Get as close to the top as you can!
…One question I’m asked time and time again is “How did you get mentored by so many amazing people?”
And usually when I’m asked that, my mind goes into a momentary state of confusion.
You see, to me, I don’t think I’ve done anything exceptional and in some situations the way I have done things has actually worked against me.
And before you think I’m only going to share my experience with copywriting mentors, and this may not concern you… think again. Since I left the Army, I’ve always had some kind of coach or mentor, guiding me towards achieving my goals.
So, if it’s ok with you… I thought I’d be open and honest about my experience with coaching and mentoring. This week, I’ll share a few of pros and cons I’ve come up with along the way.
Knowledge Nugget #121: Not All Mentors And Coaches Are Created Equally!
There’s no denying it… a good mentor or coach can significantly reduce your learning curve. But unfortunately, when you get it wrong, they can dramatically increase the learning curve and leave you with the clean-up bill.
I’ve had coaches recommend I do some absolutely careless and reckless things, that would have resulted in my financial ruin… and then called me a “pussy” for not doing them. I have no regrets! The fact is, I am the one who has to deal with the consequences of my actions… not them.
If they were any kind of effective coach… they would have known my level of risk taking and what motivates me to act. And I think I’m pretty normal to want to avoid bankruptcy.
The Worst Kind Of Coach
I’ve found some of the worst coaches are the ones you don’t choose for yourself. Now, you are probably wondering how you would have a coach that you had no say in choosing, but it happens all the time.
When I’ve signed up for paid programs, I’ve often been assigned coaches. And I didn’t have any say in who was assigned to me.
The first time this happened to me, I was fresh out of the Army. I’d signed up to a high price NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programing) package. The package included 12 months of mindset and business/ life coaching. My assigned a coach was a “C” grade celebrity (he’d been on Australian TV and he thought he was a big deal). I think I was supposed to be “star struck” … but I wasn’t.
You see… It didn’t take long for me to work out that our sessions were helping him way more than they were helping me. And oftentimes, I was the one giving him ideas about his business.
This went on for a few months until it became obvious that I wasn’t getting anything out of the coaching sessions. I asked to change coaches.
But the coach they replaced him with was even worse. She had been rude and condescending to me at the live training events (as a fellow student), so there was no rapport. And then there was the fact that she was in the same industry as me.
I didn’t want to have a session with a coach and unknowingly give her ideas to improve her business… especially when I was paying them for coaching.
Now, I know it probably sounds petty… but I wasn’t being paid to coach her. So I sacked her! And I forfeited any and all coaching I had in the future. It was one of the best decision I’ve made.
Sadly, this wasn’t the only time I ended up coaching the coach.
When I had my spiritual healing and teaching business, I signed up for a high-end marketing program. You’ve heard about the less than useful copy element, but I haven’t told you about the business coaching I received.
Let’s just say the caliber of the coaching was not very good. The coach didn’t “get” my business, but that didn’t stop him from dishing out scripted and templated advice.
When I challenged the “cut and paste” business advice and suggested alternative ideas… the coach said he liked them and would try them in his own business.
I put up with this farce for a few months, just to make sure it wasn’t me being difficult and “un-coachable” … but when it began to have a negative impact on my business (therefore my personal life), I had to request a new coach.
My new coach was very helpful and worked with my strengths… but we only had a few sessions together before he went on to bigger and better things. That left me in a situation where I needed to be reassigned to another coach. But having seen the rest of the coaches, I decided again, to forgo any and all coaching.
Time For A Change
It was time to find the coaches and mentors I needed, myself.
But at the time, no one in Australia was offering the kind of mentoring I wanted.
I was told that I could do a high price group coaching program… but the problem with that model is, the person running the group usually goes as fast as the slowest person.
It reminded me of school. At school I got bored waiting for other students to catch up, so I slacked off and never really reached my intellectual potential because of it.
So to be slowed down as an adult… and pay top dollar for the “privilege” was not an option for me.
I needed to look beyond my own backyard, and I’m glad I did because that’s how I met Trevor “Toecracker” Crook!
He was the first person who took me seriously when I told him I wanted to be a copywriter. The only problem with Trevor was, he was expensive. I only had enough for half a payment when I started being mentored by him.
But I took a huge leap of faith… and backed myself. And each month I could afford to pay him… and invest with myself.
There was a consequence of me “hooking” up with Trevor though.
Because I wasn’t trained by the “Big Name” copywriter trainers in Australia, I was unknown in the “right” circles. Essentially… I was trained by the wrong person to be accepted into the “in crowd.” (This is not the only time this has happened to me.)
Now if I wanted to be a copywriter in Australia exclusively, that would have had a bigger impact on me. But, because I decided to have a global business, apart from losing a few friends and being an outsider… it hasn’t affected my business too much.
Getting More, With More
In the past, I’ll admit, when I was being mentored by a person… occasionally, I’d be mentored by someone else at the same time. This is why I was able to be mentored by so many amazing people in such a short amount of time.
As much as I was enjoying Trevor and his mentoring, I needed to balance out the testosterone with some feminine charm… so I found Lo Morgan. She helped me to write like a female and still be able to sell with my copy.
