Today, I want to address a question that I get a lot: Is it important to your business success that you have a mentor?
From my standpoint, mates, the answer is “Yes.” And, “No.” Let me explain:
Absolutely, you want to associate yourself with successful people of good character and integrity. As the saying goes, “You are who you are with.” So if you hang out with bums or people doing self-destructive things in their personal lives, or in business, people who do illegal or unethical things on a daily basis, then you’re very likely going to be doing the same, because that’s all they do, all day long. But if you hang out with people who are ethical, successful business entrepreneurs who, let’s say, generate millions of dollars—or tens of millions of dollars—in revenue, even if you are not as talented or as successful or have great ideas like they do, you’ll still achieve a certain level of success because they will pull you up with them.
And that’s something I can say from experience. People often tell me, “Engelo, you quit school at the age of 14. Your grammar is awful. Your math is even worse. You can’t type. But somehow you’re a successful real estate investor, and you’re running a multimillion-dollar real estate investment company. How do you do it?”
And I always tell them, “Guys, I ask questions of people who are where I want to be. And I associate myself with the best.”
I want to brush shoulders with the big players. And eventually what they say molds me into a better entrepreneur and business person. The subject of our discussion is where they have been, their experiences, what they’re doing right now, what’s working for them, and where they are going in the future. It’s all about their vision … the bigger picture.
And you know, the more people you speak to on a daily basis, the more things you will learn and the more things you will know, especially when you are talking to the successful entrepreneurs and business players who are doing it on a daily basis and have done it in the past and who will keep doing it in the future.
That’s quite an affirmative response to the question of whether a mentor is important. So why do I say the answer is also “No?”
Simple. Because that person you want to associate with and pattern yourself after is not someone I would call a “mentor.” I also don’t want to call that person a “coach.” I don’t really have a catchy label—it’s just someone you look up to because that person has a good, clean background and character; high standards and ethics … you admire what they have accomplished—what they are continuing to accomplish every day.
For instance, there’s one guy in particular in the real estate investing realm today I really admire. He’s a fantastically talented businessman. He is incredibly smart and successful, is a devoted family man and a person of strong faith. He is someone I very much look up to. I wouldn’t call him a mentor or a coach, but he’s someone I would want the privilege of shadowing someday to see what he does and how he operates. This is a guy who has so many things going on and yet he’s always so calm and collected. He’s a particular individual I want to copy in my day-to-day business dealings and my life in general.
I believe is much more important to have someone like that to emulate, than the type of person who comes to my mind when you say “mentor.” Mentor, consultant, coach … to me, those are just words made up so people can charge for their services—and usually when they don’t even have the knowledge to justify the prices they’re asking. Of course, there are those people who have something really valuable to share—just evaluate the situation carefully so you are getting what you pay for.
The bottom line: Having someone you can model yourself after is definitely important. It’s everything. If you really want to succeed—in whatever it is that you’re doing—you have to associate yourself with the best, you have to look up to the best, you have to copy what the best are doing so you can be the best.
About the Author
Engelo Rumora, aka “The Real Estate Dingo,” is a successful property investor, motivational speaker and author who quit school at 14 for a professional soccer career, then hit upon real estate investing as not just a way to create wealth but as his passion. In Australia, he was able to build a property portfolio valued at more than $1 million in only six months, and he also was known for buying Australia’s “cheapest house.” He founded Ohio Cashflow, now a multimillion-dollar real estate investing company based in Toledo, Ohio, and assists other property investors worldwide. Contact Ohio Cashflow at 844-289-8876 or email@example.com.