How To Talk To A Mentor Without Feeling Nervous

How To Talk To A Mentor Without Feeling Nervous


– [Dan] For all you
guys keep asking me is this a green screen,
this is the real wall. (upbeat music) How to talk with
an advisor or mentor. You know in your life you may
feel like you’re running blind. You don’t have anybody to talk
to in your business and you’re struggling to really find the
right way to do things or you’ve got a ton of priorities and
lists of to-dos going on and on and on you’re trying to figure
out like what do I start with today, right? Or you feel like for the last
five years you’ve been working on your business and
especially at this time of year, you’re looking at your
numbers and you’re saying where’s the progress? You know, I’ve been working
I’m trying to get free for my business and I just don’t feel
like I’m making the right moves. The number one thing you could
do is reach out to a mentor. Having somebody, people say that
entrepreneurs don’t have a boss and then somebody’ll
joke and they’ll say yeah, they have a boss,
it’s their customer. The truth is your customers like
to call you on Sunday morning tell you get out of freakin’
bed and run to the office, alright. Having an advisor or
mentor provides accountability. It provides insights, being
able to call somebody who’s been there before to give them
some your biggest challenges, to provide actionable insights. I mean that is just an
incredible opportunity that everybody watching this video
has or being exposed to their network if they were ready been
through this process before, they have a company or
understand the industry very well then they’ll be able to
introduce you to people like lawyers, accountants, marketers
that can help unstuck you. Get you unstuck in whatever
challenges you are having in your business. I know this personally but
this morning is talking to an entrepreneur walking her through
how to get prepped for a call she had with an advisor and
after the call I realized there was an opportunity for me to
share this with you guys to make sure that you understand the
exact same process that I go through when I do
coaching with my clients. This is something, you know
finding an advisor I’ve known for almost going on 10 years
when I was build my company Spheric Technologies. Two years in doing about a
million and a half in revenue and at the end of the year
I’m looking at my utilization numbers ’cause we were
consulting business and realizing I just hired too many
people and I didn’t have enough projects and it kinda
sent me into a tailspin, almost a depression and
I reached out to the former premier of the
province I lived in Canada, New Brunswick. Guy named Frank McKenna, cold
email and he replied at like one in the morning right around
Christmas with a few names. There was Ken Nickerson,
Jerry Pond and Steve Palmer and those guys have since become
people that I turn to for advice. Some of them become really good
friends but at the end of the day if I didn’t have that
level of advice and knowledge I wouldn’t be able to get
unstuck or get through that challenge but even more
important I really learned through that process of having advisors or mentors how
to communicate with them and that’s what I want to share
with you guys in this video. So number one when you have a
meeting or first call with an advisor or mentor
you want to be prepared. You want to make
sure that you sit down, you think what what do
I want to talk to them about? What are the talking points. I share this a lot with
entrepreneurs that I train that they need to never go into
an important sales meeting, partnership meeting or meeting
with a mentor/advisor without being prepared
with talking points. 3 to 5 talking points that as
the conversations flowing that you can reference back. You can write in your
journal, on a flip card, whatever it is but that is
your guide for the conversation. Being prepared is number one to
make sure that you don’t allow the anxiety or the nervousness
or the overwhelm of where your business is at to take best and
kind of veer you off and at the end of the call
you go, “Hmm, shit. “I should’ve said this or
I should have said that.” Or “Why did I asked
that question that way?” Being prepared is number one. Second thing is you want to make
sure that you share if you’ve never talked with them
before your origin story, right? If you search origins story on
my channel there’s many other videos that kinda goes through
how to position that but I think it’s really important that if
I’m talking to advisor/mentor for my first time that I share
with them why I started the business, how I got there and
why it’s important to me to kinda move it forward. Now, if I’ve
already talked with them, then I want to share an update. Alright? Last time we talked,
we talked about this, here’s what
I’ve done since then. Here’s where I’m at now. The context you need to
provide one of those two things. First call origin story if
you already talked to them, context and an update. Then to me it’s going through
the list of questions, right? You want to have at least 3 to
5 questions that you’ve prepped and you prepared for before
the call that you start going through but there’s a format
that I want to share with you on how to ask the questions,
that’s number three. The first thing when
you share the challenge. So for example
maybe it’s revenues. You know, our goal for this year
was a hit a million revenue we’re at 700K and here was
the challenges around that. Then you want to
present solutions. Here’s what I’m
gonna do to fix that. So we’re short, I looked at the
numbers in the last 12 months of operation and here’s where we
fell short and going forward Q1 I’m gonna do this, Q2 I’m
gonna do this and then after you present your solution then that’s when
you ask for feedback. So to me, you always
say here are the challenges, you share your numbers then
number four you offer solutions and number five
you ask for feedback. Most entrepreneurs make the
mistake when they talk to an advisor/mentor by saying I need
to improve my marketing what do you suggest I do? That is the worst
question you could ever ask. Why? ‘Cause it’s lazy you put
on the other person to try just come up with ideas. It’s like my buddy Jason who
reminded me we’re at a kind of a networking event and I was
meeting with somebody I just met and at the end I said let me
know if I can ever be helpful. And Jason pulled me
aside he said hey Dan, I just want to kinda
suggest a little bit of an edit. He said by you saying let me
know if I can ever be helpful you put it on them to come up
with the ideas to be helpful whereas if you said you know
let me circle back with a few ideas on how I can be helpful
then you take the ownership to create value for the other
person to offer some solutions to ways you can help them. I feel like that’s the same
thing with an advisor or mentor is you never want to be like
my challenge is cash flow, what do you think I should do? You should say my
challenge is this, here are my solutions
and then ask for advice. When you ask for the feedback
the number one thing you can you screw that up you keep talking. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You need to shut up, you need
to listen with ears open and let the mentor or
advisor give you that advice. Share the stories ’cause some
people are like well I’m talking to this person, I really want to
ask them what were the revenues last year? I’m gonna tell you the way to
get that is you tell them your revenues and you tell them your
top three challenges for getting those revenues and then you ask
them for advice and if you do it right and you’re open and you’re
honest and you connect with them on emotional level,
on a friendship level, they’re gonna say you know
what here’s where we’re at. Here’s what we did to get that. Here where I think you can make
some tweaks to get there and I think that format of talking to
an advisor or mentor and that structure will really
change the game for you. Now, number one challenge it
comes up when I share this strategy with entrepreneurs it’s
like hey that’s great Dan but where do I find a mentor or an
advisor and here’s my number one tip I’m gonna give you,
want to write this down if you don’t have a pen, go get it. In your city there
are non-profit boards, there are
non-profit organizations, fundraiser organization. They usually help the
library, the hospital, all these different groups of
people and they have boards put together and on those
boards there are entrepreneurs. There businessmen
in your community. Those people are prequalifying
themselves as good people. They care about their community,
they want to give back. So if you live in the city and
you reach out to let’s say 10 of those people and
I’m talking cold emails, ‘kay? This doesn’t work for everybody
else you want as a mentor but you have these people that sit
on charitable boards and you reach out to 10,
you’ll pretty much get a 70 to 80% response rate. And the email format follows the
same strategy that I shared with you guys on how to
actually ask for advice. Be open in the email. This is my business
this is our revenue number. That’s what got me the response
from Frank McKenna is because I told him our
revenues are this. Here’s my challenges. Here’s what I’m trying to do. Do you know
anybody in this community, in this province or state that
might be able to help me and he replied with three names and the
key after you do all of that, you have a great call you have
great connection with the mentor is you always have to follow back. Following up and letting the
person know how their advice impacted or changed your
strategy and it had in your business is the value
and the repayment for them investing that time. So that is the strategy. One, be prepared. Two, share your origin
story or give an update. Three, make sure that you share
your challenges with numbers. Four, you want to make sure that
you offer one to three solutions that you’re actually gonna
execute that you think will fix the problem and then finally ask
for advice or feedback on that strategy, shut up,
listen and take that advice, execute it and follow up. Hope this video
finds you incredibly well. As per usual I want to challenge
you to live a bigger life and a bigger business and
I’ll see you next Monday. If you liked this video, be
sure to subscribe to my channel. I’d also encourage you to
join my newsletter where I share exclusive events and
opportunities for other free training videos and if you’re
ready to get going to get a couple more videos
ready for you to go. Have an incredible day.

