They’ll accelerate your growth. – AUDIO NSFW
Let’s talk about why you should get a mentor. Why you should get a mentor? Well, it’s easy for me to talk about this because yesterday, I had the awesome opportunity to meet up with my mentor. He flew in from Colorado to hang out with me and just talk shop. Now, obviously, he has other reasons for being in the Atlanta area, mainly work, but it gave him an awesome opportunity to connect with me and me to connect with him and just catch up.
It was awesome! I loved hanging out with him. He’s just such a man who’s full of life, full of experience, full of empathy. It’s crucial. Full of empathy, full of sympathy, and man, I tell you, he’s just the best. Let me give you a little bit of context around why this mentor means so much to me and why this has been something that is in so many ways has improved my life.
Long story short. This is a mentor who actually kind of pursued me if I can say it this way. I was a successful consultant. I built my own consultancy here in Atlanta up to 19 employees and I was crushing it. I was crushing it. But one of the problems that I found—and this is certainly something that I wasn’t new to—but as I begin new projects and as they’ve become successful, one of the things is that as they scale especially in a consultancy, I ended up doing less and less and less of what I really enjoyed doing. It was being with clients, being with individuals, being with teams, being with executives and leaders, and actually helping them improve their software development and as well as improve their organizational efficiency.
So as we scaled, one of the biggest problems was I was doing more HR (human resources), more sales, more putting out fires, more administrivia, healthcare, benefits, payroll. I was doing all of this. What eventually emerged was that I rarely spent time on client sites. Most of the time I ended up just putting out fires or flying out last minute to calm a client or to make sure that everything was going well. Everything that I loved about being an agile consultant, software development consultant, everything that I loved about building this business became the bane of my existence. I hated it. It was terrible.
So during this time, this mentor of mine had helped me in great ways, big ways of helping me set up my consultancy, grow my marketing, give me his experience, his knowledge as to how to grow a consultancy and eventually, long story short, eventually he acquired me. There was obviously strategic reason because he was out in the Midwest. They already had a West Coast contingency and they needed an East Coast contingency. And me with all of my network and client network here, it was just a good strategic move.
But in many ways, he had saved my life. He said, Peter, we’ll take on all the administration, we’ll take on all the administrivia, we’ll take all the Human Resources aspects, the sales aspects and you just get to go out and do your best work. This was my second acquisition of my life. And it was great. It came under his umbrella, came under his processes, came under his company, and I was fourth in their company, end up helping scale them out to over ten people over a two-year period time.
But throughout all of this, my mentor and I, we continued to obviously, I was working for him, but more than just working with them and having company meetings and all the company retreats and conferences and all this stuff, my mentor and I continued to meet consistently, consistently, consistently, and talk about life.
This man, this individual had invested so much of his life into me that there’s no way that I could be where I today without my mentor. I’ll tell you the TL;DR as to why you should get one. Here it is. Listen closely. It’s the fastest way to accelerate your growth in anything. Whether it be life, whether it be work. whether it be just health, a mentor will help accelerate your growth in any of those areas. My mentor, for me, was the top two is life and work. Always asking me great questions about how life is going. My mentor cares more about the work that I do. My mentor cares more about who I am and the man that I’m becoming, the man that I want to be.
Having a mentor like this who is in your corner in every aspect will accelerate your growth. That’s the key I want you to remember. They’ll accelerate your growth. Whatever goals, strategies, tactics that you have in life or work or health, they will help you get there faster.
I’ve written down a lot of ideas here as to why mentors are so powerful. I want to go through each of these and really give you a larger and broader perspective as to why having a mentor is so important especially if you’re trying to level up and improve your life.
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GET A MENTOR:
- A mentor provides knowledge and experience.
That makes a ton of sense. They have gone before you. When it comes to choosing a mentor, I highly suggest that you choose a mentor who’s already been where you want to be. They’ve already gone through the experience. They’ve gone through the trials. They’ve gone through the tribulations. They’ve gone through the hurt. And they can accelerate you in your life, in your work, in your effort beyond that. They can say hey, there’s some pitfalls here. Hey, there’s some traps here. Hey, you’re talking about this. We need to reconsider it.
What a great mentor does is it provides knowledge and experience of how they’ve done it. Not to push it on you, not to say that you have to do your work or your life the same way that they’re doing it, but what great mentors do is they ask you questions about what you’re doing. They say, hey, does that make sense? Should we rethink it this way? Should we look at it from this particular vantage point? They provide that knowledge and experience that you will have eventually garnered and gained over time but they can give it to now.
