How to Get a Mentor
(Role Models That Can Actually Make a Difference in Your Life)
Lets talk about 'Role Models' in our latest installment of Good Looking Loser's (Lifestyle) Success Principles.
An otherwise generic topic, we'll go far beyond the usual "Have Role Models!" advice and discuss what all of your role models should have in common and how to actually benefit from them.
I'll also discuss my own role models, why I selected them and the ACTUAL EFFECT they have had on MY REAL LIFE.
Defining 'Role Model'
The term 'Role Model' is thrown around too much and is often confused for 'good examples', 'successful people that I admire' or 'dead people that were cool'.
Here's the actual definition -
The key phrase is -
... can be emulated by others...
In order for someone to be an applicable 'Role Model', their behavior (and more importantly - day-to-day thought processes and actions) must be reasonably accessible.
That leaves some gray area, but you can probably see where I'm going with this.
Tony Robbins Was Right
As far as back his very first dolby cassette tapes, self-improvement legend Anthony Robbins spoke repeatedly about "copying thought patterns" of successful people. Robbins said that was the key to making the 'Law of Attraction' work.
Without having our own seminar, lets just say - Tony Robbins was right.
What is neglected/impossible is getting access to SPECIFIC DAILY thought patterns of successful people and all that general self-improvement offers are general statements with no context -
- [Successful person] takes action!
- [Successful person] thinks he can do it!
- [Successful person] doesn't care what people think!
- [Successful person] doesn't quit!
- [Successful person] sees failure as just another challenge!
- [Successful person] thinks anything is possible!
You've heard the other ones...
It's not that these thought patterns are "wrong" or "bad", it's that learning and cultivating successful thought patterns don't happen at a seminar or eBook. It happens in-person, or at least in some form of direct observation/communication on a near daily basis.
You already 'know' all the successful thought patterns.
The problem is that you don't believe them.
They aren't installed in your brain.
That is the mission.
It is best done by having accessible role models and not just reading about people and assuming what they are thinking.
For the record, I am no longer into general self-improvement or motivation gurus. I've found emotional, sexual and financial success and have plenty of desire and resources to compound it. When that lags, I have Kratom. General self-improvement is great for getting the ball rolling but is no longer an efficient use of time once you've built something. Instead of reading how to be successful, it's a better learning experience to try.
Enough With the Celebrity Role Models
If you are still with me, before you get mad at me and click away -
I want to clarify that having celebrities or famous people as your role models is not "wrong" or "bad".
I simply suggest that you have some other role models that share the criteria that I'm about to discuss.
A lot of the same successful people/role models that were listed on Good Looking Loser are also on my list.
(overall, I was impressed with how many people listed non-celebrities too)
They are great examples of massive self-made success.
The effect these "people" can actually have on your daily life (that is where success is built) is limited. Usually at best, a celebrity or inspiring story can have the "good movie effect" and temporarily inspire you for a couple weeks. After that, you are simply a "fan".
You can't expect to learn anything more than celebrities' very basic thought patterns. And Even still - you are just guessing.
Furthermore, installing these thought patterns and mindsets is not easy since you do not see the DAILY specific actions that accompany their mindset. Nor do you get to see the 'personal' side of their life - where you can really see what makes them tick.
It's the difference between 'learning in school' (researching famous people) and 'learning in real life' (hands-on experience).
You know that already.
How to Select a Mentor
Although no situation will be perfect, many of these criteria must be in play for you to really benefit.
It's better to have ONE role model that meet this criteria than several loose examples that you speak to sporadically.
I'm not shooting down your celebrity role models to be an asshole, I just know how much more a REAL LIFE person can benefit your life as a mentor. There's plenty of people that you might not have considered that can really help you.
#1 Your Role Model Must Be Reasonably Accessible
(Role models are good, mentors are better)
This is the most important thing.
You want your 'role model' to be more of a mentor. But that's not always possible.
Either way - you have to learn what their DAILY life is like.
What their daily thought patterns are.
What their daily actions stemming from those thought patterns are.
It is also important that you observe them in their usual working environment.
(also applies to non-traditional goals like picking up girls, bodybuilding, etc.)
While a good role model might be able to offer you insightful advice, answer all your questions and sometimes simply tell you what to do in a step-by-step format (if you are lucky), what they don't tell you is also critically important -
Their hidden intangibles, their day-to-day priorities, their morning routine and how they do an adequate job in an inadequate amount of time. Watching just how they "go about their business" is critical and a huge part of their success.
There is no amount of Q and A that can compensate for exclusive access to a successful person's life.
