Jeremy Ryan Slate and I hold similar views on this topic and have done a number of podcasts together; we stress the importance of having a mentor to be successful and how to go about selecting the right mentor who shares your goals and aspirations.
The Apprentice Model
The apprentice model has been around for centuries, providing valuable opportunities to learn skills. Apprenticeships can lead to a variety of opportunities, and mentors can introduce their mentees to new networks, allowing them to start their own businesses, work for the same company, or explore other opportunities with the skills they learned.
My encounter with mentorship occurred during my professional journey. Mentors like Al Casey, former CEO of American Airlines and a billionaire investor who funded companies like Costco and Best Buy, played a pivotal role in shaping my mindset and opening doors to new opportunities. These mentors selflessly shared their wisdom and expertise, guiding me toward success.
The Lost Art of Mentorship
Mentors impart knowledge and influence one’s thinking patterns, paradigms, and decision-making processes. Spending time with accomplished individuals allows you to adopt their mindset and absorb their successful habits. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals will inspire you to continually strive for excellence and push yourself to reach new heights.
However, this way of thinking seems to have been lost in recent years. The lack of respect for elders, the need for instant gratification, and the constant distractions of electronic devices have contributed to the loss of the art of mentorship. As a result, it is essential to bring back mentorship on a larger scale.
The Importance of Selecting the Right Mentors
While advice can come from various sources, it is important that you seek guidance from individuals who have achieved the desired outcomes. Aligning with mentors who have accomplished what one aspires to achieve significantly enhances the learning experience. Choosing mentors wisely ensures that the advice received is based on firsthand expertise and increases the chances of success.
Before embarking on a mentorship journey, it is essential to establish clear objectives. Define what you hope to achieve through mentorship and outline specific goals you aim to accomplish. This clarity will enable you and your mentor to focus efforts effectively and measure progress.
Renowned mentor Mari Smith shared invaluable advice: if an opportunity or commitment is not a resounding “hell yes,” it’s a clear “no.” Embracing this mentality helps us filter through potential distractions and focus only on endeavors that truly excite and align with our aspirations. By saying “no” to questionable commitments, we create space for “hell yes” opportunities and maintain a calendar filled with activities that bring us joy and fulfillment.
The Ripple Effect of Mentorship
Mentorship is a two-way street, with mentees playing an active role in nurturing these relationships. By following up on mentor guidance, taking initiative, and delivering results, mentees demonstrate their commitment and respect for the mentor’s time and expertise. In turn, mentors may extend their networks and introduce mentees to influential individuals, creating a powerful ripple effect.
The “1000 Ingredient Kitchen” Analogy
Mentorship often involves a structured and sequential learning process. Mentors guide mentees through a series of tasks and steps designed to build knowledge, skills, and competence in a particular domain.
For example, if you aspire to build a website, your mentor may guide you through the steps of understanding web development, designing user interfaces, and implementing coding languages. By following this sequential approach, you gradually acquire expertise in a systematic and efficient manner.
The “1000 Ingredient Kitchen” analogy offers a valuable perspective on the mentorship process. Just as a chef combines ingredients in a specific order to create the desired dish, mentors guide mentees through a sequence of tasks and knowledge acquisition to achieve their desired outcomes.
Each task represents an ingredient, and by assembling them in the right order, mentees can create their unique recipe for success. Whether it’s mastering Facebook ad optimization or developing a three-by-three video grid, the mentorship process ensures that you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve your specific goals.
Some individuals may express concerns about the perceived lack of creativity or customization in a mentorship process. However, it is essential to recognize that mentorship focuses on imparting proven knowledge and methodologies. Just as a surgeon relies on well-established medical procedures rather than experimenting with each patient, mentors guide mentees based on tried-and-true practices. This approach ensures efficiency, reduces risks, and increases the likelihood of success.
Standardization is a fundamental aspect of mentorship. Mentors leverage their expertise and experience to provide a structured framework that promotes learning, growth, and achievement. This standardized approach facilitates a seamless transfer of knowledge and ensures that mentees receive consistent guidance and support throughout their mentorship journey.
Mastering the Basics and Continuous Learning
One fundamental principle of mentorship is emphasizing the importance of mastering the basics. Just as Tony Hawk excels at skateboarding by honing his foundational skills, individuals must focus on mastering the fundamentals before delving into more complex endeavors. By consistently practicing and refining the basics, individuals develop a solid understanding and gain the ability to think creatively within the framework.