This is a really an opportunity, whenever you’re really sucking in and feeding off of their knowledge and experience, it’s an opportunity for you to really, really, really, gain, gain big time by asking lots of questions, digging into those conversations, and bleeding out what makes sense to you.
- Mentors help us see what we cannot.
Man, I’ll tell you. This is a huge, huge factor. Obviously, a lot of this stems from knowledge and experience, but this is a really important aspect of what mentors can help you do. They can help you see what you cannot. They’ve travelled the road. They’ve seen the forks. They’ve made those hard decisions already. They can help you see what’s coming up in your life, at least, they have assumptions about what’s coming up, but they have a good perspective. They understand. Hey, these are the variables. These are things that are gonna hit you. These are the things you need to be aware of. They can see in many ways, the future.
It’s true. They can see the future. Many of you guys would say well, no one could see the future. But man, if you’re on a similar trajectory, a similar path that they have already tread, then they have the ability of foresight. They have the ability of seeing the future because they can see. Like “Wow, you’re taking these types of steps. There’s a really good chance that these types of steps and moving this direction is going to either lead to X, Y, or Z. So let’s talk about X, Y, or Z and which one you think would be the most appropriate decision for you to make.”
This is so powerful. I can tell you a thousand different stories of how I’ve come up and broached these subjects with him about hey, I’m gonna be making this decision. I’m thinking about X. I’m thinking about Y. And we end up talking about what he sees as a potential outcome for that. Then we talk about this outcome. Is this the outcome that I want? Is this the results that I want from this particular experiment or this particular decision? It’s still helpful to be able to get your arms around some of the outcomes that you didn’t consider.
Everything that we do has an outcome. Everything that we do has a cost associated with it. As a naive young entrepreneur, one of the things for me that I often forget and I often elect is the psychological cost, the life cost to my decisions. One of the reasons is it’s very simple, it’s easy for me to get super and hyper-focused in my work and outcomes are nearly just merely what they are. I’m doing, I’m executing, I’m focusing on my goals. I’m continuing to crush forward outcomes. I have ideas about what I’d like to be the end result, to be the end goal of these particular decisions.
I’m the type of guy that generally says, you know what, I’ll deal with them as they come. A great mentor will ask you, hey, what’s the psychological cost? What’s the emotional cost? What’s the familial cost? I’ll tell you this when I was making ridiculous amounts of money, millions of dollars a year as a consultant, you know who suffered the most? My family. We’re talking 12 years, 12 years of being a consultant, building this company to 19 people. Man, I sacrificed my family at the altar of work. That’s what I did.
If you ever meet him or if I ever bring them on the show or anything, every single time that we meet, I thank him for changing my life. I’ll tell you one of the biggest ways that he changed my life. He helped me figure out how I could have a sustainable pace at work and make exceptional money at work—still over a million dollars a year—and still have time for my family. I did not realize and this is so powerful, he helped me see what I couldn’t. He helped me see what I thought that I didn’t have control over. He showed me that there is a way to make over a million dollars a year as a consultant, running a consulting company, and have time for my family.
Every time that I meet him, I thank him in some way shape or form. Usually just saying just thank you for changing my life and allowing me to be home more, be present with my family, be present with my kids, go eat lunch with them at school, go to their plays, go to their events. This was life-changing.
- Massive encouragement.
Massive encouragement and a sounding board for your ideas. One of the greatest thing is that I’ve appreciated about having a mentor is that every time that I call him, every time that we talk or Skype or go online do video chat, he’s a constant encouragement for me. That in itself is worth more than its weight in gold. The reason is anytime that I’m feeling down, any time that I’m feeling like life is oppressive and life is just beating me down, the works’ just too hard or there’s this thing that seems insurmountable and I need a sounding board. He is always there to encourage me, give me ideas, but I don’t want to focus on the idea part of this. The biggest thing that he gives is encouragement.
A mentor should be someone who gives you life, who gives you light, who gives you the boost of encouragement that you knew you needed, but only they because they’ve spent so much time with you know exactly which type of words to say, which type of ways to not say, which types of words to just be present and be an active listener, to be a sympathetic and empathetic and loving listener.
A mature mentor knows when to shut up and listen and when to say the right words. I can’t tell you how many times my mentor has merely said just a couple of words or a very short sentence and it quelled the 5-7 minutes of a tirade that I went on about my issues. You guys could probably hear me saying this right on the phone or on this. I’m just like talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking. Here’s what’s going on, here’s what’s going on. He’s just listening, nodding his head, listening nodding his head, and then, I’ll say well, what do you think? And He’ll say one or two words or a short sentence and I’d be like you know what that’s exactly what I needed to hear.
