See in these personal improvement notes on Eben Pagan’s Advanced Learning and Teaching seminar the quickest way to slay the obstacles that keep you from what you want
It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2.
Eben Pagan believes that one of the fastest and most efficient ways to learn and evolve that is 10x better than any other method is to work directly with a master – 1 on 1 coaching with them getting direct mentoring feedback.
But first you’ve to figure out what you want to accomplish and then see if you can identify someone who’s an absolute master of that universe.
Tony Robbins is brilliant at this. His mindset matches Eben’s. He figures why take longer to get the result I want when I can seek out the person who’s the greatest at doing or teaching it and learn what they know?
I wish he still did his Power Talk interviews because this was him seeking out people who were masters and then he gave you an outstanding hour + long introduction to who they were and what they were all about.
And then at a level above that, he sought out even more masters for his Mastery training events. One guy he brought out in particular, Pete Egoscue has changed my physical body for the better forever.
Every single one of the people have impacted my life positively and what I’ve learned from them will stick with me until I buy a ticket to the next existence. Yeah, the lessons and behavior changes I’ve encountered are THAT significant.
And these hard-hitting impressions were all made through reading and listening. I can’t fathom what results would be had had I sought them out for a 1-on-1 consult.
How Do You Seek Out Experts and Mentors?
If you think about it, there’s really no mentor for how to find mentors.
In Eben’s experience he found that one of the most rewarding things in the life of someone who’s an expert in a particular area is having students who learn from them and take what they learn and fuck that information wide open – a.k.a. use it to create incredible results for themselves and value for others.
This is one of the most fulfilling things to an accomplished person.
Joseph Campbell, the mythology expert, traveled studying the religions of the world and as he was on his journey he came to find that what one group said on one continent matched what this continent on the other side of the planet said and they hadn’t connected ever or for many thousands of years.
And through these findings he put together what he called “The Hero’s Journey”. This is the universal archetypal universal story that underlies all enduring stories and mythologies.
There’s a very good chance you’ve heard of a movie called, “Star Wars”. It turns out that George Lucas and Joseph Campbell were friends and George took The Hero’s Journey and made three movies in the 80’s (I don’t acknowledge the new bullshit additions) that ended up being some of the most successful movies of all time.
In the hero’s journey, the hero first refuses the call to adventure, then sets out on the adventure, faces trials and tribulations, has friends and a mentor show up and help him, and eventually gets to the point where they need to make decision about their destiny and they realize that if they pursue their destiny and they claim it, life will never be the same ever again and they’ll live forever with what Joseph Campbell calls, “The Elixir” which is the knowledge or the learning that they bring back and offer to the world.
Experts everywhere would love to have students they can offer “The Elixir” to because that giving of their gift is what fulfills them most.
We all learn at some point in our life that helping others in a meaningful way is more rewarding than pretty much anything we can do.
Once we’ve got our survival needs met, our sex/affection needs met, and we’ve got our comfort needs addressed, we look to see how we can contribute to others.
The person you want to learn most from wants nothing more than to have a great student. THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING.
But if this person is kicking ass and taking names it’s not because they’re sitting on their ass eating Cheetos watching porn and playing video games all day. They’re probably busy as hell making important and significant shit happen.
These people are more likely than not hard to reach and they’ve got a lot of people contacting them. So how do you contact them, how do you relate to them, how do you learn from them and how do you build a relationship?
If you’re reaching out to these people cold – you don’t know them, you don’t know anyone who knows them and you’ve got to go the direct route, persistence is CRITICAL.
Persistence is critical.
You might have to contact this person 10, 20, 50, 100 times. But if you believe that you’ll get through to them, then you will. That’s the key.
A great example of this can be seen in the movie “Wall Street” starring Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas.
Bud Fox was the pupil trying to get in touch with Gordon Gecko, the boss hog billionaire Wall Street player and he just kept calling over and over and over again to the tune of 57 times and then he showed up at Gordon’s birthday party with a box of his favorite cigars and told Gordon that all he wanted was five minutes.
Bud got through the door with this Donald Trump style guy because he was relentless.
Are You Brave Enough To Pursue What You Want?
Think about what it communicates when you call once and never call again?
Why the hell would a big player call you back? What does it mean if you three times and never call again? It communicates either you a big pussy or that you’re not serious about what you’re saying you want.
What does it mean if you call every day for 57 days in a row? It means that you’re determined and that you know what you want.
People do this with Eben and he finally breaks down and asks them, “Whaddya got?”
Most of the time when this happens, people are trying to sell you something rather than arriving with synergistic value. The way you stick out is to Bring the Fuckin’ Ruckus – Show the fuck up with something that will knock their socks off.
So when you’re reaching out to someone cold, you want to be as persistent as you possibly can be. And until the person on the other hand explicitly tells you, “Stop contacting me,” then don’t stop.