Even if he's not wildly successful yet.
You can learn more from an accessible "less successful" person than from a more successful person.
If your father played football in college, you can learn 100x more from him than watching YouTube videos of NFL players.
If your older brother owns a business that makes $60,000 a year, you can learn 100x more from him than reading Marc Cuban's books. (Cuban is otherwise a GREAT non-accessible role model)
In fact, you might be able to learn more from an accessible person who ran a failed business than some billionaire that you will never speak to. It obviously helps if the person is successful however.
At the same time, if you can't totally shadow your role model, it's okay.
You can probably learn all the same stuff, it just might take longer.
How Good Are Mike (Danger & Play) and Victor (Bold & Determined) As Role Models?
Great role models.
You know who these guys are and what they are like.
The main question is -
Can you download and install their brains?
The answer is -
For the most part, you can.
There are definitely limitations to learning from a "blogger" or any sort of virtual community, but both give an authentic look into their lives and share their thoughts, emotions and provide actionable steps. There's also a lot of sub-communication and non-verbal gold, the true insight is never totally in between the lines.
Mike's recent YouTube videos where he just talks are quite good for this.
That's why I did a whole bunch of video when I got started.
(more to come; all video production is on hold at the moment)
You guys know more about me than my parents, best friends or any girls ever knew.
Don't be afraid to run with my best qualities and avoid my worst.
#2 You Should Have a Personal Relationship With Your Role Model
(otherwise known as 'friendship')
Access on a professional level is the most important thing but access on a personal level is also very important.
This is where you will get to know "the person" and really get insight on what they are like and why their life works. From there, you can draw your own conclusions to how it translates to success in their professional life - and apply it to your own.
While the two are never totally mutually exclusive, how their professional/personal mindsets affect the other is really important - even if their personal life is full of turmoil or less successful than their professional.
Sometimes seeing your successful role model's weaknesses is even more beneficial than their strengths. It will show you that you can be successful, even with glaring weaknesses.
Don't underestimate how much you can learn from simply hanging out with someone.
Lets put it this way -
Think of who your best friend was when you were growing up.
Whether he verbally volunteered his life story to you or not - you know everything about him, including - HOW HE THINKS.
You can accurately predict his response or reaction to just about anything.
You know his strengths, weakness, dreams and fears.
Now imagine that best friend was a young, successful Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.
Think you'd learn something?
There's a lot that you will learn in a personal/non-professional environment that you would never learn at the workplace.
It's not easy forming a personal relationship with most successful people. Most simply do not have the time. Often they don't even have time for loved ones in their lives. Offering your services for free or simply paying for a meal in exchange for their advice is not a bad trade.
Just don't take it personally if you hear, "No."
Try again later.
#3 Your Role Model Should Be Successful and Not Just "Motivating"
(The 'Success Threshold')
This may go without saying, but you need to shadow someone that is actually successful at whatever you are trying to achieve.
Not just "motivating".
Motivation is good, but you can find motivation on YouTube if you really need it.
You need actionable, efficient steps and sometimes 'permission' to take those steps from someone who is successful enough.
The 'Success Threshold' is up for debate and based on several factors such as starting socio-economic level, age and access to resources.
My 2 threshold questions are -
Would I like to HAVE HIS LIFE AND SUCCESS when I am his age?
Is he better than 99% of other guys at whatever he does?
If the answer is 'yes' - then he/she would be a great person to shadow if you can gain access.
How Important Is It To "Relate" To My Role Model?
It's not particularly necessary.
A question that I do not ask is -
Can I "relate" to this guy?
Way too many people only consider guidance from people they can "relate" to.
Often the .001% genius types don't relate to the average person. They are often a little quirky and sometimes dark or awkward.
While relating to someone is nice, it's way more important that they are reasonably accessible and legitimately successful.
Way too many guys write off getting advice from Good Looking Loser because they can't "relate" to us (all of us) on first impression.
- We aren't dorks.
- We advocate taking extreme measures to ensure success.
- We aren't totally out of shape.
It drives a lot of people away.
But hey - that's screening.
You want to shadow/form a relationship with the most accessible, successful person you can find in the field you are trying to conquer.
In 2008, I hired BradP (one of the only guys in the seduction community who actually gets hot girls) for a year to help me get better with picking up women. Aside from being tall, I had almost nothing in common with him. In many respects (family life, body type, hobbies, vibe, views on drugs, etc.), we were the complete opposite.
I made an extra effort to understand who he was and what he was about and how it translated to his success in his sex/business life.
I learned a ton from him. More on him later.