Great mentors are constantly encouraging, but they’re not encouraging always in a rah-rah, you-can-do-it type of way. They’re encouraging it because they speak to your soul. They speak directly to your person. They speak to your heart. They know what’s going on contextually. They can say the right words that applaud that that really have applicability to what’s going on. They know the right words to pierce through the veil and help you see clearer. This type of sounding word of encouragement is worth more than its weight in gold.
- A mentor is a trusted advisor that can tell us the boundaries and guardrails of life and work.
Let me unpack this a little bit for you guys. Being a trusted advisor is we have to sit on this idea of trust. I completely trust my mentor in every aspect and the reason, let don’t miss this guy’s, the reason that I am fully able to trust my mentor is because I see him and his life is completely congruent with what he says to me.
Let’s unpack this even more. What do I mean when I say that I see his life to be completely aligned, completely congruent to what he’s telling me. He, as a mentor, and this is important, mentors should invite you into their lives so that they can show you that they’re not nearly just a mouthpiece telling you the mainstream versions of encouraging, the mainstream versions of solutions. No. Mentors allow you to see inside their life.
My mentor has allowed me to see so much of his life, his family life. his relationship with his two daughters and his son, all out of college now and have careers. I’ve been able to meet them in person. He’s allowed me the opportunity to come over to his house, out where he lives, meet his wife, see how he manages his household. I can bleed no more trust out of this guy I have 110% percent trust that everything that he says is aligned to the lifestyle that he has chosen and the disciplines that he has chosen.
There’s no here with my mentor. He has allowed me in to see that he’s more than just a mouthpiece. He’s a man who models the advice that he gives me. This is so crucial and from that trust, it allows him, and this is so powerful, it allows him to speak into my life and say terse shit, to say potentially hurtful shit, challenging shit. I can take it and say you know what you’re not just being an asshole. I know that you’re what you say is true because your life exudes, your life exemplifies that which you are telling me and I can completely trust that what you’re saying works or at least the ideas that we’re talking about have value and are valid because you have lived that life before me.
One of the things that I love about having this trusted advisor is literally at the ready at anytime that I need is that he can always tell me the guardrails and the boundaries of what I’m doing and where not to go, what not to do, help me reconsider these maybe emotional decisions as I’m frustrated on the phone talking with him, I’m frustrated about something in person and I’m going through these situations that I’m dealing with my projects or my personal life or what-have-you.
I’ll never forget this. Guardrails are there for a reason. When you’re driving a mountain road, you got the guardrails. The goal is not to be as close to the guardrail as possible. The whole metaphor here is be as close to the risk as possible. You don’t need to be getting that close to the edge, but it helps me realize we’re creating boundaries and guardrails in life, allow me to be able to work within free work with freedom, and ensure that I’m not getting too close to the risky things that could help me come back to negative behavior patterns.
I’ll give you an example. I’ll make it really clear. I have a tendency to go a 1,000%. I have a tendency to run 1,000 mph and I think for any of you guys out there, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine that this is true.
One of the problems with my hyper-focus, the way that I operate, it’s either on or it’s either off, one of the problems is that I don’t have boundaries. I don’t have guardrails in my life that can ensure that my hyper-focus, my going at 1,000 mph doesn’t leave a wake of destruction behind me. I could tell you stories. I could tell you stories of how I have destroyed relationships, destroyed opportunities, ruined things that could be good merely because I got my blinders on and I’m getting way too close to the boundaries. It would be ridiculously easy for me to break the habits, the good life-giving habits that I have today by getting hyper-focused on a new project that has captivated my heart and captured my mind.
If you put something in front of me, a new opportunity that makes absolute sense, the market dynamics makes sense, the value makes sense, the product makes sense, the service makes sense, I know in my mind’s eye that I can crush this particular project, do it with excellence, and make exceptional amounts of money, it is easy for me to blow away the guardrails, blow away the boundaries and say I’m all-in. Fuck everything else. Family? Be damned. Friendships? Be damned. Sleeping? Be damned. Health? Be damned. I want to do this. I’m gonna crush it. Everyone else that I love is gonna suffer around me because I get that hyper-focused.
What great mentors do is remind you of those guardrails. They’re our trusted advisor to tell you not only to help you make good decisions, but also to help you make sure that you don’t make bad decisions. My mentor has done this with such ease and maybe it’s just because he’s an old man. He’s experienced. He has blown past his own boundaries. He has blown past his own guardrails. He knows what the collateral damage of those decisions can be.
A trusted advisor can help you understand or even remind you of your boundaries in your guardrails so that you don’t ruin your life, so that you don’t go too far, so that you don’t do something crazy. These are the type of people that you need around in life. You need these sounding boards. You need people to help you to see what you cannot and encourage you to continue with good discipline on the right projects, the right focus.
