Looking for a mentor? Why not use mine.

andy liu

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:

Download this cheat sheet to get to know about 5 qualities 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 bucks,” 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. πŸ˜‰

P.S. If you’re seriously looking for mentorship or business advice click here.

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Comments

  1. Great post and advice. Thanks.

    • Thanks, but most of what I wrote about the post came from Andy. πŸ˜‰

      • Brad Blogging.com - Personal Blog Tips And Blog Help :

        You should let Andy write a guest post here πŸ™‚ – Would he be interested?

        • That isn’t a bad idea, but it would be better for Andy to blog on his blog right now. He has limited time and needs to build up his brand instead of mine. πŸ˜‰

          • Brad Blogging.com - Personal Blog Tips And Blog Help :

            Good point.. A blog needs the most attention during its “startup” phase.

            • After you put a lot of work into it for the first few months you can take it a bit easy. You can’t fully relax though or else your readers will disappear.

              • Brad Blogging.com - Personal Blog Tips And Blog Help :

                I look at blogging sort of as a plant..

                Takes a lot of watering and attention at the beginning to grow, and then takes less attention once it’s developed πŸ™‚

                (A little bit lame, but it works)

              • Plus once the plant starts growing it can take off really quick similar to a blog. The growth of a blog is slow at first and it rapidly speeds up over time.

              • Kenney's Work From Home Secret :

                Very true it does kindof have this snowball effect. I have seen that with just about all of our blogs.

      • Money Academy :

        so i must say ” nice mentor ANDY “i see your trackback there .
        also i agree with guest post from Andy πŸ™‚

      • Hi Neil, just stumbled into this site and it just hit a home run with me about mentors. I had a mentor who had no time for me or issues that bothers me. Would you be my mentor?

    • Stefhanus GlobalBusinessIdea.com :

      Good Blog, for the simple word is follow mentor that have a leadership, people only follow the leader, mentor not just say something but they (leader/mentor) do what they say.

  2. Mentors play a big part in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am without my mentors. My parents are my mentors. They taught me the value or respect, money. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.

    I am still learning from them.

    • Good point, anyone can be a mentor. Parents are usually the mentors that have the biggest effect on our lives, even tough we tend to take their advice for granted.

      • Parents can be great mentors, however you must be careful. Many times, most parents often have the mindset of the past. Sure some rules still apply, but most don’t. If I listened to my parents, I would be working a 9-5 job earning a stable paycheck and living an average life. (nothing wrong with that, just not for me) I’m not saying you shouldn’t take your parent’s advice and I’m not saying that my parent’s gave me bad advice, because they in fact gave me a plethora of useful advice. Just be careful. You should choose mentors who are in similar fields. Why re-invent the wheel right?

        • LOL, I have similar problems with my parents. They always tell me to stop taking risks. If I lose money they get mad at me and when I make money, they don’t say anything.

    • Our Parents is the best mentor in the world. They always say something that we can use it for life for our future, they say the truth about something, they tried the best their can do for us.

      • They have tried their best and hopefully they succeeded πŸ˜‰ You can’t expect that much from your parents, but some of the advice you get can take you further than you can imagine.

  3. What great advice. When I started making money on the internet, I spent money lavishly. I’d go out and drop 1,000 dollars in a club and not feel any regret. After doing this for a year, I realized I wasted more money than most people earn in a year.

    I haven’t had a mentor, but when I summed it up, it was a huge number. It made me think about what I did a little bit differently.

    • It seems like we all tend to waste money. My friend Krutal didn’t buy a house because he was afraid of making payments, but then he realized that he spent over 40k last year on useless stuff.

      At least we are helping the economy. πŸ˜‰

      • Helping “the” economy and not “our” economy. I actually bought my place too just to make sure I was putting my money into something that was mine and not someone elses.

        • You can never go wrong with real estate in the long run. I love it and I think it is a really good, safe investment.

  4. Big guy or little guy, It helps to know and keep in touch with everyone, YOU NEVER KNOW when you will need someone’s help!

