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"Mentor Me! I Cannot Think For Myself!"

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  • "Mentor Me! I Cannot Think For Myself!"

    Why does everyone want mentors now? Call me a grumpy Gen X, but it seems to me like laziness and an unwillingness to take full responsibility for your own actions.

    What is so wrong with putting in the hard yards yourself? Read, use the internet, research, associate with other property investors, ask questions, employ professionals.

    It's the information age, people! With enough research and good judgement, you could run a property investment business without leaving your house.

    Granted there are generous, experienced souls who may receive deep gratification from helping out newcomers. But sheesh, some people just seem to want the quickfix spoonfeed.

    What are these newcomers bringing to the table? Short-term enthusiasm is not enough to cut it! I know there is a lot of learning and information to process in the short term when venturing into this field - but with patience, persistence and courage it's all do-able.

    Quit with the squawking baby bird act! Quit the search for the magic formula! Just thoughtfully start getting your hands dirty!

  • #2
    Tommorrow is not soon enough!

    In some ways I think it is a reflection of modern society.

    Immediate gratification.

    Quick fixes.

    And, most importantly, refusing to accept responsibility for your own actions.

    Mentors can fill all these gaps.

    However, it never ceases to amaze me how willing people are to effectively hand over their financial destiny to others (be it an individual, or an organisation).

    Nor do I fail to be amazed how indoctrinated some people become over a certain way of doing things (the sausage factory approach that I mentioned recently).

    Combine these two factors and you have a willing supply of clones / disciples / zombies / puppets (choose your level of brainwashing).

    But what might be even more scarier than people unwilling to control their own destiny - is the quality of the people they hand it over to.

    From zero to hero in how long?!

    Some of these people haven't even been through a full property cycle, yet they are put on pedestals as experts. Sure, they might have made lots of money during the boom (as did lots of people) - but have they earned their stripes during the slowdown part of the cycle?

    Have they proven what it takes to accumulate wealth over a sustained period of time? Often not.

    But again - this is the society we live in. Instant this, instant that.

    I've been investing as long as some of these people and I don't claim to be an expert on the property market...

    ....but then I'm not selling my services as a mentor or seminar speaker, either.

    Last edited by Mark_B; 30-08-2006, 02:11 PM.
    Comments may not be relevant to individual circumstances. Before making any investment, financial or taxation decision you should consult a professional adviser.


    • #3
      Mentors are great! People who need mentor ROCK as they have courage to ask for help and guidance. Mentors are not made for a passive consumption and will NOT do all the hard work for you (or any), but you will do so much unnecessary hard work without their guidance. They are the ultimate form of leverage - if they are MENTORS, not mentors.

      I would say I've been mentored and I acted as mentor too. Person I mentored is doing better than I do. Some of my mentors I met personally, some I did not. All helped me with two things, basically: to undersatnd myself and changed where the horisont of "what's possible" is.

      If you have zillion years of time, don't mind learning from your own mistakes and snail-paced mediocre results is your cup of tea - great! you don't need a mentor, excellent!

      PS: some of my mentors have failed and had fallen from top with a SPECTACULAR "BANG!" Some are still pulling themselves together, years after. Their advice is worth the weight of lunch ( that you will pay for) in gold.
      Last edited by Ivanhoe; 30-08-2006, 03:17 PM.
      Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


      • #4
        Originally posted by leapy View Post
        Why does everyone want mentors now? Call me a grumpy Gen X, but it seems to me like laziness and an unwillingness to take full responsibility for your own actions.
        Nice generalisation!

        I would love a mentor. Not to spoon feed me, but for someone who is unbias to bounce ideas off, someone who has been their done that, Not my parents who find problem with every deal i look at.

        Its called being smart and there is nothing wrong with trying to avoid some of the mistakes made by others, that is how we progress.

        As an example i am helping someone 4 years younger than me in a mentoring type role. This person is not week nor feable minded, quite the opposite very ahead of there biological age.

        "Time is the great equalizer. It will either promote or expose you." -Jeff Olson


        • #5
          Replace the word Mentor with Teacher. If we took teachers out of our schools and left it to the kids to work out themselves, what would happen??!

