Finding and Utilizing a Mentor
I can't tell you how important having a mentor is for both your personal and business life. Yet, even though I mention this very few of you will actually go and seek one. The questions comes down to why
The answer is because most of us are too prideful to admit we need help or don't know something. Our culture teaches us early on in school that we can't not know the answer to something. That there is a right or wrong answer and not knowing something is failing. I want you to challenge that belief system. You don't know everything, no one does and more importantly the things you think you know may not be right. If you aren't reaching out to other people to get their opinions and are BEING OPEN MINDED TO THOSE OPINIONS then you won't ever grow as a person or exapnd your perspective. Every time I have had mentors I have learned far more from them that I anticipated and not all business related. It always becomes more than business even if that wasn't the intention. This is because you business and personal life are intertwined and you can't work on one wihout working on the other.
An example of this is someone I personally mentored. We will call him Joe. Joe came to me about how to grow his comapny. I met with Joe once every week and we would go over processes, numbers, etc. Every time I met with Joe I would ask him about his kids and he would tell me they're great. I would ask him "Did they have a soccer game this week?" His response was "ummm yeah I think so" aka he didn't know for sure and certainly wasn't in attendance. One day I decided to bring that up. I asked him why he doesn't go to his kids games. His reply was like many I had heard before. He was so busy growing his company and providing for his family that he didn't have time. He would have more time later once the company was successful. I grilled him and told him his kids always have to be a priority over his company. I was his mentor and even though he didn't agree he was open to my advice. From then on out I would end each meeting by asking him what he had done with his kids that week. Knowing I would ask he made it a point to spend more time with them and go to their activities. As his relationships with his kids grew so did his fulfillment level and as his fulfillment level grew so did his business.
This was many years ago, but even if you asked him today he would tell you that him having me as a mentor was a big part of why his business was successful, but an even bigger part as to why he has such a great relationship with his kids to this day. Yet, he sought me out for coaching to grow his business. The point I am trying to get across is that you have to find a mentor and then you have to let them into your life and let them mentor you in both aspects of your life because they both work together to determine the success of your company.
Full Transcript Below
- hello and welcome back to another episode of conversations with Ken I'm Shaun gray and this is Ken McElroy we've been getting a lot of questions lately and you know some questions towards how I got into a relationship with Ken and how ken has mentored some people a lot of people are thinker questions from Juliet in Austin today and she's asking how do I find a mentor like Ken how do I get into that mentor mentee relationship so Ken what do you think yeah a great question thanks Juliet I I love by the way we're reading all these questions I do see them I love seeing them there I don't where there's hundreds of very very good questions I think it's interesting because when I first I stumbled into it personally before there were all these online coaches and all these things I just personally just sought out individuals to do different things and so I think when I first got out of college I for whatever reason I said okay I'm done I stopped I stopped reading books for about ten years which was a huge mistake and I stopped asking questions I'm like okay I've got my college degree and then at some point I just flatlined in write and everybody's flying right past me and that's when I started saying okay well if I want to let's say climb a mountain or run a marathon or write a book or learn how to speak or buy real estate or raise capital there's no way that I'm gonna be good at all of it you know and once I think you got to kind of surrender to that and it sounds like Juliet has right I think but I wanted to just address it because I I don't think a lot of people you know they have that ego yes and and they're like I don't need any help you know and I don't know they're afraid to say maybe that they don't know yeah and now it's interesting I just got done reading this is Ray Dalio I love that book by the way which one the principles but okay and he's one of wealthiest guys in the world and he basically said once he once he went from trying to be the smartest guy to the guy that just said I basically don't know anything and you know educate me his life changed completely and I think that's a big piece that doesn't sound like Juliette is there it sounds like she certainly is somebody who wants to learn as much as she can but I just wanted to talk about that real briefly because there's so many people that are like this you know with information and what they know and they're just afraid to and I think it has a lot to do with school and being slapped on the hand and you know you can't really ask questions I certainly if you know I'm trying to you know I used to cheat of course how I got good school but but I you know and I got caught a few times but the truth is is when you get out of the business world you can ask questions in Google you could pick up the phone you say hey what about this what about that and it's so different and I think when you hold on to that so tight it's tough it's tough when you get out of school to know that you have all these resources that's a big piece something about that too you talked about the ego being that thing that holds us back I think especially for my generation the millennial generation you know where we were getting out of school and we're almost we feel as though we're expected to be at a certain level of competency and understanding and certain things and so we do go into a that ego like okay I'm supposed to know this so I have to pretend like I do when Lily I don't but I'm too embarrassed to ask the question because your point the conditioning school right it is yeah I don't know if it's a generational thing i I don't I think I think there's more information now or you can google it you know and find it really quickly but you don't understand how it connects like you know it might be data but there's no experience behind it and so so to answer her question directly like when I first started having kids for example I found a guy that had raised five kids very successfully and how I viewed that personally was all five of his kids want to hang with him that's it you know he's a wealthy guy but he had a connection and relationship with his I'm like name was Charlie Dunlap I'm like how and he there's a whole science behind it right there's it was an intentional and the same thing when I started speaking with Kiyosaki you know Robert just asked he's like hey I want you to speak in New York well I was freaking out right and of course I didn't know how and he's not gonna Roberts like do you figure it out right so I went out found somebody and I didn't pay for this you know I didn't pay for Charlie I didn't pay for that same thing when I wrote a book you know same thing when I was training I have a trainer I worked out this morning there are people that are better than me and what they do you know what I mean they're immersed they've immersed themselves in to whatever that craft is and they're out there and some of them you have to pay for that so I was gonna say would you say it's a bad thing to have to pay for that because no no but what but I also think that it can be a big scam and I think people