    • Yep, you shouldn’t ignore anyone. Ignoring people can also ruin your personal brand. The last thing you want is for people to think you are an arrogant dick.

  5. I was just reading Andy’s site and found it very useful, especially for me πŸ™‚

    Neil, I ask you for advice all the time, but your already my mentor man…it ain’t awkward at all!!!

    • AJ is right. Neil you have given some great advice on this blog and facebook. I thank you for that my friend.

    • It’s good that you aren’t shy. Keep on asking away. πŸ™‚

      • If you read one of my blogs, I actually use to be a real shy cat. One day, I just got sick of it and conditioned myself to make that change. Anyone can re-condition themselves to be whatever way they want to be.

        • I already read your blog. πŸ˜‰

          I think everyone is shy in their own way. You just have to practice to not be shy. It can take time to get over the shyness, but as you said, you can re-condition yourself.

  6. thanks!
    will have to check him out!

    look forward to reading more of your blog.

    David King

  7. Donovan Roddy :

    Perfect example of how being “cheap” can lead to success, great follow up Neil.

    • I use to get mad when kids called me cheap because I’m Indian. So I started to splurge. After talking with Neil so many times about investing and businesses, I learned that it’s the right way to be.

    • Because of Andy, I now try to bargain whenever I go into a retail store.

      • how well has that worked for you?

        • Not too well so far, but it is a learning experience. Sooner or later I will be getting good deals. πŸ™‚

          • I was quite impressed he was able to do that at a retail store. I would never have thought that to be possible. The most I’ve ever gotten away with is getting a random employee to give me a discount on a big purchase. πŸ™‚

            • Dude, the next time we go to a retail store, we should both start bargaining.

              • Bargaining has worked for me at a retail store. The key is for the store employee to like you. Once you have done that, you are set.

                The same works in sales. The person has to like you and if they do, they will even buy overpriced VACUUMS πŸ™‚

              • Thanks for the tip. I will try and be nicer to the store employee before I start bargaining with them.

  8. Mayank Dhingra :

    That’s really nice of you Neil.

    Thanks !!

  9. HOBO(nickname) :

    The post touched my heart.
    What matters is soul-to-soul relationship.
    A round of applause for you and Andy. Cheers !!!

  10. Tom - StandOutBlogger.com :

    Great advice. A lot of my mentors probably don’t even know they mentor me. It is not an official setup but just people that I can go to and ask questions.

  11. Great of you to offer an example and spell out your relationship. I’ve found that a lot of people our age are confused about mentors because they think they are supposed to ask and form a formal relationship. I have a few people I consider mentors, but we are also “equal” friends and don’t have any kind of formal understanding. They are people that I go to advice and meet with in-person regularly.

  12. My mentor taught me just about everything I know about marketing and business while I worked for him.. Then when I took all of that knowledge and quit to start my own businesses, he just smiled and said it’s about time.. That’s a good mentor

    • A good mentor will not get mad at you when you make mistakes or when you apply the concepts and lessons he/she has taught you.

      • Sometimes if they get mad at you, it is a good thing. Getting angry at someone can make them move faster or listen.

    • WOW, that’s a really good mentor. He put you ahead of himself, which is really rare.

  13. AWESOME!

    I got an 18 or 19 out of 20 on my W2SAT, and the question I failed was not having a mentor.

    I think this was like by far the post here yet.

  14. Will you be my mentor? If yes, how do I know more about you personally?

  15. I find it extremely difficult to find mentors. Most of my friends are my age (30’s) and have various success either in their biz or careers and in different stages of their own life.

    There shoulld be a mentor club of some sort where they (mentors) can take on random poor souls like myself 😐

  16. Neil you get comments faster than anyone. Amazing. Love Andys site, going to be a terrific resource.

  17. Another very valuable post. I have always sought out mentors at a place I work. I feel I am already being mentored by you Neil ;).

  18. Please don’t ask Neil to be your mentor. His current full time job is my mentor, and I don’t see his schedule opening up soon. πŸ˜‰

    Great to see all of us writing about Andy. He is such a superb individual with such as combination of spirit, intelligence, good business sense, and an adventurous palate!

