My First Mentor’s 3 Most Important Lessons

His name was David and he was the first mentor I ever had.

Somehow I was lucky that this kind, smart, patient, fun-loving, self-made millionaire saw more in me then I saw in myself… especially when I was a broke, struggling, unconfident, low self-esteem 22 year old trying to become a successful entrepreneur.

I will forever be grateful for the impact he had in my life, and the lessons he passed down to me.

And looking back there are 3 BIG lessons that he instilled in me that you can find in every successful entrepreneur.

Each one ended up becoming a “mantra” that I could always go back to, repeat to myself and remind myself when I got off track.

Now its my time to pass these lessons and mantras onto you!

And don’t worry, I also find myself not following one or more of these lessons. Every time I discover myself not living one of these, my business is always off track as well. I’m human just like you!

LESSON 1:

“You Got To Dream Big Dreams!”

The first time I heard him speak on a conference call, he said in this loud booming voice… “You Got To Dream Big Dreams!”

And over those first 18 months that he mentored me I heard him say that dozens and dozens and dozens of times.

Not small dreams, not average dreams, not realistic dreams, instead it was BIG dreams.

When you have a clear WHY, it PULLS you forward towards it.

It is like the ski lift on the mountain that takes you to the top.

Without big dreams, you are constantly pushing yourself up the mountain. Yeah you may get there, but it will be a lot harder, longer, tiring and you won’t enjoy the journey nearly as much.

Another way to put it, it is your WHY. 

Why are you going through the initial struggle and frustration to become a successful entrepreneur?

The clearer you are on the answer, and the more emotionally connected you are to the answer, the greater your chance of success will become.

If you haven’t watched Simon Sinek’s amazing Ted Talk on “Start With Why” definitely do so now.

In the early days for me, my why was about avoiding the financial struggle I saw growing up. I was willing to do whatever it took to be successful so as an adult myself and my family didn’t have to live in financial struggle.

I was willing to do whatever it took and make any sacrifice necessary to achieve that why in my life.

And once I achieved that dream or why, it evolved to be about others and not about myself.

Now my WHY is to “Awaken The Potential In Others Hopes And Dreams.”

Back in 2010, we as a company set the goal to help 100,000 people “Go Full-Time Online” by the end of the decade.

We are committed to giving you the “Inspiration, Training and Support That Empowers You to Transform Your Life By Having a Full-Time Online Business That Allows You to Live a Life of Freedom and Passion.”

And, right now, that is by empowering you in becoming a Successful Local Online Marketing Consultant.

You can hear me share my WHY in this very personal, open, vulnerable video that hopefully inspires you to gain the same level of clarity for yourself.

 

LESSON 2:

“Follow The Simple System”

The greatest gifts we have as an entrepreneur can also be some of our greatest curses.

On one side we have a strong desire to be creative and innovative.

And on the other side we have a strong desire to be right and in control.

And the easiest and quickest path to success comes from following a simple system that’s already been proven to work.

However, our natural instinct when presented with a simple system to follow is to do one (or both) of two things:

(A) instantly start looking for ways to change it, to start re-inventing the wheel, to take the simple into the world of the complex.

A sign of a great teacher is somebody who can take the complex and make it simple, because simple is doable.

However our minds LOVE complexity because it is interesting and fascinating. Its why we have a never-ending “Shiny Object Chasing” instinct because each new shiny object adds a greater level of complexity and fascination.

An entrepreneur by nature is a creative problem solver. And when presented with a simple system our mind looks for the ways to “improve” it and quickly takes the simple into the world of complex before it has even mastered the simple.

“I can use this prospecting tool, with this foot in the door strategy, with this speed ranking wonder-woo, with this sales technique, with this ninja software tool, with this that and 3 other things. It’s genius, I will conquer the world!!!”

Instead, by mastering the simple FIRST, we then give ourselves the freedom and power to innovate and be creative, not the other way around.

And/Or…

(B) lets the “I already know that” thinking take over and you instantly start and move forward from a place of closed-mindness.

Our ego likes to think it already knows everything. That is a SAFE world if you do know everything.

And if success comes from consistently following a simple system, then there is a good chance it will include things you HAVE heard before.

But there is a HUGE difference between knowing and doing.

I love this quote…

“The difference between those who are doing it, and those who are not doing it, is that the people who are doing it, are doing it.”

You can read all the books, watch all the webinars and conceptually know all of the information and even talk intelligently about what you should do…

but until you actually go out and do it you never KNOW it.

It’s the difference of watching an instructional video on how to ride a bike, or talking to your friends about riding a bike, or critiquing others who are attempting to ride a bike.  (FYI, this behavior is the world of BEING SAFE and LOOKING GOOD. But it is definitely not the world of taking action and getting results.)

