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Find a mentor

Step 2: Find a mentor

Sometimes, the right path isn’t always clear. That’s due to the HUGE amount of choice we have when it comes to our decisions.
  • Should you choose the well-paying job with the Fortune 100 company…or work for that start-up that might not be around in 18 months?
  • Should you go back to school for an MBA or study online?
  • Should you move to a bigger city or stay where you are, where you have some contacts and friends already?
Though the great variety of choices might seem good — after all, you have more to choose from — it can actually hinder your ability to make a decision.
To overcome this “paradox of choice,” you simply need to find someone who’s been there already: a mentor.
This is going to be a person who’s going to help you through the tough decisions and guide you on the path to success.
A while back, I flew to LA just to visit my mentor Jay Abraham for advice on strategy.
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Years ago, after I bought his book, Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got, I heard he was launching a program for small-business owners. So I applied. After he checked my references and read my application, he offered me a spot.
The program was ~$25,000. And I also had to fly from NYC to LA every month for 15 months just to get 45 minutes of his time.
And I would do it again — for TEN TIMES the price.
That’s because over the years, Jay’s insight and guidance has helped me:
  • Make over $100,000 in a single month
  • Double my business in one year
  • Gain an AMAZING experience in my personal life in just a few months
Your mentor doesn’t have to be some all-knowing guru who lives on top of a mountain — and you DEFINITELY don’t have to pay $25,000 to get one.
It can be someone as close to you already as a friend or family member — you can even find a mentor in someone you NEVER meet face-to-face through books or blogs you read.
Do you want to start getting fit? Maybe you have a buddy who always goes to the gym and runs marathons.
Do you want to ace that class next semester? Talk to the professor and schedule office hours to discuss the material.
Do you want to start a new business? Start by taking a course and reading a few good books on the topic.
If you find someone you really admire and believe can help you on your journey to success, reach out to them.
“But Ramit, what if I don’t know this person? Won’t I look like a creep asking them to be my mentor?”
As a person who receives THOUSANDS of emails each day, I can say without hesitation that there is an artform to crafting a message that’ll pique my attention and won’t alienate me.
Luckily, I’m going to tell you the 3 steps to an email sure to get your mentor’s attention.
That’s right. It’s steps within steps.This is stepception.
Step 1: Focus on them. The person you’re trying to reach is probably very busy — that’s why you need to give them a reason to open the email. To this end, you need to make sure your subject line is engaging and your opening pulls them in.
Check out the opening of this email I got from one of my readers — it’s one of my favorites!
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That’s probably my favorite subject line of all time. “I want to work for you for free.” That would be music to anyone’s ears.
But, do you see what he did? Not only did he give me a genuine compliment but told me about the results my work had on him. I LOVE it.
Step 2: Make them care. You need to establish rapport as quickly as possible. If you can, name drop someone you have in common with them. In most cases though, you’ll need to establish common ground another way.
For this email, my reader already knew I was looking for talented developers — so he told me who he is and why I should care.
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This means you’re going to have to do your homework. He knew from reading my site and my job postings that I was looking for a new developer, and he knew I liked to work fast and iterate quickly — all things he addressed in his email right away.
Get inside your mentor’s head. What can you do for them that’ll make their lives easier?
Step 3: Make saying “yes” easy. You’ll want to anticipate and confront any doubts your mentor might have in receiving your email.
This means proactively asking to set up a meeting or a Skype call. Be sure to make clear that you’ll rearrange your schedule for the conversation — any time works for you. After all, you’re asking for their help — not the other way around.
Check out what my reader did. He knew I had a few projects I wanted to do — but hadn’t made the time for them yet.
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By leveraging my need for a solid web developer and coupling that with the rapport he built, the reader was able to put me in a prime position to say “yes.”
Be sure to acknowledge the value of their time by ending your email with this script:
“I understand you have tremendous demands on your time, and if you don’t have time to respond, no problem. But if you do, even a sentence would mean a lot to me.”
This gives them an easy out if they’re too busy while also boosting your response rate by showing how empathetic you are.
Before doing this, you should have crystal clear expectations for what a mentor will provide for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Don’t focus on getting paid. You want to optimize for learning, and make sure that the mentor knows this. If they offer to pay you for work, that’s fine, but certainly don’t ask for this up front.
  • NEVER ask a mentor a question Google can easily answer for you. Do your homework before you ask busy people for answers. If Google could provide the answer in 20 seconds, don’t waste your mentor’s time. You want them to help you solve complex and really meaningful problems in your life instead.
  • Put in the work up front. I always say that if you put in 10x the work that leads to 1000x the results. So don’t slack or half-ass your way through assignments or projects. Focus on becoming world class and absorbing all the knowledge you can from them.
  • If you feel like you’re not getting a valuable experience, don’t feel like you have to keep the relationship going. Don’t just disappear and not return their calls and emails. But certainly don’t waste either of your valuable time. Communicate your feelings and move on.
My mentors have helped me make (and save) millions of dollars over the years. But they’ve also taught me more about success — and what it looks like — than I could have ever figured out on my own. I can’t put a price on that.