    I am glad his blog has entered the arena!

    I think the Andy Liu secret is out of the bag now!

  19. Only yesterday I suggested you to write this article. You work quickly Neil.
    Definitely one of your best posts, with more practical detailed information than usual.
    So which one of you mentored the other on the your identical blog template πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks for the suggestion! Some of my best content comes from readers like you.

      I think I mentored Andy on the blog template. πŸ˜‰

  20. Neil, I just happened to get up at 4 am this morning and opening my google reader and saw this post. I usually read your new posts but not the comments and I just wanted to say you are definitely a mentor by just having so much interaction between you and your readers. I read almost all the comments and almost everyone of them you took the time to respond and get to know the person on an individual level. Congrats, on this and someday I hope we can have a drink!

    • I know, he always seems to reply to most/all comments. I know you suggested doing so in a previous post about running blogs Neil, but it must be very time consuming; too time consuming. It does definitely set someone apart from the pack. You could even outsource it?

      • Never! I want to be the one interacting with all of my readers like you and not someone else. I know it takes a while to respond to all of the comments, but it is a privileged for me to do so.

        • That is a commendable attitude. On the topic of outsourcing I find it difficult to let others work on “my baby”, especially in professional niche/original content. Cost vs value is usually clearly correlated, but it’s eating up so much time. It’s getting me thinking…

          • I have the same problem. I am worried that they will mess things up. I personally am not willing to take that risk.

    • It would great to have a drink with you. Let me know the next time you are in the OC or at a conference that I am at.

  21. Abhijeet Mukherjee :

    Hi Neil,

    I have known you since some time now and also been reading your blog. I am a blogger and have written for some top blogs and still write for some of them. You may have come across my blog.

    I’ve always read your posts with great interest. I’d love to connect with you, talk to you and get your advice on my endeavors in the online sphere. I don’t know why I haven’t done it till now…I really should have contacted you way back…but it’s never too late I guess πŸ™‚ And this post acted as a trigger for that.

    I have added you to my AIM ( We are friends on facebook and I found your AIM there…my aim is abhijeetm12 ). I also thank you for introducing Andy Liu to us. I’ve subscribed to his blog. I am looking forward to learn from him too.

    I hope to get in touch with you and learn from you as much as possible. πŸ™‚

    Thanks,

    Abhijeet

  22. Jacques Seoman :

    That is a great punt for a very special person. Jeremy Schoemaker from Shoemoney is also talking about Andy Liu and his new business blog – InspiredStartup.com

    It seems that he is truly a gifted individual, with lots of knowledge to share. Spread the love guys!

    • Yea, both Jeremy and I are friends with Andy. Andy isn’t too well known on the web and we both feel that he should be.

  23. Brad Blogging.com - Personal Blog Tips And Blog Help :

    Bargaining definitely helps with saving money.. I also get a small rush from doing it.. How LOW will the vendor go?? πŸ˜€

    • And if it doesn’t work with one vendor, you can always go to their competitors.

      • Brad Blogging.com - Personal Blog Tips And Blog Help :

        The beauty of competition πŸ™‚ – Somebody always has a ‘better’ price.

        Especially noticed in furniture salesmen.

        • In this economy you can bargain a lot. With our new company my business partner negotiated a 30k contract down to 15k.

  24. Mentors are great. I have had the honor of having a few great role models growing up that helped me steer clear of the gangs that recruited us youngins living in the projects and become one more fruitful path. They also helped me sort out business aspects that traditional grad school would not discuss.

    At this point, I have also now got to do the big brother program to “pay it forward”. Its been great and hope others try it too!

  25. Neil thanks for the piece of information, and it’s really helpful i wish, i could have a mentor like u.

  26. Custom Silicone Bracelets :

    This is excellent advise I especially like the comment “think twice about living a lavish lifestyle” because you never know what can happen the next day. I think the movie “Fun with Dick and Jane.” The movie is about a family that already lives a good life but then thinks it is going to get a lot better and then starts buying stuff and the wife quits her job, however the next the company her husband works for goes bankrupt. Needless to say they get screwed because they had invested almost everything in that company.
    So you never know what can happen and should always have a nice cushion to fall back on is my motto.