Unless you are completely genetically dissimilar, I would not write off any potential role models, especially if they are accessible.
#4 Your Role Model Should Have Faced and Conquered the Nearly Identical Challenges That You Currently Face
While you don't have to relate to your role model on a personal level, it is important that he has been at (and surpassed) whatever "stage" you are currently in.
A multimillionaire who inherited $750,000 and used it to start a business won't be able to understand or give truly insightful advice to most young entrepreneurs who have limited capital.
A kid who started a successful business by saving money for 18 months in order to work full-time on his own project would be more helpful.
You want someone who was in the EXACT SAME POSITION that you are. Or close.
#5 Your Role Model Should Ideally Be 5 or 10 Years Older
While there's certainly a lot you can learn from having an accessible and successful role model that is your age or younger, the fact of the matter is -
Guys that older than you are generally are more accomplished.
Subconsciously, you will respect their advice and guidance more than someone who is younger and less experienced.
That brings me another thing -
There's way too many guys in their early 20's writing "how to be super successful" blogs.
While some of them (the non-ripoffs) have some potential, the chances for longevity are quite limited because the guy simply doesn't have enough success/failure in his life. There is no background to any of their advice and it simply reads as theory and spun content.
At the same time, I don't think the ideal role model should be more than 15 years older than you are.
(there are plenty of exceptions to this, accessibility is the most important thing)
If you are seeking out role models, chances are you are in the beginning/early "stages" of whatever you are trying to achieve.
A 30 year old guy who has started a successful business within the past 2 years would be a great resource if you wanted to do something similar.
Don't underestimate how much a young successful businessman can help you.
A 60 year old successful businessman might have more assets and years under his belt, but may not even remember what it was like to start a business or the obstacles that your generation faces.
It is important that your role model is not too far removed from where you are.
Everybody's favorite role model is 'Arnold Schwarzenegger'.
(I admire him too)
He is certainly someone to hold in high esteem, but there is very little you can learn about his later achievements as a politician or even as a movie star that are truly applicable to your life. If you really want to analyze Arnold in a productive matter - learn about his teenage years and his 20's. Learn how he got started. That is the only stage that is really applicable, unless you are already a champion bodybuilder with Hollywood and have political aspirations.
How to Emulate Your Role Models
If you gain access to a legitimately successful person, there's 3 things to keep in mind.
Learn The Very Raw Beginnings
The first thing you need to figure out is - How EXACTLY the person got started.
5 major questions you need answers for include -
- What were the steps he took in the first month?
- What was his background in the industry he entered?
- What were his expectations?
(How soon did he expect to see sales/traffic/success?)
- What did he NOT know and why did he choose to start in spite of this?
- Why/what told him that he could be successful in this industry?
Although I'll have to go into further detail another time, here are my answers if you want to know how I got moving -
- I bought webhosting and I just started writing. I hadn't read ANY personal-improvement websites - EVER BEFORE.
- I have at least a half decade of real life experience and success with EVERY subject that I discuss.
- I wanted to make $50/day by the end of year 3. I didn't care if I made any money in the first 6 months.
- I didn't know "SEO", Wordpress, coding, if I was going to be successful or what most people would think of my content. These factors are among the most common reasons/excuses that people use to talk themselves out of starting an online business.
- I had legitimate success/knowledge, better than 99.9% of average guys in the fields I cover. If I could communicate that online, I would help a lot of people.
You will probably find that your role model had similar beginnings. He likely spent several years in the industry, figured out an efficient means of production/distribution and decided to start his own thing that improved on the weaknesses of the companies he used to represent.
Nobody who has swallowed the Red Pill wants to have a job, but don't underestimate how much experience/insider insight you can gain from simply working in an industry and getting to know the authorities.
Most people simply "work" and stare at the clock/their feet.
That's why they never go anywhere.
Acknowledge All The Strengths and Weakness
On a professional and personal level - you should be on the lookout for the daily actions and character traits (and how they were cultivated) that make your role model/his company successful.
Learn his strengths -
- How did he know his business would be successful?
- How many hours does he work in any given week?
- How smart is he compared to the average person?
- How involved is he in accounting/finance?
- Does he have a healthy relationship with money?
and the strengths of his business -
- Why is his product/service popular?
- How is his product produced? (from creation to retail)
- Where does he make/save money? (payroll, employees, etc.?)
- What is the 'chain of command'? (who is the best/most valuable employee?)
- What is the company's biggest challenge?
- How is advertising/marketing done?
But pay just as much attention to his weaknesses -
- Where is he not efficient?