- A mentor is a network expander.
Last but not the least and this is one of my most exciting things. I wrote this down last and it makes a lot of sense for me to write at last, but this is something that is so powerful. A mentor is a network expander, a connector, a network expander or connector. This is one of the things for me especially I particularly enjoy. The reason is because my mentor has a vast network of individuals of people that I could never touch.
Whenever I have issues, whenever I have questions that my mentor can’t fully answer or knows that someone can answer it better, he is willing to introduce me to those individuals that can give me a better perspective, better advice, more thoughtful conversation, more experience more knowledge. They can see things that I can’t see.
What a great mentor does is so awesome you can leverage them, not in a bad way, but you can leverage them in a positive way to expand your network. Mentors will avail you, avail you their network. They will give it to you because they know that holding it close to their vest doesn’t do them any good. Helping you essentially helps them.
Now, there’s some risk involved certainly. I think it’s important that we take note of this. It is important to note that that when your mentor extends their network to you, it is an extension of trust. They’re trusting that you’re not going to fuck it up. They’re trusting that when they give you that network connection, you call them or you email them, you connect with them, and you’re not gonna make him look stupid.
The point that’s so important here and we need to remember, they don’t have to do that. They don’t have to give you their network. They don’t have to extend that to you. It’s a risk to them. They’re extending their relational equity, their relational network and you could fuck it up. You would have to ask my mentor this, but so far, I don’t think I fucked it up. So far, I think I’ve completely utilized the network connections that he’s given me to my advantage. I’ve grown I’ve learned from these things.
Having a mentor allows you to extend your network, to expand your network into places that you never thought possible. What’s really exciting is, often, I don’t know about you guys, but it often, these network extensions, these new people that I meet through my mentor, not only become friends, but they become people who want to be in my corner as well. They’re now supporting me, helping me, giving me the right encouragement to continue on, to not quit, and to crush it and to focus and get my dreams done.
Guys, I could spend 1,000 hours easily talking about all the stories that I have garnered and all the experiences that I’ve had with my mentor. I could spend 1,000 hours talking about it. I’m gonna tell you this. Guys, get a mentor. Find a mentor. Find someone that you can pour into, someone that’s older, 10 years, 20 years older. They have stories. They love telling stories. They love helping out.
In many cases, a lot of them are thinking about legacy, how they can pour into the next generation. They’ve already got theirs. They’ve already achieved their millions, their successes. So for them, they’re in a different stage in life. They’re thinking about legacy, while you’re on the come-up.
Let me review these guys. It is so important to find yourself a mentor. Getting a mentor is the fastest way to accelerate your progress in life, work, health. That pretty much covers it. What these mentors allow, these mentors give you, is they provide you knowledge and experience that you don’t have yet. They’ve walked before you. They’ve gone before you. They know the game. They can help you see what you cannot and help you understand the guardrails that they have blasted through, to help you ensure that you don’t do that.
They can encourage you. They can be a sounding board to help you when times are tough. They’re trusted advisors. They’re willing to show you their life so that their life is congruent, their life is aligned with what they’re saying, that they’re true, they’re real.
Last but not least, they can help you connect and expand your network beyond your wildest imaginations and connects you with people because that that’s really what it’s all about. Let’s be honest. You can have a thousand great ideas, but it’s other people that you need and their insights, their expertise, their experience, their knowledge to help you grow and help you move that project to the next step.
Get a mentor guys. Find someone that you can pour into. Ask. Ask. Asking is always free. Hey, I’d love to meet up with you. Just an hour a month. That’s actually how I started kind of. Give me an hour a month. That’s all I’m asking for. I know that you have what I need and I see that you have achieved what I would like to achieve. Please, give me an hour a month. I just want to talk with you and learn from you.
I promise you. This might be one of the best hours of investment per month that you will ever make for your life, your life’s work, and your mental, spiritual, and physical health. Guys, mentors change lives.
One of the things that I have loved is being a mentor especially in my 12 years of consulting. I mentored a lot of people and helped them move to the next level of consulting, will help them move to the next level of being a better public speaker, a better writer, a better author, a better consultant, a better business person. This has been an absolute joy for me and I’d love to give back more.
I love mentoring. It’s almost I could say it’s a passion of mine. Mostly because I’m just a utilitarian. I am passionate about it because I have such a successful and awesome mentor that… Guys, think about your network. Think about the people that you know. Think about the individuals that are successful, that have gone before you. Here’s the question for today. When are you gonna ask them to be your mentor?