    • My lifestyle right now is a bit too lavish and it is hard for me to break that habit. I am working on it slowly, but I recommend to everyone that you shouldn’t try to live a lavish lifestyle. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop.

  27. Don’t brush off the little guy – in our world, the little guy can become the big guy in an instant. (that and there’s no reason you should ever be rude)

  28. StartBreakingFree.com :

    Hey Neil,

    Great post and I’ve subscribed to Andy’s blog (Shoemoney recommended him as well as you probably saw!).

    I appreciate the mentorship offer, I know your time is valuable…I’ll be emailing you to ask for feedback about a business I’m starting up currently: http://www.UniversityTutor.com

    I’m toying with some different business models and marketing right now.

    Finally – I was wondering if you are a member of any entrepreneurship organizations? I applied to eonetwork.org which Andy recommended but it looks like they require annual revenues > $250k. I’m not quite there yet πŸ™‚
    Brian Armstrong

  29. Dude, give us more mentor persons πŸ˜‰

  30. I couldn’t agree more with the last one: don’t forget the small guy, you never know who might be tommorow. I run a wholesale coffee business and the last big deal i closed came from a waiter , that i’m a friend with, who works in a big hotel.

    • WOW, I would have never expected that. The funny thing is, I was having dinner with Andy and an venture capital friend of ours and the waiter gave him his info… You never know when you are going to get business.

  31. Glad you have found a good mentor. Can I tell one thing?

    You old photo (about and the new photo), there are too much difference. Is it the same person?

  32. Good post, thanks for bringing another great site to my attention. I am in the beginning stages (still) of setting up some new ventures and I think his posts will be of great value.

    I have always believed in the “Newman’s Own” way of business (using for-profit ventures to fund non-profit causes) and from reading his about page he seems to think similarly.

    Thanks for the mentor offer, hopefully I will be in a position to take you up on that some day. πŸ™‚

    – if you didn’t know, you already are “mentoring” just by writing good posts even though we have never met. When I first started reading your blog a couple months ago I had an idea for a new venture, but have since gone from having an idea to creating a plan and now beginning stages of implementing it. – Thanks! πŸ™‚

    • Andy is very well known in the entrepreneur and venture capital community. Hopefully he will be able to help you out.

  33. Webmaster Radio :

    Neil, It’s good watching you grow bro. I remember almost a decade ago when you were calling known SEOs looking for mentoring. I am so glad we offered it to you at the time.

    You yourself are a story of how positive mentoring can help another find success in the search marketing industry.

    Come to think of it, as a programmer at WebmasterRadio.FM, this post gives me an idea… Wanna talk mentoring on the radio?

    • Thanks for the offer Jim! Hopefully I can make some time to do so in the near future, but currently I am busy with this blog. For now, I need to spend any extra time I have, on this blog because I should be blogging daily. πŸ˜‰

  34. Ari Lestariono :

    Very humble lifestyle, and humanitarian attitude with living simple and contribute abundance of energy to society who needs it

  35. Ari Lestariono :

    Hi Neil,

    I am kindly request that you could be my mentor in this Internet Marketing or Entrepreneur, I have been working as Sales and Marketing in Oil and Gas Industry for the past 15 years in Indonesia Regional, recently myself and sister develop a blog that we aim to be success, but it’s not easy as it looks…..lol …I need a mentor that can motivate me and give me fresh ideas to leverage in any kind of business, please if you are not too busy will you accept my inquiries? Your prompt reply is highly appreciated.God Bless You.

  36. Great advice!
    AS of the moment I have no mentor though — no specific mentor. I learn from what I read on blogs like yours.

    • That works as well, but you want a mentor that you can see in person. Learning from someone in person is different then learning from someone online.

  37. Dan Massicotte :

    I’m really surprised mentors aren’t brought up in the The Law of Attraction. Having someone there who believes in you and you in him/her really makes the LOA work well.