- Is he a perfectionist? (How does it negatively affect him?)
- What issue is he overly stubborn?
- Does he hire the least expensive workers or quality workers at a higher rate?
And The challenges and potential roadblocks of the company -
- As the company has gotten bigger, what was sacrificed?
- What is the biggest weakness? How is it camouflaged?
- Which single issue/challenge can prevent the company from leading the industry?
- What is the largest expense and why can't the company lower it?
- Where is additional revenue to be gained and why it is not being pursued?
Learn as much as you possibly can about the company.
You will see that very imperfect, sometimes inefficient companies make a ton of money.
Go Step-by-Step and Copy How He Started His Business
(Apply the Strengths and Fix the Weaknesses)
The easiest way to have success is to emulate daily success.*
Just about every successful company simply did their version of something that was already successful - and made it better/less expensive.
There's not too many 'unique' ideas/products/services, and when there is - it's almost immediately improved upon by another party.
You should know the step-by-step process of how your role model got started.
(this is NOT the same as a business plan - which is unnecessary unless you want to attract investors)
Follow that blueprint step-by-step.
You should also keep in mind your role model/company's weaknesses and tweak your gameplan to improve upon those. It's more important to focus on the strengths and not reinvent the wheel at first.
This stuff isn't hard, ownership is probably just unfamiliar to you.
* When I say "copy", I do not mean LITERALLY COPY. Especially if you are building a blog. Way too many people make "similar" blogs and everyone sees it. Do YOUR VERSION of the same steps (not content) that your role model did. Do not look similar to another site or you will get lumped in with the "rip-offs". If you are truly not [literally] copying someone, your unique voice/product will shine through, you will not be confused for a rip-off.
How Can I Get or Even Find a Mentor?
This is the hardest part and may require you search around if success doesn't run deep in your immediate family.
This is totally worth doing though.
If you find an accessible and successful role model, you will learn more about success/your industry than if you read Good Looking Loser 50 times over.
The first thing you should keep in mind is - most people won't be able to accommodate you. They are simply too busy.
Don't take it personally and just try to approach it little-by-little. It takes a while to get "in" with some people.
There's a couple of approaches that I would suggest -
#1 Take some successful guy out to dinner and ask him a whole bunch of questions.
The good part is - if you can get a successful person seated and talking about themselves (with drinks) - most REALLY will try to help you out and be quite flattered. Despite their success, they rarely get these kinds of offers and are used to hearing stupid questions from their employees.
#2 Offer your 'resources' to people.
I would often leave people with, "If you need anything... Let me know." For some people, that meant access to steroids (which I no longer use) and growth hormone. Other people asked me about other "stuff". You can definitely leverage your resources and contacts.
Even when I had no money or job, I could get my hands on anything and it made me extremely valuable to established people.
#3 Volunteer your time FOR FREE to help out a successful guy who runs a small business (less than 15 employees).
That's right - FOR FREE. All that you have to request is that they answer whatever questions you have. This is what we call an "internship" in the United States. Most kids rarely take advantage of this opportunity and simply use their internship for easy academic credit and get absolutely nothing from it.
#4 Pay them.
This won't be practical for most guys, but it's definitely an option if you have money.
Don't be offended if this doesn't work. Successful people generally have plenty of money. Time is the most limited resource.
Big Brother Background
My brother (when he was 22), graduated summa cum laude graduate from the University of California (Berkeley) and volunteered his entire summer to work for George Lucas' video and special effects company 'Industrial Light and Magic'.
He learned a ton and was hired at an above entry-level salary for a highly sought after job. Within about 3 years, he had the experience to start his own company, but stuck with them for a little longer because he was making upwards of $160,000 - which was a lot in the early 90's for a young adult working a 8 month job.
Read this article by Ludvig for more insight -
A General Question to Keep in Mind
Whenever you are 'networking' (aka making friends in a professional capacity), ask yourself -
WHAT CAN I DO FOR THEM?
That question is particularly important if you are reaching out to a person that is established, has limited time or has significantly higher status than you in the industry.
YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING FOR THEM FIRST.
EVEN IT MEANS THAT YOU DON'T RECEIVE ANYTHING IN RETURN.
Make them an offer they cannot refuse.
(if they still refuse it, don't take it personally, they simply do not have the time)
I get a lot of private messages from ambitious readers, which I am forever grateful for (really), but many of those messages are literally telling me what I need to do for them without offering anything in return.
I don't get angry because it's simply a matter of inexperience and I don't have the time anyway, but it's not going to be an effective way to approach anyone.
