Mentors Matter // How to Find a Mentor

Are you trying to figure out how to find a mentor? 

Hey, what’s up. It’s Coach Carroll and today I’m going to be teaching you exactly how to go about finding that mentor that’ll help you get to the next level. Listen, there’s no secret that mentors are certainly a shortcut to get to a higher level and skill. Now, today we’ll be talking specifically in business, but this could be in sports, in the medical field, really anywhere that you’re trying to learn. I’ve found that mentors are some of the best forms of education. Let me tell you a quick little story. 

When I was a senior in high school, a lot of you know that I started my lawn and landscaping business and quickly grew that to over $3 million in revenue. But in those early days, I decided that I was going to try to go to college. You see, I was the first person in my entire family to attend college. And I did go to community college for a little while, but I quickly realized that that form of education is very slow. What I was learning in college, the struggle and the difficulty with learning from that institutional type of education system, is that they make you well-rounded. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but for the sake of time, in the sense of speed and wanting to learn quickly, it didn’t work well for me. I had already started my business. I knew what I was doing with my life. I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. And so, when I went there to study business, I quickly realized that there was a lot of fluff. There’s a lot of “fringy”-type classes that I had to take.  I had to take computer computer processing, so I had to go sit in this class and learn about all the things Microsoft Word and Excel can do. And I’m like, “I don’t, I don’t need that. I don’t need to learn that.”  The icing on the cake for me was History of Rock and Roll.  I went into the guidance counselor, in the advisor’s office, and I said, “Hey, I want to take Business Finance. You know, my business is growing. I want to learn more about Business Finance.”

 And they said, “Well, that’s a 300 level class DJ. You can’t take Business Finance ’cause you don’t have the prerequisites.”

I was like, “Prerequisites, what are you talking about?” 

And they said, “Well, you have to take Accounting.” 

And I was like, all right, Accounting, that kind of makes sense. 

“And you have to take a History of Rock and Roll,” because I needed that humanities class or whatever. 

I was like, you’ve GOTTA be kidding me. I’d have to take History of Rock and Roll in order to be able to take Business Finance. And so,  that was a a big turnoff for me.  My parents raised us in a very humble setting. My dad never made more than 20 bucks an hour, so nothing was getting handed to me. So, I had to figure out a way to learn quickly, and I knew I didn’t want to take a bunch of student loans. So I was trying to figure out, you know, how could I grow my business and get the education that I needed to be able to grow my company quickly and make money quickly?  I started my business with $300. So there’s a lesson in itself. Don’t ever let an excuse hold you back from chasing a goal or a dream. 

So I dropped out of college and I was like, there’s gotta be a better way. So, I said, “Maybe I’ll just read books. Maybe I’ll just…”  I’ve got a pretty extensive library. I’m mildly dyslexic, so I do a lot of audio books now, but I bought some books at Goodwill (a great place to pick up books for really, really cheap). I’m talking like 50 cents. And so I started reading. 

I was like, “Wow, okay!” I can get some really good information because I can find these guys or these gals that are smarter than I am that have been down this path and I can learn from them through this book. Then something really special happened in like 2007, 2008-YouTube. YouTube started bubblin’ up and people started to put out content just like I’m doing. It was a way for people to kind of give back if you will. A lot of times, there’s this stigma around free content, but I truly do just put out content ’cause I really enjoy it and I love giving back. I think it’s my true life’s purpose and what God called me to do. 

And so I was on YouTube and I found a sales coach and I did some research, I read all his articles that he put out.  Then, I hired him. 

 I called him and I said, “Hey, I want you to coach me.” 

He said, “it’s $6,000.” 

I was like, “Bro, I’m 19 years old. How am I going to pay for that?” 

 “Oh, we’ll just put it on a credit card.” 

“I don’t have a credit card with a $6,000 limit.” 

So we had to do like post-dated checks, but it’s in essence, he was one of my first mentors. Anybody that’s ever taught you anything can be considered a mentor. One of the best ways that I’ve figured out how to find high level mentors is either through hiring them as a coach, or a consultant. Or, I get to events, live events that I can network with people.  Sometimes people in the audience I’ll make connections with, and then they can become a mentor. Or maybe even some of the speakers.   It’s like mentorship with a fire hose because it’s a fully immersive learning environment. If you’ve never been to a live training-like a live seminar-they truly are transformational. There’s no other way to gain learning and knowledge like that and so that’s a great way to grab mentors as well. 

Lastly, I would say just reaching out to people in your local market. So,  Rick Kueber is a guy here. He owns Sun Tan City. He owns several, several Planet Fitnesses here in Louisville. And I just reached out to him and DM’d him on Instagram one day and was like, “Hey man, you know, I like what you’re doin’. Could we meet for coffee?” 

And he said, “Sure.” 

I was able to meet with him and gain some insights and knowledge. 

You just have to put yourself out there, that’s the first step. No matter what you do, you either have to put yourself out there by enrolling in courses-either in college or online courses. That’s honestly why I made Sales Excellence University was because I didn’t like the way college was. I thought,  “So what happens if someone quits their job and needs to learn how to sell? They need to be able to do that quickly.” So, it’s kinda like a trade school, if you will, for sales and we’ve had great results with it. Lots of people, Eric Trice, for instance, came out, hopped into the course. And within 12 weeks was like bangin’ on the phones, making cold calls closing tens of thousands of dollars worth of accounts. So, there’s the education side from courses and classes. Then, there is the form of hiring coaches. There’s a form of just reaching out to people and asking for help and then there’s live events. Another one that comes to mind too, is the SCORE.  It’s like Small Business Council or something like that. Check them out. They’ll have a local office. And it’s part of like the SBA, which is Small Business Administration. They’ll help match you up with a mentor as well. I had a mentor through there, Jerry Mud, still remember his name. He bought and sold shoe stores, but I took from it what I could and we met, I think three or four times. And on the last one, he said, “DJ, this’ll be the last time we meet.” And I’m like, “oh my gosh, what’d I do, man, I, I pissed this guy off.” And he goes, “Buddy, I’ve poured everything I can into you. I want to wish you the best.” And I was like, that’s so cool, man. It was like a journey of getting me ready for battle and then sending me out. 

So, there’s lots of different ways to get mentors. Hopefully, you took something out of those. 

 Until next time, I’m Coach Carroll. 


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About DJ

Coach Carroll is committed to rocketing your company into outpacing, outselling, and dominating your competition. His coaching techniques and seminars uncover the sales secrets your team MUST learn and develop to obtain this imperative competitive edge.

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