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Find a Wing to Climb Under

This next article is part of an ongoing series here at TSB Magazine called The Success Principles. The series is based on the 64 principles laid out by Jack Canfield in his course of the same name. If you`re new, I always suggest starting any series from the beginning.

Principle 44:  Find a Wing to Climb Under

Despite some of the best information available on how to accomplish any task, most people still tend to ask their friends, neighbors, coworkers, and siblings for advice on key issues they may be facing.  Too often, they ask the advice of others who have never triumphed over the specific hardship they are facing or who have never succeeded in their specific area of endeavor. – Canfield

As I wrote about in Principle 9, success leaves clues.  Anything you could possibly want to do has already been done by someone else.  Chances are there are already books written on the subject, courses be taught, seminars given, CDs, DVDs, and workbooks all with clear instructions on how to accomplish exactly what you want to accomplish.

But by far, the most successful strategies to learn any thing is to continually seek out the guidance and advice of experts in the field.  Finding a mentor can be the most life changing action you’ve ever taken.

Determine What You Want From a Mentor

Most people are quite frankly scared to ask someone to be their mentor.  This goes back to the principle on asking for what you want. The truth is that not every successful person is going to have the time, patience, or energy to help out someone just getting started in their field.  But you will be surprised at how many of them will be excited for an opportunity to pass along the knowledge and wisdom that they’ve acquired over the years.

The most important thing you will most likely learn from a good mentor is how to see the possibilities.  I remember back when I was an amateur-wannabe- real estate investor right out of college.  I used to attend a monthly investor club.  There was one particular older investor who enjoyed sitting down with my partner and myself and talking our ear off about investment.  Later when my partner and I had a potential deal on the table, we decided to run it past our “mentor.” Not only did he give us some great tips on how to proceed, but he opened our eyes to a whole new possibility for further increasing our return on investment.  At the time, we had spent hundreds of dollars on books and CD courses on the topic.  But none of that advice was as useful as a simple piece of instruction our mentor handed us for free.

Do Your Homework

No matter what industry trying to master, through a little research you quickly discover “the greats” within that particular field. You might be surprised at just how close you already are to someone who can help you.

Recently I’ve been studying up on the field of direct response marketing.  Through about a month of research, and subscribing to all of the newsletters I quickly found that certain names were being repeated over and over again  Soon I had a list of guys that seemed to be the leaders in the field.

The ironic thing is, I knew that my grandfather was involved in direct marketing back in his day, but I never much discussed it with him. The other day I was reading a newsletter from Gary Halbert, one of the most celebrated men in the field, and midway through the newsletter he mentions my grandfathers name, calling him a genius at direct marketing  All this time, I had been studying various “greats,” and all the while my grandfather was among them.  Unfortunately my grandfather has since passed away before I ever really had a chance to learn from him.  I tell this story to show you just how close you may already be to someone who can help you.

I’ve mentioned this before, but in The Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss gives a phone call script to help you secure a mentor.

Call at least one potential superstar mentor per day for three days.  E-mail only after attempting a phone call.  I recommend calling before 8:30 AM or after 6:00 PM to reduce run-ins with secretaries and other gate keepers.  Have a single question in mind, one that you have researched yourself but have been unable to answer yourself.  Shoot for for  players- CEOs, ultrasuccessful entrepreneurs, famous authors, etc. _and don`t aim low to make it less frightening.  Use if need be.

In his book The Four Hour Work Week he gives an exact script for making the calls.

Be prepared to return the favor

If a mentor is going to go out of his way to help you, be prepared to give him something in return.  This may involve keeping them updated on the industry, calling with new opportunities that might benefit them, or just looking for ways to give back to your mentor.

Another great way to return the favor, is to simply help others who might be below your current level of skill and knowledge

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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