Thinking back, at times there has been an element of being in the right place at the right time, positioned at the start of a trend that turned out massive – like the mobile phone ringtone phenomenon I pioneered by starting the worlds first mobile ringtone company in 1999.
Since then, I went on to run a series of successful e-commerce businesses, and now help other companies promote themselves on the internet to increase their visibility, credibility, and profitability in the virtual world.
So why is it that so many are struggling to make money online?
In my opinion much of it comes down to mentoring, and personal development.
How mentors have helped me
Thankfully, I had good business mentors to support me, such as a big PR company that worked with me while running the ringtone business, and other business mentors like Jason Smith, Executive Director of BNI. Jason has helped me to improve my presentation skills vastly through his mentoring in recent years. Presentation skills are an increasingly important skill for internet marketers, now that 90% of internet traffic is video. I feel that video helps me to get a closer connection with my followers.
Improving yourself will set you apart from your competitors and give you a commercial edge. I firmly believe that investment in personal development pays for itself many times over, provided of course we take action.
I love the books, audio CD’s and videos by Brian Tracey, Jim Rohn, Rhona Byrne, Marie-Claire Carlyle, Andy Bounds, Todd Smith, and Richard Bandler. There are many others that are great too, but these are amongst some of my personal favourites. I like to listen to personal development material while driving especially, to turn wasted travelling time into valuable learning time.
Mindset is 99.9% of success. If you believe you can do it, you are much more likely to succeed. A mentor can often help with ones mindset, and stretch a person to help them to improve.
We all have things we are good at, and things we are bad at. We can either learn to do those things better, or delegate the ones we can’t do so well to someone else who enjoys doing them. I don’t like doing my accounts, so I hire an accountant to do them. I enjoy my free time, so I look for the easiest and quickest ways of doing things. A mentor can a person to learn quicker, so they can achieve their desired outcomes more easily and quickly than if they had learned through trial and error.
How to find a good mentor
Think of successful people you know now. Ask them if they can recommend a good mentor. But remember, never ask for advice about copywriting from a photographer! A photographer is an expert at photography, and would be a great advisor to you about photography and lenses, etc. If you want to learn about copywriting, speak to a good copywriter who knows how to write engaging words that encourage people to take action. Think about what you would like to do better. Which part of you needs improving right now, and seek out the mentor who will be able to help you best.
A mentor can be a person who you meet in the “real world” (non Internet) – like Jason Smith, who I met when I became a member of BNI (Business Network International), or a mentor could be a CD that you listen to, or a video you watch, or a newsletter you subscribe to. Some mentors even do telephone or video conference mentoring sessions with their students, which I think is a great idea. It depends on your personal preference, and the options available from your mentor.
Mentoring need not be expensive either. Whilst some mentors charge upwards of £200 per hour for their time, there are other ways to access a mentor that are affordable to more people. My BNI membership cost me about £1000 for a year including the meeting fees and VAT, and I probably received around £5000 worth of training a year, plus the ability to promote my primary business through the referral network they provide. Online or telephone mentoring can range from £20 to £200+ per month as well. As with anything, always ask to see written testimonials, and check that students are reporting value for money before signing up with any mentoring program for the first time.
I would love to hear your experiences of mentoring, good or bad! Have you had a mentor, do you have a mentor now, have you been a mentor for someone else? Would you recommend mentoring, or not? If not, why? Please use the comments box below.