Author:

27 thoughts on “How To Talk To A Mentor Without Feeling Nervous”

  • The first time I reached out to a mentor I flew 1500 miles away and blew my shot within 30 minutes. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Here’s what I did wrong.

  • Satyaveer Paul says:

    Hi Dan,

    I want to give you a follow up on your last advice about a Toxic employee problem and by your suggestion we decided to give her work from home (which she was very happy about). We assigned her a weekly task list and told her to meet once a week and she is doing an amazing job. Within 2-3 months we would move to a bigger office and then decide our next course of action as she is brilliant in her work otherwise.

    Thanks n Regards
    Satya.

  • Hi Dan,

    I just discovered you and your YouTube Channel today.  I’ve only watched two of your videos so far “Three Stories to Know” and this one.  Both were excellent and packed full of great advice.  I'm hooked!   I will work my way through the rest in the weeks to come.
    Thanks, 
    Sue

  • Thanks for the video Dan. Your work urges me to also start giving virtual mentorship back to my community based on what I've learned in my career so far.

    The point which resonates with me the most is that of having your own solutions prepared in hand before approaching a mentor. Even in my little experience, I find it irritating whenever someone approaches me for some advice on the job and there is no evidence that they've applied themselves to figuring things out on their own.

  • My mentor was Archie Green, he hired me to replace his wife as his bookkeeper, and then backed me as I established my Computer Accounting Business in 1969. Thanks Archie, may you rest in peace.

  • Hey Dan,

    How do you make it official between you and your advisor.

    Do you recommend making them sign an official paper which makes their position as an advisor in a product company or its better to leave it and let the relationship grow?

  • Captain Kenny B says:

    Very useful info !! I landed a mentor by a single cold email unexpectedly and bam needed to know what to ask and how the conversation should flow !! You cleared it up ! Thanks

  • I am going to have to watch this video more than once. Coming from a chinese culture, this is extremely valuable. Thanks Dan!!!

  • Bernard Onumah says:

    I want to know if it is advisable for your mentor to be a competitor for ur business in your local area

  • To be honest.. when I first saw your video, the first thing that stood out was your wall and thought it was a green screen too or something like that.. haha

  • One of the biggest advantages in having a few mentors is the unfiltered feedback, fresh points of view and experience. I also find talking to my mentors refreshing, re-energising and often something totally new that I didn’t even think about:. The bonus point! ?

  • Hi Dan, what do you do after you've reached out to your mentor, asked him a question, followed up and done that cycle a couple of times? How would you approach moving the relationship into something like a call without being pushy?

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