Mentors Here, Mentors There, Mentors Everywhere!

There is a new rage in the entrepreneurial world today called the Mentor. Although it is not a truly new idea it has become central to companies and individuals working with independent minded people. A Mentor by definition is a wise and trusted teacher.

Mentors are important to success. Pilots learn from a flight instructor. Athletes have personal coaches. Students have teachers. Mentors have always been part of Americas success but today's Mentors are not always what they represent.

The well known motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, offers a variety of Mentoring programs. You can learn to control your diet, walk across hot coals barefoot or otherwise challenge your abilities with his personal assistance for a bunch of money. You pay as much for entertainment value as you do for education. Nothing wrong with that.

Late night television has long been loaded with people hawking Get-Rich-Quick ideas, most often dealing with real estate. Sometimes these “gurus” invite you to free preview seminars, other times they offer you the unlimited secrets to wealth for only $39.95.

If you go to the free program can you really learn what you need to be successful? No, no, and no. You will hear from a speaker who will regale you with stories of his personal wealth (which comes, almost certainly, from doing seminars) and you will be encouraged to spend anywhere from about $750 to several thousand dollars for a “wealth boot camp” or “intensive training” or some such thing. This is a form of mentoring.

So why not stay home, send your $39.95 to the television voice and get rich right from home? Here's a little secret about those $39.95 programs: First, they are brilliant, really brilliant on the part of the advertiser. You recall a few years ago when rules were passed against telemarketers? After all, all of us were sick and tired of getting call after call during dinner. On the other hand, if you gave someone permission to call then you could be called as often as necessary. You are paying $39.95 to give them permission to call you as often as they want! You see, when you send in your $39.95 you give your address and telephone number. A few days or a week or so later you get a call from a really nice guy who asks if you have been successful yet (He knows there is virtually no chance!). As you explain to him you haven't done anything, he tells you about the Mentoring program his company has designed with people like you in mind. They have learned, he tells you, that most people need hands on assistance to succeed, and you can get a personal coach assigned to you for only a few thousand dollars. Think of that, a real life coach dedicated to your success for just $3995. This is a form of mentoring.

I know of one national seminar speaker who offers a free preview in hotels, sells a $998 one day intensive program and then, when you come to the one day program, sells a $3,000 - $4,000 advanced three day program. Then, when you come to the three day program, he offers a Masters series of programs for around $30,000. And then, at that program, he sells specialty services like corporation packages, legal services and others. A brilliant strategy. Interestingly, he makes all of his money from seminars, as do most of the seminar gurus. But this is also a form of mentoring.

I'm not painting a very nice picture of Mentoring, am I? Actually, I believe very strongly in mentoring, if your mentor does what he says he does. Next time someone offers you personal assistance, ask how much money he has made doing what he is selling. If one of the coaches calls ask why he is coaching instead of out making the riches he promises you. Ask him how he became an expert. Specifically.

Mentoring is essential for most of us. Some of those people who paid $30,000 or $40,000 to learn have gone on to make millions. Some of the people who paid $39.95 have done the same. The information is usually useful, but the methods are usually far more difficult than most people realize. Before I would spend thousands on a Mentor program I would want to get some very specific answers:

1. Is the mentor currently doing what is advertised? This is especially important when dealing with the high priced real estate related offerings. I know one company, for example, that does a live seminar on how to invest in tax lien certificates. The owners spend all of their time investing in properties and certificates throughout the country. They truly are experts. I have seen several imitators pop up on television selling similar programs, but they don't invest at all.

2. Does the company make all of its money from what it advertises or does it make all of its money selling seminars or books and tapes? Here at LazyWealth™ the only thing we do is what we advertise, and it is also the only thing we teach. Every month you can look at our ad in a national magazine. And then you can order it for about 30 bucks and receive our free ten assignment follow up and my email address. We give you the basic information and all the follow up for the low introductory price. Nothing else is sold. We are the only people in America doing this. If you search out a mentor look beneath the surface. What can that mentor actually teach you?

3. What is the Mentors Background? This is really hard to discover. Motivational speakers, like Tony Robbins, love to give you their background. Many of the Get-Rich-Quick gurus simply tell you they have “made millions” or “live the good life” or have “taught thousands their secrets”, but you never find out any details. I know one nationally known real estate guru who hasn't invested in homes for more than twenty years. One time I visited a mansion one guru rented for his infomercial so he could tell people, You can live like this. He didn't live that way until he got enough people to his seminars. Here at LazyWealth we only have two businesses: 1. Doing what we teach, and 2. Teaching you how to do it. You get my background on the website and you can contact me for additional information anytime you want.