Continuous learning is also a key aspect of mentorship, as it fosters growth, expands knowledge, and allows for the development of expertise over time. To create scalable systems and processes, allocating time for learning, doing, and teaching is essential.
While client work and immediate tasks may demand attention, neglecting the learning and teaching aspects hinders growth and limits the creation of efficient systems. Prioritizing these activities helps develop expertise, refine processes, and establish a knowledge-sharing culture within teams.
Mentorship at Scale
Experts and mentors possess the ability to distill complex concepts into simple and understandable terms, like a step-by-step checklist. The true mark of a knowledgeable individual is their capacity to communicate clearly, avoiding jargon and unnecessary complexity. As Albert Einstein once said, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. By grasping the fundamentals and striving for simplicity, individuals can gain deeper levels of understanding that set them apart from amateurs and blowhards
When I talk about mentorship at scale, I refer to all the knowledge I have gained from other people, which I have compiled into checklists. These checklists can be used to boost a post, set up a website, prepare for a client meeting, create a statement of work, and more. By systematizing the checklists, we can make mentorship accessible to everyone. Education and mentorship are essentially the same thing.
In the business world, mentorship is not only valuable for personal growth but also vital for overall success. By implementing a mentorship system, individuals can streamline processes, pass on knowledge, and avoid repeating tasks unnecessarily. Mentors share their experiences, offer guidance, and empower mentees to take ownership of their learning and development.
Digital marketing is hard– there is so much to learn and so much to do that it can be overwhelming.
Too Much Freedom
Plus, you have all this freedom, which is easy to abuse.
Not that you are lazy or do not want to work– but because friends think you are “available” all the time, they invite you out to do things.
So you want to be nice to friends and hang out, thinking you will get back to your projects later tonight or tomorrow.
Except that never happens, and you fall further behind– since more distractions come up, all from well-meaning people who think you are not doing anything.
A shift worker does not understand a digital marketer since their view of work is like a factory job when you show up at a certain time for your shift.
If you are at home sitting on the couch, why not text all day, play with the dogs and goof off?
They do not realize you have project deadlines— team members counting on you and clients putting their business in your hands.
Once Things Start Catching Up With You
So when you realize you are behind, feeling “all by yourself” in your home, it is easy to go into excuse mode.
“Let’s see… what is the best excuse I can come up with?” is what you are used to doing. We can usually think of something since if you look for something bad, you will find it.
And that excuse might legitimately cover you for a day or two, but not for the months you have continued to struggle.
So then you get caught in a loop of being so far behind, team members and courts chasing you down, and feeling unmotivated.
I would rather watch Netflix and play video games to avoid the situation that is only getting worse.
Allow this to continue and the clients will fire us. The team will believe you are not reliable and do not care.
Communication and Discipline Instead of Excuses
The root of this is you not having learned team communication skills and not having the discipline to work in an environment that does not have physical supervision. Sure, you would be more reliable if you had to drive to an office and be there by 8 am each morning and have a rigid schedule. There is much good about being a wage slave.
But if you can learn the discipline to work in digital marketing, you can have amazing time freedom and be wherever you want.
You have to decide if you are going to focus on excuses after the fact or whether you are accountable and proactive.
Do you want to be the receptionist or factory-type worker that responds only when someone comes to the counter or calls? Or are you a leader who takes charge instead of moving only when someone tells you to?
It’s Not Too Late for You
If you are reading this, you have fallen into the most common trap of new digital marketers.
The good news is that it is an easy trap to escape from, as thousands have learned on their path from beginner to pro.
My friend, are you wondering why I asked you to visit this post?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s because we didn’t hear from you for a few days. We tried to reach out to you, but you failed to get back to us.
And when you finally responded, you most likely attempted to justify your absence and lack of communication with a “valid” reason.
That’s why you’re here.
I created this post to show you where I’m coming from. I hope that by now, you understand why I am so critical about good communication.
This blog post is my best attempt to explain this most painful problem. I hope that starting today, you will work on your weaknesses so that we can get back on track.
Why Don’t You Start Now?
Do those five things, and you will see your teammates start applauding you instead of chasing you.
And you will be able to experience the awesome freedom of digital marketing instead of working in a dead-end job in some place you have to drive to each day and back, doing the same boring thing in an endless cycle.
If you want to grow, you are in the right place. And you should expect that learning new skills is a challenge you should be up to.
Now let us get going since the team and our clients are counting on you and rooting for you!