And if they ask you to stop but you can tell they don’t get it, you know, you get the sense they’re blowing you off for no apparent reason other than they can, then keep coming.
When they finally crack and say, “What’s your deal?” then you tell them, “I need to talk to you because I need what’s in your head. I’m trying to figure out this area of my life and you know how to do this thing and I’m going to be a really good student and I just need you to help me.”
If you do this in a mature adult way, most people who’ve accomplished something awesome in life have this kind of intuitive sense that they need to give what they know back and they want to do so.
One of the most powerful things you can say to an evolved successful person is, “I’d like to get your advice on something.”
This activates the part of them that can only grow when they contribute to others.
When you have the right mindset, you can walk right into the front door of a company, sit down with them in their conference room and be offered beverages by them, and get information downloaded to you for the cost of nothing and love the hell out doing it.
One person on Eben’s team has proven this to Eben over and over again, most recently getting a household name subsidiary to one of the top brands in the world to sit down for 90 minutes and give them thousands and thousands of dollars worth of guidelines on the process of expanding a business internationally.
And at the end of their time, they thanked Eben for coming in and told him that if he had any questions to go ahead and call.
This is the reality Eben lives in – one in which he knows that people who know how to do things love helping other people do what they do best.
If you drill this down to someone who’s not proficient at a social activity like bowling but is rather proficient at a business skill like managing a CRM system and they’re locked up in a cubicle or home office all day, and they don’t talk to a lot of people or do a lot of fun stuff and you show up as a fan who’s interested in them, they will love you for giving them the opportunity to contribute and connect with a like minded person.
How To Connect Via Social Circle
So if you know someone who knows someone you’d like access to, Eben believes the best way to approach them is to see if you can go hang out with this person in some way that isn’t directly connected to what you need from them.
Think dinner function or bar rather than directly in their office across the desk from them.
One of things that’s crucial to do in a setting like this is to ask questions about their situation and listen to where they’re at in this moment of their life and seek out some way that you can contribute to them.
While talking to Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychologist, Eben found that our ancestors once upon a time spent somewhere around 1/3 of their time socializing with each other.
If you look at our closest ancestors, the Bonobos, they spend a shit-ton of time grooming each other and this serves a social purpose more so than the process of cleaning each other up.
When you meet people in a social setting as opposed to a formal setting, it’s like you’re meeting a different person, a more relaxed person. So this is a place you want to meet them and most importantly, listen for what it is they’re trying to accomplish and see if you can help them get close the gap from where they are to where they want to be.
If it’s a business context you can help with do it. If it’s something like golf, do it. Every human has something they’re into and are driven to optimize and is top of mind to them. There’s always something and you want to look for how to connect with that and provide answers that move them forward in this context.
And it could be something irrational, illogical, off the beaten path – Japanese Anime cartoons, poker, deep sea diving, etc. and if you can make this hobby/interest of theirs more fruitful, you’re in.
So if you don’t know the person, be persistent and keep going until you get to them or get the boot, and if you do have the option of getting into a social setting with them, seek out their thing for the time being and show them how to take it to the next level.
How Do You Build A Mentoring Relationship With A Boss
When contemplating this you must keep in mind that what gets a master wet is having a great student – to see someone else succeed at their hand, maybe even go beyond the master.
With this in mind, think about how stupid it’d be to take advice from a master and just tell them, “Thank you very much.”
The way you communicate to a master that what they gave you was valuable is to go out and use it and give them feedback on the results you got.
So if they give you a technique, don’t argue with them about it saying, “Yeah, but…”, rather go out and put it to work and then come back to them and say, “Here’s what I did and here’s what happened.”
You never want to criticize, condemn or complain. Never place blame on anything but yourself. Take responsibility for everything that happens.
The is a process of honoring the master by taking their advice and using it. And this is what allows you ask another question.
If the advice didn’t lead to desirable results you can go back and say, “I did what you said to do and here’s what happened…” they’re either going to see the flaw in your implementation and call you an idiot for doing it wrong or, they’re going to get even more involved and seek another solution for your challenge to maintain their elevated status in your mind and in their own mind.
Being a kick ass make-it-happen student is ultimate way to get great mentors
It is of utmost importance that you pay respect to a mentor by taking action if you want to keep a mentor in your life.
Joe Polish is The King Of Making Social Connections
At this point in the seminar, Eben brought Joe Polish up on stage because he believes Joe is one of the best people on the planet at connecting with people you’d believe it be impossible to connect with.
If you don’t know who Joe is, go check out the evidence of how good he is at this at his site here.
Joe is the founder of Piranha Marketing and outside of being one of the best business networkers he knows, Eben considers him to one of the sharpest marketers living and definitely smartest and best connected living.