Then after Trevor and I parted ways (mentoring wise, we are still great mates!), I was mentored by Harlan Kilstein. And while I was being mentored by Harlan, I did John Carlton’s Simple Writing System. In that program, you are assigned to a mentor, so I enrolled through “Million Dollar” Mike Morgan, which assured me of having him as a mentor.
There were a lot of great mentors in a short period of time, and I don’t feel there were any “cons’ in this strategy at all. None of the mentors overlapped or conflicted in their teaching so it only helped to accelerate the development of my skills.
So Why So Many Mentors And Not Many Coaches?
To me, a mentor is a person who has done what you want to do. They have the wisdom through experience and are willing to share it with you.
Coaches, don’t have to have done what it is you want to do, but they need to be able to help you get there. These days, there are too many people who call themselves “coaches” who have no idea of how to get the results they promise. And when they fail… they blame you!
How To Choose A Mentor
I’m not sure if you know this, but there was a lot of strategy behind the mentors I selected.
Trevor “Toecracker” Crook, apart from being the first person to take me seriously, he’s a successful Australian Copywriter living the international lifestyle. And he studied extensively with Ted Nicholas (who was way out of my reach at the time. And I’ve studied directly with Ted now.)
Lo Morgan, was mentored my Gary Halbert, John Carlton and Dan Kennedy. (All great writers I had no chance of connecting with at the time.) She was also able to take their testosterone laden teachings and adapt them to the female consumer with great success.
Harlan Kilstein is heavily influenced by John Carlton. He has also mentored several “A list” copywriters. Harlan knows how to apply NLP to copywriting.
“Million Dollar” Mike Morgan is one of the top copywriters for the Financial Publishers and has multiple controls under his belt. He has a military background and has been mentored by the best of the best. He’s super driven and competitive.
I could go on… but I think you see a pattern (or at least I hope you do!)
If you don’t, I’ll give it to you…
I worked out a long time ago that all of the current knowledge in the industry comes from a small handful of people. And because I was tired of getting the rehashed, diluted, regurgitated version… I set out to get it from as close “to the horse’s mouth” as I could. And all of my mentors were as close to the industry legends as I could afford to get.
Get As Close To The Source As You Can
And I think with coaching and mentoring, that’s the key. Get as close to the source of the knowledge as you can (or can afford). Don’t settle for the poor interpretations of the master’s wisdom. You deserve better.
I’ve discussed in previous emails about how I am discerning on who I allow inside my mindset. And I’ve needed to. There are so many false prophets (and gurus) out there preaching about their false profits.
So even if you buy a program and it has “free coaching” … I can guarantee you that it’s not free! You have paid for it in the price and you’ll keep paying for it if you implement any bad advice. (Many coaches and gurus earn their money by coaching other people, but have no idea of how to run their own business.)
Every mentor and coach I’ve had has prepared me for the ultimate mentor I have right now.
Parris Lampropoulos is like no other mentor I’ve had before. And I’m so grateful that I was chosen to be one of a small number of people who ever get the chance to be mentored at this level.
So how did an Aussie nobody get the chance to be mentored by this “Entrepreneurial Einstein?”…Well, I mapped it out above, but here’s a bit more of the story…
I got as close to the top as I could. I worked with and was mentored by Marcella Allison who is one of Parris’ first “Copy Cubs.” And several years ago, I did a 2-day workshop with Alexi Neocleous (another of Parris’ Aussie Copy Cubs. There are 3 of us in total). Each of these brought me closer to my goal of being one of Parris’ Copy Cubs.
And as I write to you, I’ve been in Parris’ program for almost 12 months now. It’s a wonderful feeling to have achieved this.
But this isn’t all about me.
The reason I shared this (especially after last week and our chat about planning) is I want you to know that in order for some of your bigger goals to be achieved, you may need a few stepping stones to get there.
You see, since I first heard Parris’ name… I wanted to be one of his copy cubs. But I was nowhere ready for it. So I strategically planned my path, found the mentors who could get me there and look what happened.
I’ve been mentored by some amazing people and I have formed some wonderful friendships along the way.
And it can happen to you! Just plan what you want to achieve, think about who you need to connect with to make it happen and take conscious, considered action.
Until next week… take care and get a great mentor : )
P.S. I know I would have never achieved this much without the help of great mentors. Sometimes the mentors have been quite expensive, but I realized that they were worth being paid the money… I just wasn’t sure I was worth the investment I was making.
This is a common mindset block. And it’s one that you need to get rid of. (I’m certainly glad I got rid of my block all those years ago.)
The fact is, the bigger the decision you have to make… the more fear you’ll feel about making it. And if that fear holds you back from reaping the rewards of all your hard work… “Houston, we have a problem!”
P.P.S. Oh, and I have one more “Reset Your Mindset” goal making session available. It’s $250 for up to 90 minutes. We’ll talk about your goals and remove any blocks you have about achieving them.
The process is very conversational and comfortable (and can be done over the phone or skype.) To book your session, email: email@example.com
P.P.P.S. This is probably a timely reminder that I do mentor people and help them achieve their career goals. I have a great network of friends and can introduce you to the “movers and shakers” you need to connect with.
If you’re interested in knowing more about “The Copy Alchemist Transformational Mentoring Program…” and how I can help make 2018 your best year yet, then email me for more details at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t take on too many “mentees” because I’m a working copywriter, and I want to ensure I can look after you and give you what you need from me.