A lot of young guys don't think they have anything to offer.
That is simply not true -
- You have time and willpower.
- You might have money.
- You might be skilled at something that you could leverage as well.
- You might have access to something they need. (this one is big)
Don't discount what you have to offer.
When I had no money in 2008-2009, anytime I ever met someone semi-famous/wealthy in Hollywood, I often would leave them with this -
Let me know if you ever need a personal trainer and sports nutritionist.
(remember - I look the part)
I'll get you to where you want to be.
I had plenty request my cell phone number.
Some followed up.
Role Models That Actually Accelerated My Life
I've been fortunate to have several role models that accelerated my life.
I can only cover a few of them however.
#1 My Father (age: 83)
(business influence, work ethic)
My Dad was a self-made millionaire who ran a tremendously successful produce business in Washington DC and retired at age 50 on the day I was born.
I had no idea about how successful he was when I was growing up and more admired my Mom who was one of the directors for the United States Marshal Service, also an enormous achievement for a women (let alone, a little Asian woman) in Federal Law Enforcement. She had the 'sexier' job and I was actually ashamed of telling people what my Father did (he played with fruit and vegetables or something?).
I simply had no clue.
Through the years, I slowly picked up different strategies from my Father that serve me quite well today - especially how to manage money and how to deal with incompetent people. Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes the most valuable insight is not something you are told but simply observe.
When my Dad took over his Father's business in the late 1940's, it was $200,000 in debt (a lot for the late 1940s) and he worked 18 hour days - 6 days a week.
Driving to work at 3:30am one night, he once fell asleep at the wheel and drove through the huge steel gate at the Soviet embassy in Washington DC. He was lucky he wasn't killed or started World War III.
The Soviet Union was not happy with him, DC police thought it was hilarious though.
If that happened today, he'd be thrown in jail for 15+ years.
#2 Brad P (age: older than I am)
(business, picking up girls)
When I really got into the whole 'pickup artist thing', I sought out Brad P and was in his 'Pickup Mansion' program for a year. I basically left a scholarship at a Tier-I Law School to do it.
As crazy as that sounds, that year was tremendously influential on my life and what would later become 'Good Looking Loser'. Although I abandoned the mainstream pickup stuff after that year and evolved into what we now call "screening", it set a really strong foundation for meeting women and starting my personal training business.
Ironically, Brad taught me more about business than anything else. Halfway through the program, I was doing pretty well with girls and became more interested in the financial advice he could offer me. I would sit and chat with him for hours on Laurel Canyon instead of doing the pickup workshops.
It was particularly valuable because he had a thriving business in his early 30's.
I'm very critical of the 'seduction' community but you will never hear Scotty or I say anything bad about Brad or Jake; they did a lot for us.
#3 Female Celebrity
Before I moved to Los Angeles, I had the good fortune of meeting a celebrity that would later introduce me to her friends who hired me as their personal training/nutritionist.
The effect she had on my life was different than the traditional role model that provides advice/examples.
I call it -
Mere Presence Effect
Basically, when I was hanging out with her, especially in public, I felt like I could do anything in the world.
It might sound silly, but for a jobless, generally insecure Law School dropout who was 5,000 miles from home - this was big. Huge.
Back in 1997, when my parents split up for the 2nd time, I remember sitting on my bed all alone at 4am and watching her popular music video on MTV. A little more than a decade later, I'm in her mansion in the Beverly Hills. Truly a dream.
Although you shouldn't seek out role models simply for 'motivation', if your role model makes you feel like a million bucks (and is also successful) - then he/she is definitely worth learning from. Hang out with them as much as you can.
You shouldn't be a slave to validation, but the key to getting past it is GETTING VALIDATION.
* Just a random picture, not her place.
While it's not practical that you will be able to find an celebrity/Top .000001% successful person to hire or mentor you (I rarely hear from her anymore unfortunately), you hardly need that.
You just need someone who is accessible and successful, ideally - 5-10 years older than you are that you can learn the beginning steps from.
Just like everything else in life, finding an accessible role model will be a numbers game and most won't be "available".
Like picking up girls, you have unlimited tries and you just need 1 to come through.
As much as I'd like to credit my natural skill and work hard, my role models have had an enormous effect on my life.
All of them gave me indirect "permission" to follow my dreams, when I hadn't yet given myself the proverbial green light.
Without the names I mentioned - Good Looking Loser would not exist. At all.
Do you have an accessible role model?
What do they do?
And What have you learned from them?
Drop your comments or questions below. Any more in-depth commentary is best posted in the Good Looking Loser forum.