          Ok, slightly different context, but teachers are there to guide the learning process and make it as effective as it can be (within the constraints of the eduction system).

          Mentors are exactly the same. The don't give answers or do the work for you, they help accelerate the learning process and should constantly test you / push you.

          Some people need it, some people don't. Some people want the accelerated path, some are happy to go at their own speed and do their own leaning. Each to their own.

          I've used a mentor onece for a very short period and found it fantastic. My suggestion is to use a mentor (and other forms of eduction / leanring) when you are highly passionate about something and want to accelerate your progress. Otherwise you probably won't have the commitment to it and will grumble about the cost or value.

          As I said - each to their own!



          • #6
            Sure learning from other people's mistakes is a very wise thing.

            But when does mentoring cross the line to become spoonfeeding?

            But perhaps this is the new kiwi culture? Money for this / subsidies for that.

            Where I come from people are encouraged to be a bit more self-determinant.

            Imho you don't help people in the long term by turning them into "assistance junkies".


            btw. I'm Australian.
            Comments may not be relevant to individual circumstances. Before making any investment, financial or taxation decision you should consult a professional adviser.


            • #7
              Networking I don't have an issue with. Mutual information sharing I don't have an issue with. Even paying a property investment coach, I don't have an issue with.

              It's the "be a nice chap and give me your time and accumulated wisdom so I can be rich by next Christmas. You may have walked the road from A to B and learnt many things along the way - but I want to take the fully catered jetplane express. Sponsor me now."

              There is benefit in the shoe leather. Since when did it all become about the destination, and not the journey?


              • #8
                Originally posted by leapy View Post

                It's the "be a nice chap and give me your time and accumulated wisdom so I can be rich by next Christmas. You may have walked the road from A to B and learnt many things along the way - but I want to take the fully catered jetplane express. Sponsor me now."
                Are there really people populating this forum who seriously match the attitude and though process of this description.

                I view people who ASK for a mentor as somebody who has a bit of guts to look outside their own box and see what others have done and how they have progressed.

                Surely anyone who puts their hand up to offer help as a mentor wouldnt waste their time on sombody who wouldnt come up with their own though process.

                Its a blank page for many novice investors. Its a lot more fruitfull to bounce ideas off other investors than the family cat

                No harm in it if everyone is happy with it.




                • #9
                  Forgot to mention - I payed for mentoring (as service) only once (and now relationship with that particular person went far beyond what I paid for - in terms of time and value, also in monetary terms ROI was around 4000% in two month, yes that's four thousand) Note: I think I paid for tuition, but MENTORING was free.
                  All other mentors gave their advice and support free and freely - and I see massive value in FREE advice (from right people though).
                  OTOH if mentor becomes "tutor" - we've got a problem. Student is not self-directed enough, mentor feels like wasting his/her time. Then I would talk $ too (actually $$,$$$) - but it's not mentoring no more.
                  Last edited by Ivanhoe; 30-08-2006, 04:47 PM.
                  Don't argue with idiots, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


                  • #10
                    I have had a number of mentors in my sales career, professionals with more experience that I, there is nothing wrong with learning from a mentor though I would detest paying for one, a true mentor would have had mentors as well. It is the golden rule of mentorship, the knowledge must be passed on as you have received it.


                    • #11
                      It's not the mentoring that is bad but what the student does with it. As a fellow Gen-Xer, I agree with Leapy as a generalisation for many people who use mentors. Mentors make a great crutch. A wonderful piece of evidence to "prove" to themselves and others that they are doing something when in fact they are focussing on the mentoring rather than the reason for the mentoring.
                      You can find me at: Energise Web Design


                      • #12
                        I hesitate to comment in this thread as I do some mentoring myself but I feel compelled to at least make a couple of observations.
                        1. Many of the people who come to me have already tried things on their own, with advice from so called professionals who are not investors, and gotten into some real trouble. So for those people a mentor would have greatly helped when they started, and is often a nevessity to get them dug out of their hole.
                        2. Secondly, many people are simply afraid. Their personality type is such that they get paralysed at the thought of going into millions of dollars worth of debt and something going wrong. Mentoring greatly assists those people to gain confidence and overcome their fear.
                        For those of you, like Leapy and Drelly who have the confidence to do it by yourselves, great, get into it. But think twice before bagging people who want someone to hold their hand for a while. For some of us it's the difference between success and failure.

