Finding a mentor can be a difficult thing to do. Over the past few years I have had many mentors, but the best one by far has been Andy Liu. Here are a few qualities that Andy posses and that you should look for in a mentor:
- Success – if your mentor isn’t successful, then how can you expect them to help you become successful? (The first company Andy started was bought by Aquantive, which then Microsoft bought)
- Rags to riches story – you probably have had a tough life, so you want to make sure your mentor can relate to you. If his or her family has always had money, then they probably won’t be able to understand what you went through and where you need help in life.
- Time – if someone doesn’t have time to spare, they won’t be able to help you. In most cases the older the person is, the more time they will have to spare.
- Abundance of knowledge – the job of a mentor is to help you with the problems you face in life, and not just the problems you face with your business or career.
- Good heart – there are a lot of things in this world that are unethical to do, but yet legal. You want someone with good morals to help you or else you may start doing unethical things.
After you find a potential candidate, here are the steps you can take to lock them in as your mentor:
- Make them your friend – before you ask anyone for anything, you should get to know them on a personal level. No one likes being asked for favors from people they barely know.
- Spend time with them – you won’t know a person’s true colors, unless you spend a lot of time with them. Make sure you hang out with them in a group as well as in a one on one environment.
- Help out – before you ask for any advice, you should help him or her out in any way you can. More importantly help them out on numerous occasions and do it because they are your friend.
- Ask for advice – asking someone to be your mentor will create an awkward situation, instead you should just ask them for advice whenever you need it.
Now that you know how to get a mentor, you could go out and find one, or you could use mine. Here are a few things that I learned from Andy:
Everything is bargainable
When you walk into a retail store you can negotiate the price of any item in the store. For example when Andy was in college he went into a sporting goods store to buy some weight lifting equipment. The price tag for the equipment was $150, which Andy thought was too expensive. So instead of not purchasing it or waiting for a sale, he went to the store manager and negotiated the price down to $110.
I know you may be a bit shy to do what Andy did, but there is no reason you should be. Making money is one way to become wealthy, but saving it is an easier way.
Think twice before you start living a lavish lifestyle
A year ago I started spending a bit of money on myself. I started buying things like $600 shoes and $10,000 watches. Last month I was tempted to buy an Aston Martin, but before I did, I consulted Andy. The two things that he pointed out to me were:
- After you start buying expensive stuff, you keep on doing so. It becomes an addiction and an expensive habit that is hard to get rid of.
- Why spend $120,000 on a car when all you need is something that takes you from point A to point B. Instead of wasting that much money on a car, why not donate a $100,000 to a group of people and change their lives. (Every year Andy goes to South America to give poor kids computers and Internet access)
When it rains it pours
You don’t know when there is going to be a rainy day, so you better save your money while you can. With my first business I thought everything was great when I started making the “big bucksÂ,” but just like anything good, it never lasts forever. Because of the advice Andy gave me, I was able to pocket most of the money I earned, which has helped me survive this recession.
Don’t forget the little guy
You never know who is going to be the next Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. Instead of ignoring the little guy, you should listen to them and help them out. Plus, if you look at the whole picture, the little guys make up the majority of our population. So if you want to appeal to the masses the key is to go after the the little guys.
Overall Andy has taught me a lot of things, so instead of rambling on for hours on what he taught me, I want you to learn directly from him. You can do this by reading his blog, or by sending him an email and striking up a conversation with him. Hopefully he helps you succeed in life, similar to how he has helped me.
P.S. if you want another mentor, I can also be of assistance.