Joe feels one of the best ways to build rapport with someone is to identify an area of mutual suffering and pain.
This is the reason 12 Step groups work is because it’s a community of people who have shared a similar experience. He gave the example of some prisoners of war not being helped by therapists but once stuck in a room of comrades, they could gain rapport with the group and be open to suggestions of actions that’d helped the other members.
Joe operates from the premise, in his words, “I’ve met some very famous people and become good friends with them and I have the understanding that most human beings are just insane and completely fucked up on many different levels.”
It’s true. People are people. They have issues and this leads him to not treat celebrities/experts like they’re gods and I imagine this humbles him from thinking he’s the greatest thing to come down the pike since sex.
Joe believes the moment you can figure out the place in someone’s life where they’re completely fucked up and you can connect with that in a playful way, it demolishes walls of resistance.
The book “Profiles of Power and Genius” by Gene Landrum gives you the common denominators of what drove some of the most remarkable people to have ever lived to do what they do. And it gives you the good commonalities along with all the fucked up weird and freaky ones too.
Through this book and personal experience Joe knows that the geniuses and mega-achievers have more screws loose than the average person and he uses this to bond on a level most people can’t and won’t ever approach with a ten foot pole.
One important thing he reveals is that he’s about as dysfunctional as a person can be and has succeeded in spite of himself.
The way to surely shoot yourself in the foot when approaching a mega-status person is to treat them like groupies treat rock stars, they’re gonna feel weird and classify you as person who’s not cool enough to just treat them as they would their friends.
1st Suggestion of Joe’s For Meeting A Special Someone: Find out their birthday
You want to know everyone’s birthday who you want to meet.
Send these people cards, gifts, and before the holidays, send them stuff. Giving things to people will help you tremendously because at the core of this action you’re inducing someone’s innate desire to reciprocate with your kindness.
And the key is to find out things about them so you can send them interesting shit they want to keep around and that reminds them of you.
Joe likes the idea of forcing people to have to think about you in an awesome way. I agree with him.
2nd Suggestion of Joe’s For Meeting and Connecting With a Special Someone: Let theater work magic for you
Joe learned marketing from the legendary Gary Halbert.
Gary believed that one of the primary things that most marketing lacked was theater. With the help of this piece of advice, there hasn’t been one single big wig that Joe hasn’t been able to get in touch with.
An example of using theater in your marketing would be to get a little portable DVD player, shoot a video of yourself presenting your proposition, put this onto the DVD, insert the DVD into the player, send the player with a Post It note on top of it that says, “Open this up and press play.” and send this to your target by uniformed courier that the person directly has to sign for so that this package has 100% chance of getting to its desired destination.
This is simple to do and might cost you a $100-$200 bucks but this is about a thousand times more effective use of your time than calling someone 57 times.
Joe tells the carpet cleaners he consults with who are gunning for big office building contracts that if they’ll find out the shoe size of the person they need to get in front of and then buy a pair of shoes that size and send it to them by uniformed courier with a letter attached that reads, “Hi Donald, I’m Joe and I’d really love to meet with you about assuring your carpets in your building are immaculate and I sent you this shoe because I figured it be the best way for me to get my foot in the door and when we meet I’ll bring you the other shoe…”. He flat out guarantees that if the people in his audience will send out ten pairs of shoes to different executives, they’ll land at least one $20,000 account. Never fails.
But guess what? Only 1 out of every 100 people he tells this to will actually do it. And the people who do it always succeed. These are examples of using theater to bust through the clutter.
If you want to get results faster, be persistent in a way that gets attention.
3rd Suggestion of Joe’s For Meeting and Connecting With A Special Someone: Pay to play
You always want to be willing to pay for someone’s time.
This could mean you Fed-Ex them a letter with a $100 dollar bill attached to it. It’s highly rare that someone will ignore a check made out to them or cash.
You have to keep in mind that one conversation could be worth a million dollars to you. This means you need to stop being a cheap skate if you are.
“If you have the money to cut a check to solve a problem, you don’t have a problem.” Dan Sullivan
Eben has found that by doing this three times in the past few years with major names you would know, paying $1,000 for an hour at the high end, that now he can pick up the phone and talk to them anytime he wants to.
4th Suggestion of Joe’s For Meeting and Connecting With a Special Someone: Avail yourself of any services or products they offer
People come up to Joe all the time proposing deals or wanting something from him.
One question he immediately asks in this instance is, “Have they ever bought anything from me?”
It’s basically the premise of, they want me to sell their dog food but do they eat my dog food?
One of his criteria for partnering up with someone is that they need to have joined one of his $25,000 coaching groups. He tells them not to do it because that means they’ll be doing a joint venture with each other. He tells them to do it because they sincerely want to spend time getting to know him so that they know if they’ll even want to work with him.
