by Rod Rodriguez
Almost every expert, best selling writer, or lecturer on the subject of entrepreneurship will agree that one of the most important and valuable things you can do for yourself and your growing business is seek a mentor. Mentorship can be a crucial part of your development as an entrepreneur as it provides you a person who has the experience to guide you, advise you, and motivate you to keep going on those when giving up seems so much easier than slogging through another day.
The problem with mentors is finding them. All too often for entrepreneurs who are outside of an academic institution, finding someone who will take time to talk with you is a real challenge. Not being able to find a mentor can make you feel discouraged and contribute to your justification for giving up on your idea. There are online websites and programs that can help you find a mentor but even then you might be keeping yourself from pursuing those options because your embarrassed or just so unsure of the whole thing that looking for that person makes you uncomfortable.
One option is, YouTube. One of the ways I’ve used YouTube in the past was to educate myself on different aspects of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Although I was going to an academy and I had a black belt instructor, on YouTube I had dozens of high level world class instructors teaching me different exotic movements, sharing their thoughts and philosophies on Jiu Jitsu, and also providing me with their lessons learned and advice for training. There are YouTube Jiu Jitsu instructors I honestly feel like I know even though we’ve never met because I’ve consumed hundreds of hours of their material!
As an entrepreneur, I can tell you right away that there are dozens of high level entrepreneurs on YouTube with hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of lectures, tutorials, rants, and classes that will speak to you directly. Seek a YouTube mentor who is immersed in your market and consume everything they’ve put out. One of the guys I follow is Gary Vaynerchuk. If you’re not familiar with who he is then do yourself a HUGE favor and YouTube Gary Vaynerchuk and click on any of his many videos. In a nutshell, he’s a self made media mogul who started with an online wine business that’s expanded into a media company that he hopes will eventually lead to him buying the NY Jets football team. For months now I’ve been consuming his videos which are chalk full of inspiration, great social media advice, and some uncomfortable truths about my mindset and how I need to change the way I think in order to be the entrepreneur I want to be. His message is accessible to me day and night, I have a variety of topics I can cover through his videos that answer the questions I have at the time. Of course, the video version of Gary Vaynerchuk isn’t a replacement for the real person whose direct mentorship is valued at more money than I’ve made this year but compared to free videos on YouTube, I think I’m getting the bargain here.
There are lots of other personalities on YouTube you can explore such as Grant Cardone whose selling technique, energy, and over the top personality will super charge your desire to sell (WHO’S GOT MY MONEY???) or if you’re looking at developing your leadership skills by upping your emotional intelligence then Tony Robbins’ videos will inspire you to learn more about yourself and to ask some really hard questions. There are also interviews with business leaders such as Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and many others who share their lessons learned and give practical advice for anyone willing to listen. Tai Lopez, you might remember him as the YouTube “you know whats better than this Lamborghini…knoooowledge” guy, makes a great point about the autobiography of Sam Walton. He wrote his story, the story of how he became a billionaire and most people haven’t read it. Think about that, he left the blue print for how he made his fortune and most people haven’t read it! YouTube is kind of like that. The successful business people are sharing their stories, challenges, and lessons with you and its FREE! You just have to watch!
YouTube has a wealth of knowledge for you to dip into and sure some of these guys can get a bit cheezy or gimmicky. Here’s the thing though, use their knowledge and experience to boost your confidence and interest in entrepreneurship. Then use that to explore the option of finding someone in the market you want to break into for mentorship. You might even find that you both share the same interest in YouTube mentor! I promise you this, the ROI for your time on YouTube will be tremendous but only if you’re pursuing the right information.
So get on YouTube, find Gary Vaynerchuk and take him for a spin. Not your flavor, try Grant Cardone, or Tai Lopez, or all of them. Devote an hour in the morning to hear their message, get fired up, and let them guide you through the steps you need to take to get your business off the ground!
“Ideas are shit! Execution is the game!” – Gary Vaynerchuk