Hi all –

Every great person you admire has had a mentor or series of mentors. Many will argue that and the evidence is irrefutable.

Ellen had Oprah. Bezos had Walton (via books). Michael Jordan had Dean Smith. Kobe Bryant had Jordan. Sara Blakeley had her father. Plato had Socrates.

The list never ends.

I talk about the power of mentors often, so “How do I find a mentor?” is a question I get all the time. I talk about mentors so much because I discovered the power of modeling so late in life. I grew up in a time and place where I never heard of or was taught about this powerful idea.

Here are the biggest mistakes I see people make with mentors:

  1. Looking for perfect. By far the biggest mistake that prevents many from ever finding one is searching for perfection. We are all flawed. You will never find a perfect mentor. Avoid deep character flaws, of course, but otherwise focus on learning the positives and ignoring the rest.
  2. Asking first vs. giving first. As Jim Rohn said “poor people should take rich people out to dinner.” Most people expect successful people to give to them vs. them giving to them. Your potential mentor has something you need and you probably don’t have much to give them. Remember to give give give before asking. Personally, I’ve made more money for my mentors than they have made for me, but the price was well worth it. I wouldn’t achieve half as much without them.
  3. Aiming too high. Make your mistakes with early mentors. Don’t make your mistakes with your dream mentor. Working with mentors is a skill you have to learn. Work your way up. Just remember to keep upgrading your mentors as you progress.

I will leave you with one hack. The ideal mentor is in-person so you can learn via osmosis. But sometimes that’s impossible so lean on videos (YouTube) and books from the greats.

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Charlie Munger has said, “you can make friends with the eminent dead.” This is what Jeff Bezos did by learning from Sam Walton’s Made in America – and we can all learn this way.

– DC

P.S. I talk about mentors and role models on my podcast, Seeking Wisdom. And a little tip… I’m bringing back Seeking Wisdom this spring. Reply to this email to let me know what you want me to talk about on the show.

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