Someone who’s a client of yours has demonstrated they respect what you do and what you say. This is a great way to get your foot in the door.
5th Suggestion of Joe’s For Meeting and Connecting With a Special Someone: Befriend who is close to who you want to meet
One of the ways Joe proposed getting an interview with the Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates was to do an interview with Melinda Gates about their foundation.
The way he cultivated the relationship with the Virgin billionaire Richard Branson (both Eben and Joe recommend you get the books by the author I talk about in that link) was through interviewing the woman who ran his Virgin Unite charity (very cool that Richard funds that charity out of his own pocket so that 100% of anything donated goes directly to the cause).
This led to Joe doing an interview with Richard and having him speak at one of his conferences and now he actually goes to Richard’s private island once a year to help them raise money for Virgin Unite.
So in the business context this strategy entails getting close to one of their respected team members and figure out a way to help them.
Two Things You Need In Order To Be Successful As An Entrepreneur
Dan Sullivan taught this to Joe.
Joe believes he has a ton of both of these and this has allowed him to reframe rejection in the light that it’s taking a survey on who has good taste and who doesn’t.
And the Wayne Gretzky quote directly applies to this, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
The world does not reward the meek.
If you show up with the attitude of, “How can I create value for this person?” before you ever ask them to do anything for you, you’re going to be surprised at how the quote of, “You can get anything you want in life if you’ll help enough other people get what they want” comes true for you.
What Skill Do You Need or Want To Master Now?
So think about the next skill you’d like to master in your life.
What’s something you’re serious about mastering now? Something that typically takes years to become proficient at. Write this down.
Now identify 3 masters who could potentially be mentors for you.
If you want to become a better swimmer, saying that you want Michael Phelps to be your mentor might be a little unrealistic. So you might want to start swimming competitively and get to the point where you’re good at it and you show a lot of potential before you go after Phelps.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible to bag the icon of a certain arena but first you may want to take what’s out there and make progress with it before you go hunting for the whale.
Remember, whatever city you live in or near that has 100,000 or more people in it, there’s more likely than not someone in that city who’s an expert at the skill you want to master.
And this person will probably go out to coffee with you if you’ll just call them up and say, “I’ve decided that I’d like to dedicate a few years of my life to learning and mastering __________. You’re one of the best that I know of. I’d like to buy you a cup of coffee. I won’t waste your time.”
This, will probably get them to sit down with you.
If not, call until they do or until they tell you explicitly to fuck off.
So write down a realistic list of 3 people you’d like to get to mentor you on one skill or capability.
Next, contact these people to show yourself you can do it, and connect with them directly and say, “Hi, my name is ________. I’d like to get your advice on something (summarize what it is you’d like to learn from them in a sentence or two). I would really appreciate just a few minutes of your time. I promise I will not waste it.”
Then be diligent and see what happens.
When Eben first decided he wanted to master internet marketing, he thought one of the best ways to do it would be to interview the top ten internet marketers and see what they tell him and get started.
So he had the idea to write a book that will be 10 chapters, with one chapter dedicated to the strategy of each of the top ten internet marketers that he could land.
He was going to write the book and he thought in the process of doing so he get to learn all this stuff that would help him and also allow him to build a relationship with all of these people.
One of the people Eben was seeking out was Seth Godin. He had built a company called Yoyodyne and Yahoo bought it and in turn he ended up becoming the VP of marketing for Yahoo back when Yahoo was in beast mode and were on top of the world (2000-2001).
So Eben’s first step in connecting with him was simple: call up Yahoo and ask for him. He looked up Yahoo’s contact info online, found the corporate office phone number, he called up and said, “I’d like to speak to Seth Godin,” (remember, this was a guy who’d sold his company to Yahoo for tens of millions of dollars and was now the VP of marketing) and the operator gave him a number to call. Eben calls this number and he hears, “Hello,” Eben says, “Seth?” he says, “Yep.” and Eben was completely unprepared. He didn’t know what the hell to say. Eben thought it was going to be this arduous process when in reality he’d been handed Seth’s cell phone number.
Eben quickly told him his idea about writing this book and Seth just let fly a bunch of outstanding information that convinced Eben NOT to write the book.
Basically the same thing happened when he reached out to the marketing icon, Al Ries, only the immediate response was through email.
Point To Be Taken: You’ll surprise yourself once you get clear on what you want and who you want to contact and try to reach them.
Remember, the fastest way to improve anything is through direct transmission from a master in a coaching and mentoring relationship.
Get to it.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to hit me with them in the comments section, send them privately to me through that orange “Feedback” tab on the right there or just send me an email.
Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd
PS. If you want to get a masters degree in plugging yourself into people who can rapidly move you into the next level, you definitely need to get your hands on the notes I took on Eben Pagan’s “Connected” course here <—–