“Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” – Japanese Proverb
“People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy.” – Oliver Goldsmith
“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” – Unknown
There is a way to get what you want in a shorter period of time: Find a successful mentor who has already achieved what you want. A common theme among people who are successful with something, whether they have a booming business, have deep and connected relationships, or have a jaw-dropping body, is not luck. It’s because they followed a set of principles and strategies, and those principles and strategies worked. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to find a way to succeed. Throughout my entire life I have surrounded myself with successful people.
I have always sought out mentors I respect and whose advice I want to absorb. Not all of my mentors have been “famous” or “ultra successful” – most of them are just regular people who have achieved extraordinary success in the area I want to grow in.
In university, I had a spiritual mentor, Bill Underwood, who was the director of a Christian campus ministry called Athletes In Action and I sought him out to make wise decisions and hold me accountable. I didn’t escape university without making small mistakes, but I did make it out of university without making any big mistakes. I contribute that to my spiritual mentor.
When I entered the fitness industry, I had two business mentors to guide my career as a personal trainer. Jeff Russo, the owner of the Edge Fitness Business Consulting and Murray Middlemost, the owner of Phoenix Fitness gyms, taught me all the ins and outs of selling personal training at my gym. They helped me become so confident in my position that I worked on straight commission. I broke club sales records. I grew training departments from a few trainers to over a dozen trainers. I ended up becoming a mentor to my own staff after six years. My success in the gym resulted in buying my own house and driving the car of my dreams by the age of 25. I don’t say this to brag but to inspire and share with you the power of surrounding yourself with positive people who have your best interests at heart. Do you have people like Bill, Jeff and Murray in your life? If not, seek them out, today. Heck, my own father, who is 59-years old, has had mentors in all areas of his life so don’t think this is something just for young guys. Even my coach, Ben Pakulski, who is by far the most brilliant bodybuilder I know, has a track record of aligning himself with ultra successful people. Let’s take a look at how I built my online fitness business…
When I started my online fitness business I didn’t have a clue, so I hired another mentor, Sandro Salsi, to teach me the ABCs of the internet marketing world. He taught me how to identify my market, how to build a website, how to create my first e-book, how to get traffic to my website and much, much more. As my online business grew I hired new coaches – Eben Pagan, Yanik Silver, Craig Ballantyne, Bedros Keuillian and Dean Jackson. These guys identified my main challenges and gave me single steps to focus on each day.
In fitness I’ve studied under Ian King, Charles Poliquin, Dr. John Berardi and the late Peter Chiasson — whom I consider my four most influential mentors. Hands on, I’ve worked with IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Ben Pakulski and literally transformed my body in less than 12 months working under his expertise.
With my mentors and coaches, I avoided asking for too much information. I avoided asking generic questions. For instance, if you want to improve your body, don’t ask your mentor/coach, “How do I build more muscle?” Instead, simply ask, “What are three action steps I can take today to improve my muscularity?” Then walk the talk.
Don’t ask your mentor to prove everything before taking action. You don’t employ a mentor/coach to do the research for you. You employ a mentor/coach to access their depth of experience and wisdom. It’s your job to take action and learn from getting it done.
Tips On Mentoring
1. Know your goal. Do you want to get shredded for a show? Bulk up to 230 pounds? Increase your bench press 50 pounds? Once you identify your goal, find someone who has achieved that goal themselves and has helped others do the same.
2. What kind of mentor do you need? Bill Underwood met me once a week on the third floor of UCC campus. Jeff Russo visited my gym once a month. Eben Pagan held 3-day events a few times a year on the other side of the country. Sandro Salsi met me on the phone once a week for six months. For years, the only fitness information I read was from Dr. John Berardi, Ian King and Charles Poliquin. I didn’t “hire” them but I read their articles and work like you’re reading my work right now. Today, I’ve taken many of their courses and certifications but at first, it was a “free mentorship.” Ben Pakulski allowed me to text him every day with questions, and he cost me an arm and a leg! Mentors can meet you on your terms — some of them will be free, some of them will require you to take out a second mortgage.
3. Ensure your mentor has experience. In the fitness world, it’s pretty easy to become an “overnight expert.” Take your shirt off, show your abs and start a YouTube channel and you’re in business. It’s one thing to help yourself and it’s a whole other thing to help others. If your prospective mentor doesn’t have a track-record of success like this, then move on.
Do you have a mentor or coach? What kind of results have you seen? Have you been running like a lone wolf and have any questions on finding yourself a mentor or coach? Got any questions for me about finding a mentor? Leave them below.
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