How to Be a Great Mentor

3 Keys from the Best-Selling Author of "Stand Out"

This is a guest post from Dorie Clark. Dorie is a marketing strategist who teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is the author of the amazing new book, Stand Out. For more from Dorie, check out my recent podcast interview with her.

One of the things I like best about Matt’s blog is its emphasis on the importance of giving back, and having a purpose beyond just making money. Abraham Maslow famously developed his “hierarchy of needs,” expressing the things (starting with food and water, and moving toward purpose and fulfillment) that a human must have in order to thrive.

How to Be a Great Mentor

The highest point on the scale, Maslow realized, was self-transcendence, or going beyond our own individual experience. Self-transcendence can be understood spiritually, but it also reflects a fundamental truth about thought leadership: once you’ve achieved your own goals, the next—profoundly fulfilling—step is to help teach others how to achieve theirs. It’s rare behavior in a world filled with so many constantly striving professionals. But it’s one that legendary marketer and author Seth Godin has embraced, and one we can all learn from.

Godin, whom I profiled in my new book Stand Out, may be unique among top business thinkers in running his own periodic internship programs. It’s quite likely the interns would shell out substantial money for the opportunity to get to know Godin; but as part of his ethos of generosity, he does the opposite and pays them. His program is so popular, its acceptance rate is lower than Harvard Business School’s. Tim Walker, who interned with Godin in 2013, describes the practices that make Godin a great mentor – and which you can follow to up your mentorship A game.

4 “Musts” to Make the Leap from Successful to VERY Successful

I’m going to make one assumption about you as I write this post:

You are already a successful person.

I know that to be true because unsuccessful people don’t usually read self-improvement blogs. No, you may not be a millionaire yet, your business may still be virtually unknown, or you haven’t gotten the promotion you’ve wanted for the past two years, but the very act of reading this shows me you are already successful. But I also know that you want to take it to the next level. So how do you do that?

Go from successful to very successful
To make the leap from successful to very successful, there are four things you must learn to do. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

To make the leap from successful to very successful, there are four things you must learn to do. In studying the most successful people in history, I’ve found that each of them clearly learned to do each of these. Some learned them earlier than others. But eventually they learned them all before they reached the level of very successful.

4 “musts” to make the leap from successful to very successful

1. You must learn the magic word.

My Entrepreneurial Journey | On Fire Interview with John Lee Dumas

How did I end up here?

How did I end up an entrepreneur, working my own schedule, choosing my own clients, and enjoying my work?

Well it wasn’t all cupcakes and lollipops, that is for sure.

The journey of entrepreneurship is a winding road

I recently had the pleasure of sharing my story with John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire. John’s podcast is one of the top-ranked podcasts in iTunes. It’s a seven-day-a-week podcast that has featured guests like Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, and me (you tell me which one of those is not like the other).

The Earth Without Art

The “earth” without “art” is just “eh.”

Perhaps you have heard that before.


The Earth Without Art is "Eh"
Let me put it another way for you though:

The earth without your art is just “eh.”

It’s missing something. It’s missing something only you can bring.

Art is not just what most people typically think of as “art.” It’s not just paintings, sculptures, music, and poetry.

Art is leading well. It’s parenting well. It’s in discovery, invention, and anytime pen hits paper (or fingers hit keyboards). Every email you send has the potential to be art. Every word you speak, every idea you think up in the shower, and every time you welcome your spouse or children home has the potential to be a work of art.

You Are an Artist, Now Go Act Like One

We are all artists now.

That is the declaration Seth Godin makes in the opening of his new book, The Icarus Deception.

The Icarus Deception Book by Seth Godin

Your comfort zone says otherwise. Your comfort zone says:

“School taught me to keep my head down, raise my hand to speak, get a good job with health insurance and maybe, just maybe my 401(k) will allow me one day to make art.”

That is the lie of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is the devil on your shoulder telling you that you can never truly be an artist. It tells you that your work doesn’t matter and that the art that is clamoring to leap out of you will always be restrained by societal pressures, bills to pay, and the ringing words of all those who have laughed at the dreamers.

If you are reading this post and haven’t awakened to the reality that our economy is drastically different than it was twenty years ago, I need to tell you something:


Our economy is drastically different than it was ten years ago. It’s probably going to be different in three years…or thirty minutes.

A Revolution is Total Chaos

Do you want a life of total chaos?

Stick with me on this…

Seth Godin writes in his new book, The Icarus Deception:

A Revolution is total chaos. That’s what makes it a Revolution.

The Thank You Revolution is no different. It is total chaos. But in a good way.

The Thank You Revolution by Matt McWillliams
If you practice the discipline of writing at least one thank you note each week for a year, you absolutely will:

  1. Spend more time developing relationships than ever before.
  2. Get more job offers than ever before.
  3. Get invited to more lunches with colleagues and business superiors than ever before.
  4. Get invited to more birthday parties, weddings, and corporate retreats than ever before.
  5. Have more passion in your marriage.
  6. Probably get promoted or get groomed for a promotion.
  7. Make more money.
  8. Develop deep connections that could result in new business opportunities.
  9. Get special treatment from your bosses, baristas at the local coffee shop, and everyone else who receives them.