    • Good point. Actually all of my mentors fit in that law of attraction theory. We both provide value to each other in many ways and we get along.

  38. Spin Ready Articles :

    Indeed, without a mentor one is like someone lost in a world where everyone is screaming. Who will you listen to? Thanks a lot for sharing this. And yes, I did visit Andy’s blog and he indeed sounds like someone that knows what he’s talking about.

  39. Custom Web Design :

    Interesting topic. You are really mentor. Great Work.

  40. I join Spin Ready Articles’ oppinion that a person without a mentor is someone lost in the world,it is really necessary to learn to react every screeming like the ABC ,and on the elementary level you can have mentors everywhere: among parents,relatives, neighbours ,friends,classmates and co-workers,passers-bies and others, but on the advanced level seek for a mentor incide yourself.

    • In today’s world, it is really easy to find a mentor due to the web. So if you don’t have a mentor, there is no excuse on why you can’t find one.

    • Articles Spinning :

      That’s true. A mentor helps to make the journey easy for the student. The point is – why make all the mistakes when you can learn from other people’s mistakes? πŸ™‚

  41. Great Advice! I dig it. πŸ™‚

    Oh Neil, you sexy beast, will you be my mentor? Oh wait, I have to make you my friend first . . . Cmon over and I’ll make chili, get you drunk and draw pretty pictures on you while you sleep. Ahhh male bonding . . .

  42. Ken @ Work From Home Secret :

    Great post as usual. It’s a trip to see that you have a mentor too! I don’t think that people realize that really successful people have mentors too.

    • I will always have a mentor. You can always learn more.

      Even my mentor has a mentor.

      • Articles Spinning :

        I love that – “Even my mentor has a mentor”. I was surprised to hear a 70+ year old motivational speaker recently speaking about his “mentor”. So, yes, you are right there. After all, even a mega-millionaire wants to be a billionaire, so he has billionaires as mentors, πŸ™‚

        • And even if you are old, your mentor can be younger than you. πŸ™‚

          • Kenney the REI :

            Very true. Not just about age. Experience, the ability to teach and get you to understand concepts, motivation, young people have great minds too… I mean Chris Hughes, born November 26, 1983 won Top 10 Most influential marketers of 2008. Because of his work with the Barack Obama campaign.

            You can even have different mentors for different areas of your life. Physical, spiritual, relationship, business, fitnesss, etc

  43. Jonathan Radande :

    wow, this is the second time I’ve heard of Andy in two days. I’ve subscribed to his blog and look forward to reading what he has to say.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Jonathan

  44. You are indeed lucky to have found a good mentor. I have had bad experiences with two mentors who I looked up to till I found that they were superficial. I have not stopped looking for one and your post certainly points me in the right direction.

  45. Motorcycles for sale :

    HaHaHa The same problem is am also facing wid my parents…. thy always use 2 stop me 2 take the risks…. bt i never listen 2 thm…. i love 2 take risk..Bt soon i realised dat Parents can be great mentors, however we must be careful.

    • Although they may not understand what we are doing, you should still listen to your parents. You don’t have to do what they are telling you to do, but just take the time to hear them out.

      • Articles Spinning :

        That’s true, Neil about “hearing them out”. There’s a wise saying that “what parents see when they sit down, children won’t see the same thing even if they stand”. So, even when we don’t think so, most parents do know what’s best for their children.

  46. Nobody argues the parents must be treated with care and respect but they hardly know and can show you your life way. Only you youself know it and agree it is hard to listen to their comments upon your life.

    • I think the main reason it is hard to listen to them is because they grew up during a different era. We are going to have the same problems with our kids.

  47. Nice Advice. Thanks For Tips. I thinks the Every People Want the Mentor. Neil Your Also Good Mentor.

  48. Home Based Business :

    I think in life Mentor is neccessary. Thanks For Sharing Good Advise and given information about to Choosing the Mentor.