Step 3: Take action and work towards mastery

Remember the “magic bullets” I talked about at the beginning of the article? Well, mastery is the antithesis of magic bullets.
A friend of mine is an orthopedic surgeon, and one day we were talking about our careers and he said, “You know, Ramit, all these residents want to be me. They want to be where I am — but they can’t be me without going through the same fire I’ve gone through — making the mistakes, staying the late hours. They all want to see the result.”
And he had an interesting point. It’s just like when we pick up a fitness magazine and want to be the guy with the huge biceps and 12-pack abs.
That’s because we often focus too much on the RESULTS rather than the WORK.
And that’s where true success lies: in the work that you put in. We’d all love to have a nice body or have a career that we love — but are we willing to put in the sweat equity for it?
So when we hear about someone who wants a shortcut or magic bullet for results, you can rest assured that they won’t be the people who’ll be succeeding 5 years from now.
But when you see someone who’s willing to work hard towards their goal the RIGHT way, you can bet they’ll be successful.
A few years ago I was testing the benefits of writing guest posts for a few other high traffic sites.
In one test, I wrote a post quickly — taking about 1.5 hours to write it. It turned out fine and got me a few hundred visitors.
In another test, I spent 18 hours writing an awesomely detailed post, including case studies, a video, and concrete examples.
Result: 100,00+ visitors.
I spent 12x the amount of time writing the good one — but I got 250x the results.
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Imagine being able to systematically focus on doing just 10 high-impact actions a year. How do you think your results would compare to someone doing 100 different things?
This is called disproportionate impact — and it’s not simple. Most people have an ordinary impact in the world. They lead ordinary jobs, spend and save ordinary amounts of money, and when they work they affect an ordinary number of people.
Most people are just ordinary. 
Let me give you a couple of examples of disproportionate impact:
Getting an extraordinary raise:
What most people do: Wing it. They make a list of the reasons why they should get a raise — why they DESERVE it — and then they practice what they’re going to say in their heads a few times. They think the fact that they’ve done great work will be enough.
What SUCCESSFUL people do: They study salary negotiation, the mistakes most people make when trying to negotiate, and how to crack the negotiation code. They make a list of all the reasons they’ve EARNED a raise and they create a strategy for addressing the objections their boss might throw at them. Then they rehearse their pitch 100 times. They practice in front of a mirror, with their friends, and with strangers on the street. And they get results like Andrew who doubled his salary to nearly six figures.
Getting in shape for a marathon:
What most people do: Say they’re going to start training by running 3 miles, 4 days a week. They accomplish their goal for the first week or two but soon life gets in the way. Then they run “whenever they get a chance.”
What SUCCESSFUL people do: Commit to running 5 minutes a day EVERY day for the first week. Then 10 minutes EVERY day the next week. And so on. At the end of three months they’re running 60 minutes a day, in addition to the activity they’re doing during their work breaks, which could add up to an additional 6-8 miles a day. At that point, running has become such a habit that they can create whatever training plan they need to get to the finish line.
Sure, it’s easier to do just enough to get by. To do what you’re used to doing. But if you seek out opportunities to create phenomenal returns and ramp up the quality of your work, success will come easier than you think.
Combine that with relentless focus toward your primary goal, and you’ll be unstoppable.

Remember…

Success isn’t about being catapulted into the stratosphere overnight. It’s about taking consistent action, testing different options, and seeing the results. I’ve laid out a plan for how you can be successful, but you have to work on it every day like The Rock’s muscles.
In fact, you can start implementing some life-changing tactics in your life TODAY.
Here’s how: I asked 15 of the world’s top experts — people like Neil Patel, Noah Kagan, BJ Fogg and Josh Kaufman — to share some of the best tests they’ve run.
These are the exact tests that’ve helped them become wildly successful.
And I put them together in this free guide for you.

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