Having a mentor can be extremely beneficial for your progression in virtually any field. They can accelerate your learning curve exponentially, help you shape your ideas and empower you. Given all of these potential benefits, I thought it would be useful to have a mentor of my own, so I started making a shortlist of people whom I could pick to be my mentor.
Enter Tim Ferris – World Renowned Author, Angel Investor and Polymath.
Throughout my early teens, I was already fascinated by the concepts of accelerated learning, self-optimisation, and getting unconventional results by utilising unconventional methods. I would always try and figure out the easiest and most effective way to get something done. No one does all of this, and more, better than Tim Ferriss. If you haven’t heard of Tim Ferriss, you should certainly do some research on him and I promise it won’t disappoint.
You can check out his blog: fourhourworkweek.com/blog/
Why Tim Ferriss?
When I first read the Four Hour Work Week, I was mind-blown. I instantly knew who my ideal mentor would be. I’d found someone who shared the same passion for everything that I enjoyed doing, except he was on a completely different level, far beyond anything I had imagined.
The reason I picked Tim Ferriss was because he is, in fact, a polymath, and exactly what I aspire to be. Secondly, I noticed that Tim was also utilising the tools that I had learned about from elsewhere, however he was applying them in ways that I had never thought of, which I found to be extremely interesting. He also has a knack for asking very simple, yet powerful questions which get you thinking and questioning everything, which can lead to some very interesting results.
To elaborate on the previous point, Tim has dabbled in a diverse array of fields, including his own television show (The Tim Ferriss Experiment, in which Tim attempts to master a new skill within a week), judo, language learning, self-experimentation, accelerated learning, and angel investing, just to name a few. He has enjoyed tremendous success in almost all of these fields. He is the living embodiment of my goals, and that makes him an ideal mentor in my case.
(Side note: I think the phrase “living embodiment” is quite superfluous, and yet I seem to find myself using it relatively often)
If I could have Tim Ferriss as my mentor, I certainly would. However, If you don’t have access to someone whom you would really like to be your mentor, what can you do?
You create your own mentorship.
How the Self-Created Mentorship Works
Since I didn’t have access to Tim Ferriss himself, I looked at everything I did have access to and started with that. I voraciously devoured all of his books and searched for all kinds of material which he had released over the years. When I discovered his podcast, I began to listen to that too (It’s called the Tim Ferriss Show).
Side note: The Tim Ferriss Show basically involves Tim interviewing and deconstructing world-class performers from a variety of fields, and extracting the tools and tricks which we, the listeners, can put to use. I highly recommend the podcast, there’s an insane amount that I’ve learned from that alone. I’ve also recommended a couple of other podcasts, which you can check out: Podcast Picks of 2017: Productivity, Language, and Culture.
I also follow Tim’s progress through his blog, his Twitter page and of course, his podcast and try to make notes of all his titbits of knowledge that he imparts through all of the various channels.
Books, of course, are possibly one of my favourite ways to learn from my chosen mentor, because it distils all the information and leaves the reader with only the most useful and relevant content, which can be easily accessed and reviewed at leisure.
How to Create Your Own Mentorship Program
- Find an individual/individuals whom you admire or aspire to emulate
- Look for articles or books that they have published and read them. Write down questions and take copious notes
- Search for other resources on your chosen mentor – read about their history and understand how and why they do what they do; it’s all about getting into their mindset and understanding how they work
- Look for others’ work on them
- Sometimes your mentor will not release their own material (Warren Buffett is a case in point). What you can do instead is to read books about them by other authors. These can be great because the author sometimes adds their own insight which can be very helpful.
- Search for videos, interviews and other types of relevant content which can help you gain an insight into your mentor’s thought process
- Finally, try connecting with your mentor. Some of them may have a Twitter account and you could try tweeting them. Hey, you could get lucky!
Now I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t anywhere near as great as having direct access to your mentor, but it’s the next best thing. I can honestly say that I’ve learned so much from all the different sources of information, even though I could not speak to my “mentors” directly.
I strongly encourage you to find someone whom you admire or would like to emulate, and embark on the journey yourself. It’s actually quite exciting to discover the information you require and try to search for all the answers by relying solely on yourself. It’s a challenge, but one that’s definitely worth it.
In fact, with this self-created mentorship program, you can have as many mentors as you want. Some of my other mentors include Warren Buffett, Derek Sivers, John Mayer and many other incredible, talented individuals. There’s a wealth of knowledge that you can learn from your mentors, so go ahead and give it a shot!