Experts who promise you they will grow your businessWritten by Jane Garee
Turn on your computer these days and in seconds, your email inbox will be full of experts who promise you they will grow your business or increase your revenue. I've found that a lot of them can but it's easy to be bombarded by so many choices you don't know who to follow.
A self-proclaimed "research junkie", I was overwhelmed when I realized I needed to invest in myself by committing to reading and sometimes buying, the things these "mentors" were offering. I signed up for practically everything and it wasn't long before every online business mentor in the world was sending me their info! I quickly realized that I needed to cull down the number of people I was "following" due to time restraints and the fact that I was spending so much time learning that I wasn't implementing. This didn't bode well for my own revenue stream.
I took a hard look at who I was spending time with and what the end results actually were. Several clear patterns emerged. The following advice would have been helpful when I began the online mentoring journey. I hope this helps you.
1) How does this person specifically pertain to my business? I love gathering new info but soon I have a bunch of info and nothing to show for it. Since I'm interested in just about everything, it's sometimes challenging for me to implement. Determining how and what my mentor offered me, forced me to realize that just because I enjoyed a "relationship" with this person, didn't mean that it was actually useful. With friends, you can afford this luxury. With online business relationships, you can't. There is too much to learn and do in too little time. Find the mentor(s) that can help you in the areas of your business that need the most help and stick with them.
2) Learn more about them but pay attention to where they are going and just a little about where they were, or even where they are now. This may sound counter-intuitive but I have found that some of the people I most identified with weren't the ones that were, "self-made millionaires, winning the X award and appearing on every national news station in the U.S." To some extent, a lot of their info was way more than I needed or could afford, not to mention you won't get the kind of personalized attention an "early entrepreneur" needs (meaning you are not a millionaire...yet). One of my favorite mentors freely shares that in 2008, she was really struggling. Her business has sizably grown and she is now well on her way to great things and big dollars but I like that she is a few steps ahead of me, rather than on a whole different level. She is also still fairly accessible at this point, which is important to me.
3) Pick three mentors, follow them and clear out the rest. This was a big one for me. Some of the people I was following had great things to say and I enjoyed being on their email distribution list (I'm weird that way). But I found that although I got a nugget of good info here and there, it wasn't specifically pertaining to my business or the info wasn't consistently useful. As a result, I did a lot of reading but very little work. Revenue follows action, not information. I unsubscribed to most everyone except my three go-to people, although I did keep a few random experts around! Having to only learn and do what three people suggested to make me successful has improved my ability to be a person of action rather than a person of thinking.
Finally, someone you "click" with or just "get" is key! I'll choose a mentor like that any day over someone who is better known and makes more money. Again, following someone who is several steps ahead of you and is where you want to be is all you really need. You have to learn to walk before you can run.
There is no doubt that having mentors you trust and want to emulate is important to your own success. Find those people who work best for you and then follow your dreams!