  49. personal injury lawyers :

    Making money is very hard but to save money is much much easier. Yes. Everything is bargainable

  50. Andy Lui? Pffff…

    Chris Chrocker is my Mentor. You know why? Confidence. No one has confidence like large black women and openly gay men. No matter what they look or sound like they are happy to be in their skin and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

    Call me crazy, call me rude, It’s the truth.

    If I had a fraction of the confidence Chris Crocker has I’d taken over the world by now.

    ΓƒΒ’Γ’β‚¬β€œΓ‹β€  Kris Tian ΓƒΒ’Γ’β‚¬β€œΓ‹β€ 

  51. I’d be honor to have you as my mentor, if you could spare the time. In the mean time I’ll just read all your posts until my eyes dry out! πŸ˜‰

  52. Underarm Sweating :

    Definitely times are changing. Nowadays is good to have a mentor, to know where are you going or when you are going to do something stupid so mentor can stop you an save from later consequences.

  53. Jermaine Pleas :

    I think everyone needs mentoring for different things, but you are right Neil. You are your own mentor in a certain extent. Just by reading can give you enough of information to move forward. It’s up to you to implement everything that’s learned.

  54. I think that this quote I’ve read off of a news journal (http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2009/05/18/editorial2.html) goes along well with your blog:

    “Remember that you are here today because you stand on somebody’s shoulders. Wherever you are headed from here, you cannot get there alone.”

    This is a great and informative peice on finding and establishing a relationship with a mentor, Neil. Thank you!

  55. Sınavlar :

    my friend How can I take Andy’s contact information?I really need a mentor exactly like him

  56. I have yet to find 1 single person as a good mentor. I have learned a lot from a few different business people and this has worked for me so far. Most of these people have business sense but none have really done stuff with the web. Maybe one day I will find that mentor that makes all the difference.

  57. SAT Study Guide :

    Don’t forget the little guy – so true.

    You can add to it ‘Never Judge a Guy on 1st Impressions’ and ‘Be Nice To Those You Pass On the Way’ – as you never know what position they’ll be in when you come back that way!!

    I always remember years ago when I was in sales, I called on a new potential customer at his store in London. The place was a total tip, dirty, untidy and not a very comfortable place to be. I do remember thinking I’d need to wipe my feet on the mat before leaving!!

    Turns out – he was my biggest customer for the 3 years I serviced him – to the tune of 315% more than my next big customer – and they weren’t shabby either.

    He actually worked from the store because it was the first he’d ever owned and he liked the pure nostalgia it gave him everyday. (He always arranged to meet the Tax and Revenue people there as well – said it helped set their expectations!!) He wholesaled a lot of the stuff he bought from me (this was in the 1980s) to Asia and India and made a killing.

    He was one of the most polite, considerate and tough negotiators I ever met and I’m happy to say – remains a good friend to this day.

    But on seeing his shop for the first time – I could so easily have assumed the wrong thing and walked away! The Little Guy isn’t always little and some who are – don’t always stay little!

  58. Save your money while you can – lesson learned today.

    Thanks Neil.
    btw do you have a link for archives..i really enjoy reading archives.. thanks.

  59. Thanks to this good article. Good idea, I’ll start the research of some good mentors.
    Thank

  60. Web Design LA :

    Always spare maximum time with your mentor. This will teach you a lot and give you good experience to share and knowledge to implement.

    • Absolutely, you should gather as much information as you can… cherish every moment you have time to spend with your mentor.

  61. Hello Everyone,
    I have been reading on here about having a mentor. Great info, by the way. I was wondering if anyone knew about a work at home career that also offers a mentor? I have had 3 work at home careers and they failed. 1 was being a note finder
    2. was working with a logo embroidery company that really was a joke and 3. was trying to do short sales.
    If you can help me, please email me. My husband supports what I try, but we are getting tired of spending money and not getting anything back in return. We have spent thousands of dollars and have actually ran out of money now.
    Thank you.

  62. I once had a good mentor that became one of my best friends and although once in a while some of his ideas where not that good, overall he helped me a lot and to be honest without all his advices and knowledge I would not have been successful in my distribution business. I really appreciate this guy and I wish I could talk to him more often lately.

