating, marketing and selling information products. I can back this statement up with evaluations from all of the events that I go to. Does this mean that I am making more money than everyone else in this field? The answer is no.

You need to pick people to help you based on a number of important criteria. YES, they should have actually done what they are teaching. BUT, they also need to be great teachers. Without that, you, as a mentee, are dead!

It might be exciting if you are an author to go to a seminar held by someone who is mega successful themselves as an author, but it’s like Chinese food, you may be hungry very soon after you’re done.

If all you’re looking for (and some people are) is a bunch of hype and motivational crap, then go right ahead. I’m 100% bored with people who want to ‘pump you up.’ If you’re in the field you love you should already be motivated. What you need are skills and blueprints. Useable plans and help in figuring out exactly WHAT to do and HOW to do it.

I look at purely motivational speakers as entertainers. I respect them for that. They are NOT teachers. They rarely, if ever share something that you can take home and actually DO to make your situation better. A generalization, but true most of the time.

So how do you choose someone to help you? I think it should be based on these 4 criteria:

1. Do you mesh well with them on a personal level?

I will be the first one to admit that there are some people I will NOT work well with at all. Anyone who wants a real touchey-feeley type who will sugar coat their comments and make some FEEL good is not going to work well with me.

I’m a pretty nice guy but when it comes to business I’m here to kick your butt and get you going in the right direction. I’m a drill sargent, not a therapist.

2. Has this person helped others achieve success?

First off, you better define what success is to you. If it’s different than your possible mentor, you have a problem.

If someone comes to me and is interested in improving their IMAGE, I’m not the right guy. I’m interested in improving their bank account.

It’s mandatory when people work with me that they are ‘interviewed’ by 3 or 4 existing clients. NEVER work with someone until you talk to at least a few of their existing clients.

3. Have they had success at some level in the field?

Again, they don’t have to be the best, but they have to have had success doing what they claim to be teaching. There are people out there coaching others on things they have NEVER done themselves. This is scary.

4. Do YOU have clear goals on what YOU are trying to achieve?

My goal is not to make a gazillion dollars. My goal is to live EXACTLY the life I want to live. I have a clear idea in my mind of exactly what that looks like to me. You need to have the same for yourself.

Then ask yourself: ‘Is this individual the right person to get me to MY goals?’ Many times the answer will be NO.

Those are the criteria, but I would also caution you to go SLOW! When people approach me about working with them I ask them to do a lot of things BEFORE I ask them to give me money. It is painful for me to take money from people that I’m not well suited to work with.

I recently moved into a big, new house. Big for me, having lived in NYC in less than 400 square feet for 20 years. Now that I’ve moved in I realize the only thing I REALLY love about having this big house is the movie room. I’ve got a huge 8 foot screen and 6 movie seats with stadium seating.

Guess what? I could have that in a 2 bedroom condo. I could recreate the whole thing in the living room of a place that size. So, in a few years, I’ll probably downsize into something much smaller, with fewer headaches. I don’t care about status and what others think, I care about what makes ME feel good and comfortable.

I’m convinced that VERY few people KNOW what they want. Not knowing what you want makes it super difficult to hit your target. Because there IS NO target. You don’t know what you’re going after. Movement does NOT equal PROGRESS.

So, figure out what you want and find the RIGHT person to help you get there.

Choose Your Partners Carefully . . . Or Not at ALL

Over the last few years I’ve been disappointed on a regular basis with some of the ‘partners’ I have selected to work on projects with.

I’m sure you’ve had the same experience because I hear it all the time from people when I travel or speak at events.

Here’s the biggest problem I have had. Even with people who I thought weren’t money hungry SOBs they end up becoming dollar obsessed.

It’s like someone didn’t tell these folks that money isn’t the ONLY thing that matters. Too bad. They lose. In many ways.

First off, you end up making MORE money with the ‘long view’ of things. You also tend to keep your friends if you operate this way.

I have one ‘partner’ who has owed me money for at least 6 months who doesn’t respond to my emails. I’m no longer emailing him AND I’m no longer doing any deals with him.

Another ‘partner’ was a good friend. He recently got caught up with the MONEY crowd. You know the people. They love to suck money out of people’s wallets but don’t like to give them any real value.

Well, he’s gone now. Gone as a ‘partner’ and gone as a friend.

Be careful who you choose. It can end up being rather painful when it ends.

A LOT more material coming up, so you may be getting a few more emails before this week is over.

Talk soon,


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