4. What else do I have to buy? Here's the rub for most services; you can get a basic bit of information for a small introductory price but you may have to spend thousands to get the information you really need to succeed. It can be so difficult to find out what it will really cost because most companies believe once they get the first check out of your checkbook they can lift more in the future. So most companies are very guarded about the total cost. Listen carefully to television infomercials when they tell you they give you everything you need to know and then show some couple telling you how they never dreamed they could be so successful. Flashing on the screen at the same time is a note saying, Results shown are not typical. Can you afford the program? Here at LazyWealth we are completely upfront: the initial investment of about thirty bucks is all you ever have to spend. You get the information, the assignments and my personal consultations along the way. You can spend thousands if you want, but why would you?

5. How can we Trust the Mentor? Remember the definition, a Mentor is a wise and trusted teacher. How can you trust your Mentor if you know nothing about him or her? When that television guru tells you he or she will make you a millionaire, how will he or she ever find the time to personally advise you, unless you are spending thousands and thousands of dollars? Even then, what if the Mentor has a hundred students, or a thousand, then what? Here is another little secret of the business: that personal coach who calls you is a commissioned sales person hired for his or her ability to close a sale. He or she has probably been given a few basic tools and told that most people wont learn more than that, but the job is to close deals for several thousand dollars. Mr. Lazy honestly doesn't know how you can trust a mentor you don't know. Its probably a little like going to the doctor: if you live you had a good doctor, if you didn't, well, too late now. Same thing here: spend thousands and if it works, great, if not all you've got is more debt. So how do we do it here at LazyWealth? Since Mr. Lazy is the entire consulting staff (although my kids are learning the business) how can he possibly help everyone? As you probably noted, most of what we do is automated; e.g., you get the assignments automatically. And all contact is through email. We could never keep up with phone calls. We can look at each email individually and give a personal response. Mr. Lazy types very, very fast so that helps. But, very few people ever actually ask for personal assistance so there are relatively few requests. Some days it takes hours to go through them but most days an hour or so is sufficient.

6. How does someone become a Mentor? One day you wake up, decide you are a Mentor, and you are! How about that. Unless you are in a specialized field requiring a license—doctors, for example—there are really very few restrictions. Motivational speakers/gurus/mentors for example are typically people who love to speak, have either read or followed the teaching of some motivational gurus and have developed ideas of their own. They are paid as much for their entertainment value as anything else. Real estate gurus there must be more of them than any other usually learned something about real estate, possibly made some money, and found they could make great money doing seminars. Since laws differ in all fifty states it is impossible for one real estate guru to know everything there is to know. Most teach some elementary information, motivate the crowd and move on to the next city. The business opportunity magazines have such a wide variety, from well known franchises to entrepreneurs like Mr. Lazy, that it can be a daunting task to figure out whether the company/individual offering the services is any good.

Wow, Mr. Lazy, this is a little depressing. If there are no real qualifications or licenses to become a Mentor and there are few rules, how do I know if someone is qualified to be my mentor?

Great questions. There is no simple answer. But there are a few worthwhile thoughts:

1. If you respond to something in a magazine contact the advertiser for more information before sending in your hard earned money. My most successful students have been the ones who have challenged me with email messages. And, without exception, have said I am the only advertiser who ever responded. If the firm or person advertising is as good as advertised, he or she should be happy to tell you more.

2. If you respond to an invitation for a free seminar in a hotel just understand that the speaker is someone hired because he or she can motivate a crowd, not because he or she has had success in that field. This is really a difficult task for most people because it is so hard to get real information. Usually, the people working the table in the back of the room are young and working because its a nice chance to travel and because they are pleasant to deal with. If you cant find anyone who has truly been successful with that information don't spend your money.

3. What about references? I call this the great fantasy. First of all, nobody is going to give you an enemy as a reference. So you will never be referred to someone who failed or who hates the people providing you the information. Often, testimonial letters are made up. If someone offers a testimonial ask to see the actual letter (Here at LazyWealth we take our testimonials from emails and then print and save a copy of the email in our file. Every word you read is true.). It is very unlikely anyone will allow you to contact someone who has been successful, for two reasons: One, there is the possibility of a law suit if someone feels threatened by a caller and, two, most people don't want to be bothered. We will eventually create a message board and leave it open to everyone so, if you like us you can say so, and if you dislike us, you can say so, too.

4. Any overall advice, Mr. Lazy? Yes, before you spend money on anyone make sure you believe your questions have been answered honestly. And, before you spend a penny, do as much research as possible, especially with the companies charging thousands for a little help.

5. So you believe mentors are important to success? I do. I recently went horseback riding for the first time (I know, I know, what took so long!) and I am convinced I would have fallen off that horse if not for the very helpful lady who was instructing me. I learned to Scuba Dive earlier this year and my Certified Instructor kept me from killing myself! I learned to fly helicopters and airplanes from qualified instructors/mentors. If you have confidence in your mentor do exactly what the mentor tells you to do and you will be fine. For example, follow the LazyWealth assignments, they come from practical experience and they work.

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