The Secret to Finding a Mentor by Tom Bilyeu

Dear Impactivist,

Our squad of summer interns reminds me of a question a I get asked a lot: “How do I find a mentor?”

I have a pretty straightforward process for getting close to someone you can learn from and it goes like this: identify the person that is living your ideal life. Emphasis on the word ideal because that’s where people fall on their face: they don’t pick someone who is living a life that actually excites them. Instead, they just go for whoever is near them.

Once you identify the right person, tell them the following magic words: “I’m going to work for you for free for 90 days. I’ll work harder AND smarter than anyone you’ve ever met. At the end of that time, if you’d rather pay me than lose me than pay me and I’ll stay on staff. If not, we shake hands, part ways and that’s the end of it.”


Here’s the key: actually deliver on that promise in the most aggressive way possible. There’s nothing that is above you. If they ask you to take out the trash, take it out better than it’s ever been taken out before. Get to understand their business better than anyone else in the company.

Anticipate their needs (this is huge). Put more effort in and learn faster than anyone. Come in over-prepared so you can over deliver. In short, set the bar ridiculously high and surpass all expectations. Make it your mission in life to win people over by delivering a crushing amount of value.

To execute on all of the above, have the following in mind:

  • Extreme attentiveness
  • Inexhaustible willingness to work
  • Zero complaining
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Be super positive

That’s exactly what I did when I first started working at Awareness Technologies. They hired me as a copywriter, but I poured myself into it. And when we started Quest I would always take the worst job, never complain and always creating a positive and upbeat work environment.

At one point I was waking up in the middle of the night with my hands cramping closed, but even then I just laughed at it, because by focusing on how much fun I was having, I was able to set the tone so that everyone else could enjoy themselves even though we were all busting our asses. Creating positive energy that others can feed off is one of the surest ways to ingratiate yourself to a new team.

It’s about going in, identifying the problems that the business faces, putting in a metric ton of work, having a rad attitude that gets other people excited, and doing whatever is needed, even if you think it’s below you.

If you make that offer to 10-15 people, at least one of them will likely say yes (if not more). And if you perform like I detailed you will begin earning a reputation that will open more doors than you can imagine.

At the end of the 90 day period, if you’re crushing it but they still can’t afford to pay you, at least you gained knowledge and connections. And that, my friends, is FAR more valuable than money. Money is a one-off gain. Knowledge and connections will can be monetized over and over if you know how to leverage them.

Until next time, my friends, be legendary.

– Tom


Impact Theory – Igniting Human Potential

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