The proliferation of sham PR agencies is a mounting concern nowadays. These firms, masquerading as reputable providers of PR services, frequently lack the necessary skill set or acumen to excel in the industry. Despite their glaring deficiencies, these con artists are still able to dupe unsuspecting clients into shelling out exorbitant sums of money. As a result, it falls upon investigative journalists to shed light on these fraudulent outfits and expose them for the charlatans they truly are.
In some cases, these fake PR agencies may even go so far as to fabricate press releases and news stories to promote their clients’ businesses, further perpetuating a culture of deception and misinformation. In this extension of our previous article, Lira Brothers and the Fraudulent PR Agency of Empathy Firm we will delve deeper into the world of fake PR agencies, exploring masterminds behind the curtains & their tactics to lure in unsuspecting clients and their actions’ impact on the public and the media industry as a whole.
Dave Valentine is another mastermind in the world of fake PR, claiming to be running seven different agencies and having stakes in a few of them but unlike when we talked to one of the companies he was able to trick into giving him control— Empathy Firm– and have Lira brothers on record saying that Dave doesn’t own seven companies and doesn’t have any money. Yet there are several podcasts with Dave Valentine making boastful claims.
Seven businesses that he constantly boasts about, yet In several of his podcasts and PR articles, he didn’t mention anything other than Avadel. There are two different companies which are VHS Design Company, Fly Valentine, which he has a connection based on this podcast. Even in the same video, he has another plaque on the wall behind him that has Empathy written on it with the same logo as the fraudulent agency of the Lira brothers, the Empathy Firm whom we exposed previously.
When you look at the first company (a web design company that guarantees sales within five days of the site going up), you see a $20,000 package offering SEO. If you look at the SEO power of this agency offering SEO services, this is what you get (attached, for zeros across the board).
Fly Valentine looks just as fake (see the screenshot showing zero SEO power and zero traffic to the site).
Gavin Lira said that Dave Valentine put $0 into his company in exchange for mentorship in scaling more 7 figure agencies. We can see that these “companies” are clients of each other– with Dave’s fake PR bought by Gavin and the “seen on Forbes” logo plastered across all these sites. Of course, most of these “as seen on” mentions can be bought for under $100, as I demonstrated last week via another honest PR vendor that is truthful about the bought PR they provide.
We decided to connect Andy Valentine (Fly Valentine) with David (it seems he would be the brother) to see its worth. Per Facebook, they are connected. They’re both in Fort Worth, TX – and we can see that Andy lists himself as Director of Business Development at Avadel (Dave’s company that guarantees booked appointments). His LinkedIn page also showed him working under the same title as the defunct Rethink Creative, one of many failed shell agencies put up by Dave Valentine.
There’s nothing we saw that suggests any sketchiness on his part. However, it is interesting to have a family member in a completely different industry working in a marketing / creative space.
Gavin, the founder of the fraud company, the Empathy Firm, confessed that Dave controls his company, where the founder must run all decisions by him.
Yet this company is going under because the Empathy Firm has to employ one of Dave’s friends, even though the firm cannot afford it, and the founder has to live at home, taking zero pay. Gavin mentioned the 35% ownership and control of all decisions until the company hits $2.5MM ARR.
As an entrepreneur and digital marketing expert, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most successful business leaders in the world. Through my experiences, I’ve come to realize that there is one habit that all billionaires have in common: they prioritize their time.
Time is the most precious resource we have. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but how we choose to spend those hours is what sets successful people apart. Al Casey, my mentor and former CEO of American Airlines, once told me, “Time is the only asset we can’t get more of. Make every minute count.” This is a philosophy that has stuck with me throughout my career.
Naveen Jain, a friend and fellow entrepreneur, echoes this sentiment. He has said, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” Jain is the founder of several successful companies, including Moon Express and Viome, and he credits his time management skills for much of his success.
Mark Lack, a renowned speaker and entrepreneur, agrees that time management is key to success. He has said, “The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is not prioritizing their time. You need to focus on the activities that will have the biggest impact on your business.” Lack has built multiple successful companies, including Shorten the Gap and The Peak Performance Club, and he attributes much of his success to his ability to manage his time effectively.
So, what does it mean to prioritize your time? It means understanding what activities are most important and focusing your efforts on those activities. It means saying no to distractions and time-wasting activities that don’t contribute to your goals. It means being intentional with your time and setting clear priorities.
As an entrepreneur, I understand the importance of prioritizing my time. I focus on the activities that will have the biggest impact on my business and delegate the rest to my team. I use tools like calendar blocking and time tracking to ensure that I am making the most of my time each day.
If you want to be successful, take a cue from the billionaires and prioritize your time. Remember, time is the one asset we can never get more of. Make every minute count.