Very few people succeed in life without mentors along the way. These are people that we relate to and aspire to be like, seldom in all aspects, but enough to want to emulate them. Those that resist the influence of mentors, learn a lot of things the hard way and far slower, if at all. I know despite the use of mentors, there are many things that I could learn 1,000 lessons on, but before feeling the pain, I shrug off. But even those though, I figure out far quicker because of the influence of my mentors. Some people limit themselves to one or two “physical” mentors, to do this though, is doing yourself a great disservice.
On my transformational journey, I have realised that I could never grow without my Digital Mentors and I owe them a debt of thanks. The best way I know how (at this stage) is to pay it forward. For these Mentors, I move between generalists to specialists and back again depending on focus. I have gotten to know these people and feel like could pick up a conversation with them with ease. Their authenticity shines through, yes it’s usually the best version of them, but it is certainly not artificial.
We live in exciting times in terms of our access to Digital Mentors and we largely have the Amazon empire to thank for it. As they erode barriers to entry all the time (interesting that their business model is to erode and disrupt their own established competitive advantage before someone else does, brilliant really).
Below I give 2 recommendations per area, they are broadly suitable for most people. They are only gateways though, for you to test and I’m sure you can find others that are fundamentally more aligned to you. I have found it tough to limit myself to two, but it seemed the most appropriate. They are a great place to start. So much is about timing though, your life and what you have read before. Perhaps include some of your favourites in the comments below?
eBooks (Really Kindle, my favourite is the Paperwhite)
eBooks have allowed the democratisation of writing (which means there is also a lot of rubbish out there. But it’s mostly it is a great thing. If you are thinking of writing a book, check out this post.)
But I love them, I get access to 1,000s of books instantly and can store 100s ready to read. The back-light allows reading in almost any conditions. One of my favourite parts is being able to highlight and collate quotes and extracts. For the grammar and typos OCD sufferers, you can even report content errors! Unashamedly, I get great satisfaction or perhaps more accurately relief reporting the errors I find, I know they may not be actioned, but that is almost irrelevant to me.
- Pebbles of Perception – Laurence Endersen has written a simple, yet impactful book. I’m really surprised this book hasn’t got more attention. Probably for this reason alone, I look to promote it. It is an easy but insightful read.
- Abundance – Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler have written a contrarian book to “It’s getting worse syndrome”. This should be a compulsory read for all. Society is in such a scarcity mindset, that the obvious solutions are not being seen.
Lots of people find it difficult to focus on reading. Either they battle to prioritise the time or their lifestyle simply prohibits it. This is no longer an issue anymore. Simply switch it on during your commute. Tom Bilyeu even suggests slowly cranking up the speed to 3.0x to be more efficient. I currently listen to everything between 1.2x-1.5x.
You’ll notice both my recommendations are below author narrated, I think this adds 20-30% on top of reading it or having someone else read it.
- Anything You Want – Derek Sivers is one of my favourite people. He showed me that I can run a business differently to the MBA textbook and still succeed.
- Growth Hacker Marketing – Ryan Holiday is a classical stoic philosopher born into modern times. He shows how growth hacking is moving marketing towards the beginning of the product cycle.
I had heard about Podcasts, in fact I thought they were something that I thought were a passing fad. I couldn’t have been more wrong. A big thank-you to Robbie for suggesting it 2-3 times before I took the bait and now I am hooked.
- School of Greatness – Lewis Howes is probably one of the most authentic people on the planet. I’m a big fan. All his episodes tend to be top quality, but perhaps start with EP309-The Power of Meditation with Andy Puddicombe or Episode 139 with Marie Forleo to get the ball rolling.
- The Tim Ferriss Show- Tim Ferriss has probably impacted more lifestyle entrepreneurs than anyone else on the planet. Some of my favourites are the ones with Josh Waitzkin, the prodigy in Searching for Bobby Fischer and author of the Art of Learning (EP 2 & 148), as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger. Also look out for Tony Robbins and Peter Diamandis.
In the very likely event your chosen mentors do not host podcasts, there are probably 10-20 they have been on, so a great way to get access to them is to listen to them in the informal interview setting of a podcast.
I am continually tweaking and updating my recommendations, so keep an eye on our Recommended page.