Versus getting on a bike, falling down, getting back up and doing it over and over again until… you finally ride a bike.

At that moment, when it clicks and you go zooming down the sidewalk for the first time with the wind blowing against your face and a smile beaming a mile wide… NOW in that moment and for the rest of your life you know how to ride a bike.

The people who are doing it are willing to fail, willing to be uncomfortable, willing to look bad at first… because their WHY is infinitely more important than any short term mental or emotional discomfort they may face.

Be the person who is RIDING the bike, not the person TALKING ABOUT riding the bike.

And it starts from coming from a place of humbleness.

Humble that you don’t know everything yet.

Humble that you are going to fail at first, and look bad, and be uncomfortable.

Once you are humble, then you can learn the system.

And you learn the system by doing.

And now that you are doing it successfully, then you can improve the system with your creative innovation and say “I Know That”

Remember learning occurs through action in the real world.

And innovation comes out of improving what you have learned.

 

LESSON 3:

“What does this have to do with making an extra $100,000 this year?”

This was definitely the most frustrating lesson to learn, and once I finally got it had a profound impact on my life and business success.

Invariably during one of our phone calls I would be complaining about a problem I was experiencing.

Something wasn’t working, or was broken, or I was stuck, or wasn’t getting any results.

And I would wallow in the problem.

And in his happy, friendly Canadian voice, David would say…  “Kevin what does this have to do with you making an extra $100,000 this year?”

And my reply would be something like, “But you don’t understand…” and I would go on to more passionately explain the problem.

And he would calmly reply, “Kevin that didn’t answer the question, what does this have to do with you making an extra $100,000 this year?”

And I would find more passion and more detail to convey the problem, because clearly he isn’t understanding how big and impossible this problem is.

Eventually I would loose the battle.

Because I was unknowingly living in the world of my problems which kept me stuck, frustrated and unsuccessful.

And David would challenge me that no matter how big or daunting the problem I had, it could ALWAYS be overcame with the right focus.

It’s the battle of Problem vs Solution focus.

When things are not going perfectly for us (which is virtually every day as an entrepreneur, in some area of our business) we have a choice to either focus on the problem which is what I naturally would do and it usually looked like a statement.

“Nobody will talk to me.”

“This software isn’t working properly.”

“My website is broken.”

“I can’t afford to do that.”

All of these would leave me feeling helpless in that area of my business and stuck, unable to powerfully and confidently move forward.

Or we can search for solutions to the problem, which usually looks like questions.

“What am I saying or doing that is causing my prospects to not want to talk to me?”

“Who is using the software successfully that I can ask for help? Or what isn’t working so I can help fix it?" 

“How can I come up with the money to afford to do this?”

If you feel you are stuck in one area of your life or business, ask yourself and write down what problems are present that you are focusing on.

Then write down questions you can ask yourself or others, and action steps you can take that would start creating solutions for yourself.

In the beginning, especially if you are like me when I was getting started and unconsciously lived in the world of problems, this will require constantly reminding yourself to get into solution focused mode.

Gradually over time (months and years) it will become a habit and then your naturally way of thinking.

A BIG Benefit… when you naturally become a solution oriented entrepreneur not only will you be more successful, you will be a MAGNET drawing people, especially other successful people, towards you.

To sum it up…

The 3 mantras every successful fulfilled entrepreneur lives, and you can to moving forward, are:

1. “You Got To Dream Big Dreams!”

Discover your Why for you and your business and let that passionately pull you forward.

2. “Follow The Simple System”

You have only learned something once you are doing it, and then you can create and innovate what you are successfully doing.

3. “What does this have to do with making an extra $100,000 this year?”

Recognize when you are focusing on the problems you are experiencing and shift your mindset by asking yourself questions and taking action that focus on solutions to your problems.

——–

I would love to hear your feedback!

Please comment below on your own experience with these 3 mindset shifts.

And/or what you learned from your first mentors.

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7 Responses to My First Mentor’s 3 Most Important Lessons
  1. Nando Capor

    I'm curious….was your mentor David Ledoux?

  2. Kevin,
    Great that you share your experiences.

  3. Great article Kevin! I especially like the second point on "Follow The Simple System" and how we try to overcomplicate it because it MUST be more complicated than what it seems.

  4. Theresa Pantanella

    Hi Kevin, Love your video!

    It's grounding for me to read this and to know in my heart you speak from your heart.

    Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom. They carry meaning for me and have lifted me up.

    With gratitude,
    Theresa

  5. Great blog post. Thanks for sharing! I've enjoyed watching Nitro marketing skyrocket. Proves the 'WHY' was in the right place : )

  6. Janice Lozada

    Inspiring and motivating. Bookmarked!

  7. Marcia Williams

    Hi Kevin!

    Very inspiring video on 3 Stages, and Lessons I shall burn into my mind.

    thanks!

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