need to really be careful because I don't believe you know you can have somebody you know really a coach and I'm not bashing the coaching industry right cuz I coached kids I actually saw this morning saw a kid I coach football with at at a lunch place let's go yeah and he came right up to me you know what I mean so there are some really cool relationships between you know as a coach right but yeah that was not a paid position I can guarantee you that but the point is is there you can you can coat there's nothing the one thing about coaching is it just makes you accountable a lot of times it's calling you up did you do what you said you're gonna do week to week you know what I mean so when I would meet with Charlie you know I would say hey you know what's the best way to parent a kid what's the best way to discipline a kid what are some of the things that you did and you know and then we get into those kinds of conversations yeah for example and I didn't pay for any of that but when you get into actual business coaching honestly I think there's so many my experience has been that there's so many really smart people out there if you just ask them hey can I can I have a an hour with you I once a month once a week and a lot of times they'll say yes I that was something I've found with you you were very generous with your time which I was surprised you know someone at your level you know still they're so generous with your time but the answer would have been no if I didn't ask well I'll tell you when it would have been no is if if you would have showed up the second time unprepared right you know what I mean so what your mentor tells you yeah right no seriously then it's just a waste of time right my job is not to make you better it's to show you that you already are and how you do it you know what I mean and so it's you that have to do all the work and that's why I think the coach you know the to be a good coach I think that you first have to find out we talked a little bit about this in today's series what it was the actual goal you know what is it that you want some people don't want to be rich mm-hmm you know they don't some some people just want like let with Kiyosaki his sister went to the Peace Corps and he went to the Marine Corps I mean how differ could that be yeah you know he was ordained by the Dalai Lama and he went to go fight in Vietnam they could not be any more different from the same family different goals different values different everything and so you have to respect that I think in people and then then draw that out of them you know because all too many people I think it they get put into things that they don't necessarily want I think that's the the worst thing that could happen is it I know folks for example well and I'm not picking on accountants but let's say I have friends that went through and got their accounting degree went to work for a big accounting firm and now they're in this accounting world and they hate it got some friends like that okay so that's just an example it's they they stuck with it and that's good they're loyal and all that kind of stuff but they're not happy you know and then I have others that are the on the opposite end right they're floating around with a backpack at a motorcycle you know what I mean but there's kind of something in between right right now like doing what they want and maybe that is I'm not trying to be critical with that so let me let me ask you this from a mentee standpoint say I've identified the best in the space that I want to
- no this is who I want to learn from how do I go about a very practical way or in your eyes you know from the mentor standpoint very practical way a successful approach of a mentee asking a mentor hey you know I want to be doing what you're doing you know what's that how's that conversation go I think it's actually super simple you know there's first of all there's a lot of people whatever it is you want to do there's a lot of people they're out there doing it well I mean I know that for sure and there's a bunch of ways I think you know if you just have an idea then and I'll give you an example I had dinner like a month ago with a young man who is a quarterback at a big college and he just got drafted and he texts me last week he says hey Kent I want to write a book you know hey you know obviously he had a lot of success and and I'm thinking to myself you know about what like you know to me yeah like your college senior and you just got drafted in the NFL and he's like on how to be a quarterback and you know so I had a conversation with him I'm like okay so who's gonna buy it right like you know and and it's a very limited audience I'm not and he's a really super cool kid but you know you know so I didn't want to take a spirit out right right at the same time I want to say listen well why don't you do this and then write about that process you know what I mean and so he was really excited and so the point is is he reached out to me he does not he lives in that on the East Coast and so we're not meeting but I just got just call him for 10 minutes or 15 minutes and you know kind of encourage you that's a good point right there a lot of people think okay I need a mentor and it's some very structured rigorous three times a day from this and it may be that way right but a lot of times I mean some of my best mentors are the kind I can just shoot a text well I will tell you from people that are super busy like me it's better like I I called him on from one appointment to the next when I had 15 minutes right and I said hey hey I got 15 minutes and happy to get on the phone with you and he's very respectful that time then we've had people come to the office we have people email the that the what the the challenge or the frustration becomes when they just have an idea and they're not really passionate around they're like I want to buy real estate but they've never watched a video they've never read a book you know what I mean and they want to sit down and they want me to say you know go do this and and then you'll be rich you know where and then you got others that have you know they're fully immersed into personal development they've watched all the stuff they read the whole Rich Dad series for example they watched all the videos right and they're just grateful to have 15 minutes or a half hour I'd rather talk to that person because they come in very prepared and they've already kind of figured out what it is they wanted because they already have momentum you know even at a small level they have momentum they've ruled out things that they haven't they don't want and they've kind of honed in on things that they do want so then when they walk in I have young men and young women walk in and they'll have ten questions already pre written down that's what I would call prepared right and then I have other people walk in and they're like you know they've never even read my book right you know what I mean so so you have all over the map so I would encourage you to you know really figure out exactly what it is that you want do a lot of work around reading and on the internet and and really hone it down and then from there you'll they'll be a list of people and I'm telling you it's not that hard to get people to sit down with you for 10 or 15 minutes or 30 minutes and if you come to them with that kind of passion and that kind of preparation yeah the chances of you getting another meeting is really very super high well there you go there's your way to get your second meeting with a great mentor that was awesome stuff do what your mentors tell you be passionate about the subject be prepared don't waste their time be respectful and you might just end up with a great mentor like I did with Ken yeah thanks Julie I'm from Austin I appreciate the question thanks Julia send in your questions comment in the comments below we'd love to hear from you guys thanks for watching conversations with Ken we'll see next time