SNM126: You Absolutely, Positively Must Find a Mentor if You Want to Succeed

Children learn by asking questions and adults need to learn the same way.  Without guidance, you can take a wrong turn and spend years wandering in the desert.

I Can't Afford a Coach

There is a big difference between coaches and mentors – mentors don't send you a bill at the end of the month.

My first mentor Greig has an amazing story.

He was at a local conference and bought a guy coffee and asked him questions for about twenty or thirty minutes.

A few days later a bill came in the mail.

What started out as a friendly chat turned mercenary very quickly.

That man is not a mentor, he's a coach and honestly, if you are going to charge someone for your time you should tell them before the clock starts.

Greig never spoke to that man again and he pointed the guy out to me to protect me.

What happens if I am standing at a conference and start talking to this guy without knowing that he has a secret timer in his pocket and is going to zap me with a bill for asking him if he's having a nice time?

You Have Value

I'm working on so many projects right now where I am looking for interns or mentees.

The idea that you have nothing to offer me just because you read my blog is insanity.

I can't possibly be an expert at everything.

Nobody is.

Ther are areas where I'm strong, but there are a lot more areas where I'm weak.

And this applies to every single person out there that you'd love to learn from.

Right now, I'm trying to grow in so many areas:

  • Launch a digital magazine
  • Launch an app
  • Dictate books faster
  • Design/release print on demand apparel

And those are just the things that I was working on today on the plane with my notebook.

Focus on Your Need Last

When you approach someone you want to mentor you, don't start out with that desire.

What you need isn't nearly as important as what you can offer.

Start by offering value.

Value can take many forms and the people you want to learn from will appreciate it.

I love when people find mistakes on the website for me.

The Smart Student

A few days ago I got an email from someone who had just read my book and asked for the coupon promised in there.

I sent him a coupon and then asked where he saw that.

I had no idea if I promised this coupon in an email or somewhere on the website, but I couldn't remember it.

Turns out that there is a chapter in Serve No Master, where I promise a 50% off coupon at the bottom of

How many people read my book, went looking for that coupon and then were disappointed?

But nobody told me!

It wasn't intentional or malicious; if you go look now, the coupon form is now at the bottom of the page.

Just for helping me out, I gave him complimentary access to another course.

He gave me value and I wanted to reward that.

The exact same principle of giving before you ask works with everyone.

And that's just the beginning…

Show Notes:


Key Points:

  1. Mentors prefer exchange of value
  2. Eventually the relationship transitions
  3. Find another mentor and offer new value

Resources Mentioned:

Breaking Orbit

Serve No Master on Amazon

Most other links can be found in my TOOLBOX


Send in your questions to podcast [at] servenomaster [dot] com


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