                        Having said all that I fully endorse Whitts comments to find someone who is actively investing and who has been around for as long as possible. I thnk the key thing is that whoever is helping you is still actively investing so they undestand what you are up against.


                        • #13
                          This topic appeals to me. Over time I have sometimes pointed to what I think are good examples of the attitude of which seeking a mentor is quite often an example.

                          That attitude is that there is a right and proper way to be a property investor and “This is the way you do it!”

                          In trying to put my point across I have made many friends along the way, as I am sure some of you may know.

                          Why mentoring and the other examples of the ‘right and only way to do it’ should be so popular is open to endless debate. There are plenty of valid reasons in this thread alone.

                          One reason not mentioned yet is that for many new investors they simply do not know any different.

                          Over the last few years they have been smothered by a never ending onslaught of books, articles, TV documentaries, websites like this, seminars, and so on, all telling them that if they want to be a property investor then they need to do this and that, and spend this and that, first.

                          Let us look at mentoring as an example. What on earth is wrong with meeting a few people in your daily lives who have been in the game for a while and picking up ideas as you go? What is wrong with joining your local PIA and networking? What is wrong with reading a few books that deal with first, the basics, and second, any specific area you want to move into?

                          I have come across a couple of these mentors and experts. They were a joke. No real experience other than in sounding as though they knew what they were doing (one I remember was trying to convince me of the merits of buying a property on the other island. I can hear his Aussie twang echoing in my ear still.

                          I consistently return to the basics. Nearly always that is all you need to get started. Who has read Dolf de Rous’ small book about how to be a NZ property investor? You can get it from the library. Yes, it is fifteen years old but the basics do not change and anyone with half a brain can adapt those anyway to suit the current year. But no, “That is no good, you need to buy these five books and attend these seminars first”.

                          We have even got to the state where people on this site are asking “How do I make an offer on a house?” For goodness sake! I return to my point. In many cases these people have been brainwashed into thinking that everything must be done in a very specific way.

                          There are a few people who have had some success but from what I can see there are big question marks over some of that. One being that anybody could have made money investing since 2001. I only wish I had bought more. Another being those who find ‘deals’ for others and receive a fee along the way. Well that is not being a property investor, it is being a real estate agent. And what about those who buy a big site and put a new house in the back garden? Investor or builder? But all these newbies are lead to believe that this is all part of what being a property investor is all about, and if they want to be an investor they have to do the same thing.

                          In conclusion:

                          Make yourself a strong coffee; sit down with a small book on the basics; put the book down and think how that fits into your life and your circumstances; then if you need to investigate any particular area a little further then do it; tell yourself that you will not spend more than $250 establishing a plan (including joining your local PIA). Then take a nice hot shower and think of all those people who have spent thousands at RM seminars, on mentors, on finders fees (paying the vendors commission for him – for goodness sake what is wrong with you people?), on 29 books on the shelves in Whittcauls, and so on.

                          Good topic leapy.


                          • #14
                            I actually think mentoring is great and well worth doing with the right mentor and the right attitude. I've used mentoring for sales training, personal development and of course, property.

                            Dean mentioned fear, and I think that everyone feels it to a degree (I know I do!!). Some will act anyway and some won't. A mentor can help put that fear in perspective, temper it with some learning and help you get through the fear barrier.

                            Some people do seem to think that mentoring is the be all and end all though. As if, "all I have to do is pay for this course and I'll make millions". Or they get stuck in the "I haven't learnt enough to act yet" analysis paralysis cycle.

                            Ultimately, only we can take action though. It's not what we learn but what we do with what we learn that matters.
                            You can find me at: Energise Web Design


                            • #15
                              Without the advice of some of the people on this site and other investors I would not have pursued property as an investment, so I am glad that I have had many mentors to date that have helped me tremendesly.

                              Home Buyz
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