How to Find a Mentor You Can Trust

In the next few minutes, I’m going to give you a solid, bulletproof formula for picking a mentor you can trust.

But first, why do you need a mentor?

I’m using the term “mentor” here pretty loosely. What I mean is a person or system you can comfortably hang your hat on. Someone reliable who will show you how and when and where you can make money online.

There are two reasons why you need this simple formula of mine …

First, there has never been a “solo success story” in the history of the world. Every person of great wealth, health, and happiness has had someone giving them a hand up and helping them find their way.

You’re not going to be the first person in history to break this pattern, so you need a person or system to help you along your journey.

Second, there is the issue of white noise.

That is what I call the constant bombardment of information, pitches, and enticements you and I face every day.

It seems like everyone under the sun has some kind of system for making money online. And, all of them are fighting and grabbing for your attention. It’s like walking into an old-fashioned marketplace with 37,000 vendors hoping to sell you their wares. They shout and yell and do everything they can to win you over. The volume can be deafening.

It’s also very confusing.

Which one can really help you? Which is a scam? Which is well-meaning, but just doesn’t have the right stuff for you?

You and I both know that before you move forward, you need to pick something or someone to work with. Until that happens, your mental capital will be spent wondering who you should trust … and you’ll be caught up in wondering if some system is right for you.

To help you get past that stagnant position, I’m giving you my personal formula that I’ve used for picking mentors I trust and are right for me. Here it is …

Step One: Harmonize Values and Priorities

This is the first and probably most important step. You want to know if the mentor or system you’re considering harmonizes with your core values.

It’s no good saying, “I don’t like what that guy is promoting, but he seems to be making a lot of money so I’ll follow his lead.” If you do that, it won’t be long before you feel frustration, conflict, and internal turmoil.

All of those feelings will stop you dead in your tracks. You’ll be confused and conflicted. You’ll always be wondering if what you’re doing is right or not. All of that energy will take away from your ability to make money online.

Many years ago, when I started my copywriting business, I sat down and made a list of industries, products, and services I would never write for. I also made a list of activities I would never engage in.

I applied that same list to my selection of gurus and mentors. If they made their money in those sectors or strongly supported those values on my list, I stayed clear.

As I looked at my list, I saw that someone was making a ton of money in all of these industries. I also knew that some mentors in those industries were decent people … just not my kind of people. I wanted to be true to myself — no make that … I had to be true to myself so I could sleep peacefully at night.

One other thing to consider here, that’s closely related … Does the mentor or system harmonize with your priorities? In other words, is following this path right for you, based on your personal priorities, goals, and focus in life?

I could have made a great deal of money in the world of financial copywriting … but, frankly, it was just not my thing.

So, my first question for you is this … does the mentor or system harmonize with your personal, internal, core values and priorities? If yes, move on to Step Two …

Step Two: Determine Congruency and Sincerity

I wish it wasn’t so, but there are people in our world today that say one thing … and do another. Or, they encourage you to do something they have never done. They sell theory, not reality.

At one point, when I was in a critical phase of my life and business development, I found myself sitting across the desk from Michael Masterson. It was a rare and profitable treat for me.

We were talking about a number of opportunities I could pursue. One of them was wide-open and growing. It was a good opportunity in a good industry. He said to me, “Joshua, have you ever done anything in this industry?”

“Well, no,” I replied.

“Then I think we’d better stay away from it right now. People can feel when you are sincere and are speaking from experience. You don’t want to try and sell theory or guesswork. People deserve better than that.”

It had a profound impact on me. I decided that in all of my efforts, I needed to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. This meant I could not get rich by selling systems and ideas that I had not personally implemented.

When you look at a mentor or system, ask yourself, “Have they actually done what they are proposing I do? Is their life congruent with their teachings?” If not, stay away. You are buying theory, not reality.

And, if you’re going to put your time and money into building a business online, you deserve to know what really works and is proven.

Step Three: Reality Check

A lot of mentors and gurus out there get a little carried away in their claims and promises.

I understand why … it’s very hard to be heard in the fierce marketplace today. And, for a certain crowd in the world — hype sells. The more hype … the more inflated the promises … the more they’re buying.

So, in order to sell more and make a living, many mentors play the “Keep up with the Hypesters” game. If one promises you can make $5,000 a week working just 20 hours, then the next guy feels like he needs to promise you $10,000 a week in just 10 hours to even be heard. And, it can sharply escalate from there … as we have both seen.

But, here’s my perspective … I love vegetable gardening. I love the process of preparing the soil, planting the seeds, weeding, giving the plants time to grow, and then finally reaping a healthy, fulfilling harvest.

There are certain laws in play here that just can’t be skipped or rushed. You have to do things right, in the right order, and in the right timing.

If you plant seeds on Monday and try to harvest a week later, you’ll get nothing but dirt.

Business is the same way.

There is an order, process, and timing to it all that needs to be obeyed.

So ask yourself, “Is this system or mentor promoting things in a realistic, rational order, with appropriate timing?” If not, stay away. Save your time and money.

Over the years, I have used this simple, three-step formula to protect my time, my money, and my emotions. More than anything, it has been very effective for me at turning down the volume of the “noise” that fills my life. This has made me much more focused and effective … resulting in a healthier, happier, wealthier, more fulfilling life.

This simple formula has also helped me build a great team of mentors — people that genuinely care about me, my happiness, and my financial success.

If you are serious about making money online and creating cash-flow systems, then clearing the noise and locking in a mentor is the first and most essential step. If you get this wrong, you could wander for years and spend money recklessly on things that never produce.

I know that cutting the noise and gaining a solid mentor has made all the difference for me.

It will for you, too.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: January 20, 2012

3 Responses to “How to Find a Mentor You Can Trust”

  1. Thank you, Joshua, for this thought provoking, sobering and honest article. Love it!

    JoyRJanuary 21, 2012 at 5:15 am

  2. Thanks, Joshua. This is so timely for me since I have been thinking that I need a copywriting coach to help me reach my goals for this year. It's so helpful to hear your guidelines for choosing someone to work with.

    Margie KingJanuary 21, 2012 at 10:02 am

  3. Joshua:
    Would you recommend the The Professional Writers’ Alliance to get a good mentor for Health, Self-improvement, and Internet Research Specialists? If so, who?

    OscaritoAugust 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm


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