  63. Vivek Krishnan :

    I would owe a lot of my humble success to my mentors. They have come in the form of many people such as my teachers, my college seniors etc. These people can actual alter your thinking and make you realize your potential.

  64. chiropractor :

    My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on various websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  65. Wow! Thanks for the great post, Neil. I didn’t realise that asking someone to be your mentor is very helpful. I know a lot of older man then me that are successful and have all the characteristics that you said. Most of them are my relatives and also businessmen. πŸ˜€

    Ak Harith, an author of http://journalio.blogspot.com/ and http://gunnersbrunei.com/

  66. Dean Sutton :

    Hey Neil,
    Loved the post, it hits close to home.
    I’m on my second business currently. My first business was a masonry contracting company, which I consider to be my “learning” business. Since then, I’ve moved on to a tech/business services company – and my biggest missing link is mentorship. I live in an area that is not very tech savvy – but I’m still looking for a solid mentor. I know deep in my gut it will be a huge factor in my success moving forward.
    In a small business setting, aside from the local chamber, what would you do? You mentioned you might have other suggestions? I don’t see virtual mentorship as being as effective as real toe-to-toe mentorship. Maybe I’m just looking for a swift kick in the ass, because I know I need to go out there and seek out the right people. Any further tips for this missing link, I’d love to hear them.
    Thanks for your posts Neil!
    Cheers
    Dean

    • I am glad you are actively seeking mentorship. I think a good kick in the behind is what everyone needs. It worked for me when I was starting out.

  67. Hi Neil

    Just passing by again. Hope you have had a great week.

    Andy seems like a good mentor. He certainly has given you the best advice about thinking twice in relation to spending money on expensive things. I could certainly rub shoulders with Andy. He has insights to my philosophy:’Use wisdom in all things’ Things do not bring lasting happiness. What you do to help others or serve your fellowmen will bring lasting satisfaction.

    Andy is completely right about addictions. Its like gambling. You gamble your life away with wasteful ‘Things’. Before anyone knows it, the money is gone.

    I own a people mover van and have had this vehicle for nearly 7 years. It gets me from A to B. Its probably worth at this stage $1000. I just service this vehicle when it needs it. Thats all.

    You have an excellent mentor Neil. Follow his advice.
    Well I think you may probably know who my mentor is. Chris Farrell has taught me many things from his website. Haven’t spoken to him personally only through his forum comments. Very honest, down to earth guy.

    I must say Neil you have been my mentor in many ways by providing the excellent resources on your website. I just keep coming back and read more. There is so much stuff to read.

    Thanks again. We will meet one day in the future.

    Richard

  68. Dan Giercke :

    Hi Neil,

    Great post on mentors. I agree that having a good mentor is essential. I’ve had many ranging from authors I’ve read, to seminar leaders I’ve attended, to one-on-one, and certainly prefer the personal approach – although they’ve all been valuable.
    It’s also been surprising to me how approachable many of these successful people can be. They’re often most willing to help (assuming you’re respectful of their time). I think they’ve gotten where they are by recognizing that you succeed in direct porportion to the number of people you’re helping (with your product/service or otherwise). There’s certainly some reciprocity in effect.
    Best of Success,
    Dan

  69. David Karanja :

    Wow Neil, You are a mentor to me cause without having to email questions, I just browse you site and find answers to all sorts of situations I find myself in as an entrepreneur.
    Thanks

  70. i think both you and Andy are lucky to have found each other. I truly believe that a good mentor can make your road to success a lot easier.

  71. I would never have thought that to be possible. The most IÒ€ℒve ever gotten away with is getting a random employee to give me a discount on a big purchase.

  72. Jatin Chhabra :

    Really nice post Niel. Here in India we have a concept that like without a teacher is roadless. But this isn’t in India, its global. Call them a teacher or mentor one should have a mentor for sure.

  73. Hi Neil,
    If I can get you help me as my mentor, it would be a wonder opportunity, that will cut my learning curve and speed up the things I am planning to work on. Waiting for your reply. Thank you.

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