We Should Try To Learn More From Other People

By Daniel Scocco

Back when I was at the university (around 2002) I went to live in an apartment with three other students. I didn’t know them prior to moving there, but quickly we became good friends. Then one day I was leaving the building to walk to the university and I noticed one of my friends leaving the garage with a BMW Z3 M. Not familiar? At the time it was one of the best BMWs around, with almost 300hp. Below is a picture.

bmw-m

Needless to say I was shocked when I saw the scene. I approached him and said something like “What the heck dude! You never told me you had a Z3 M!”.

Right after that I obviously questioned him regarding how he managed to buy one, since he apparently was just a student. He told me that he made money buying and selling stuff on a site called eBay. I was surprised, but that was it. I guess at the time all I cared about was partying and having fun (I was 19 after all), so I didn’t pay too much attention to my friend’s entrepreneurial endeavors.

Looking back I wish I had acted differently. That is, I wish I had gone to my friend and said something like “OK, you obviously have something working for you here. You figured something out that other people haven’t, with amazing results. I want that too. Would you be so kind to teach me?”

I am sure my friend would’ve been flattered with such an attitude from my part, and that he would’ve done his best to teach me all he knew about the eBay stuff he was working on. I am also sure I would be making 7 figures annually by now if I had started doing online marketing back in 2002….

Why I am telling you this story? To illustrate the point that learning directly from other people who already achieved what you want to achieve is one of the best ways to succeed, and yet few of us do it.

And here is the interesting part: I don’t think that convincing people to mentor you is that hard. You just need to show you REALLY want it, and that you are willing to do what it takes. The easiest way to do this is probably to find someone in your own city or country, and try to build a relationship. You could start it over the web, but sooner or later you would need to take it to a personal level. Invite the person for a beer, ask if you can pay him a visit some day to see his office and the behind the scenes of his websites and so on. You get the idea.



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24 Responses to “We Should Try To Learn More From Other People”

  • HP van Duuren

    Yes, recently I looked at a few other Bloggers to get a little more inspiration for making new changes on my own Blog. It appears to be working because I see that on some of my Blogs I begin to get more comments than usual.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy – Blogging – Inspiration,
    HP

  • Virtual Character

    We can really learn a lot from others and their endeavors. We may not be unique but the strategy we use in order to be unique entrepreneurs will be good for us. It is really nice to get to know people and learn from them. πŸ™‚

  • Tony

    Daniel,

    Great post, but what I have found is that my company has yielded some great success. I’ve been online since 2006 and we boast $30,000+ in profits each month. No, I’m not big wig blasting a blog such as Shoemoney, etc but I wanted to bring up one point.

    ALL of my friends and family notice that I work from home a lot and always say, “Teach me, teach me!!” I set them aside, teach them a few tricks and they don’t do crap. They just assume it comes while you sit in your underwear.

    Now, I have to just simply say I do consulting with a big firm, or make something up each time so that they don’t bug me. Don’t you get this a lot and isn’t it annoying with people asking and not pulling the trigger? I’m sure your friend felt the same way.

  • Justin P Lambert

    Daniel,

    Great, common sense post. As a naturally shy person, I just plain suck at this sort of thing, and it’s held me back for a long time. I’m just starting to “come out of my shell” recently, with a long way to go, and I’m seeing huge benefits in my freelance career. I wish I’d started so many years ago, just like you said.

    Thanks for the great post!

  • Farouk

    that’s sooo true Daniel, wish i had read this article earlier
    i consider myself very successful now but i could have achieved this success way earlier if i read this long ago

    i wonder what kind of thing is that guy driving now πŸ˜€ a helicopter πŸ™‚ ?

  • Web Marketing Tips

    Certainly … you should keep your eye open and should act on that moment.

    If you would have acted at that time than your bank balance would be more heavier …

  • Vandana

    I agree with what youÒ€ℒre saying. To learn from people who have already achieved success, is the best way to be successful. At present you are my mentor and I love the tips you give. πŸ™‚

  • jason

    Absolutely agreed. Where would any of us bloggers be without inspiration from other bloggers?

  • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

    Modeling how others reached success is absolutely the best way to reach it yourself. You’re right that so few do it. Frankly, I don’t even know if I’m putting enough effort here. Meaning, if I’m aware of this concept, I should try to live up to it more! But I can always improve.

    In a sense, there are maps all over the place on how to reach many kinds of objectives. Most, perhaps, just never put in the effort to fill in all the blanks and reap the reward that’s there to be had.

    Good reminder.

  • vijay

    The idea of a beer is awesome. It worked for me in many instances in past not only in blogging.

  • Aditya Kane

    I think what your are saying here is to keep a great attitude to learning something new. When I started blogging my uncle who is well over 65, has a few patents to his name, got a doctorate from MIT askedn all about blogging.

    He wanted to know about adsense, page views and what all was blogging about.
    He is not a blogger and never took it up. But he was willing to learn something new that day.

    Is’nt that the real trait behind most successful people?

  • Grace Oris

    Hi Daniel. Your example is indeed extreme and would likely freak out the would-be mentor, but I love the idea. Makes me think like in previous ages where the best way to learn a trade was get an apprenticeship under a master. I’m starting to get ideas how to go about this already but I think I’ll stick to email and chat πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the post!

  • Dennis

    So Daniel, how many interns are you aiming at getting with this post?

    For your readers, you can simply do a whois search for the website that your favorite guru owns, find the phone number that is listed for the website and call that person.

    It’s possibly a little more effective than email and more convenient than visiting in person.

    If you want to meet the guru in person without appearing to be a stalker take a seminar that the guru is holding and approach them there.

    For example, Daniel is presenting a seminar on Adsense Optimization at Blog World Expo in Las Vegas. Attend the seminar, you may learn something but you’ll have the opportunity to network with Daniel and other Gurus. If Daniel says no to I’m sure some other wannabe guru will accept your free help.

    Remember you just have to do a little more than the average person in order to reap rewards.

    • Daniel Scocco

      Good points Dennis, and I agree with them.

      Yep Blog World 2010 will be a good place to make some connections.

  • Jens P. Berget

    You’re absolutely right about what you’re saying, but on the other hand some people would find it a little creepy and maybe think that you’re a stalker. But you’ve got a point, because doing what you describe is probably the only way to accomplish what you’re looking for.

    • Daniel Scocco

      OK I re-wrote the last paragraph to make the strategy more doable and less creepy πŸ™‚ .

      • Jens P. Berget

        Now, the last paragraph is awesome πŸ™‚

      • Web Marketing Tips

        Oh … would love to read the earlier last para … πŸ™‚

  • Antone Roundy

    You’d either get a mentor or a restraining order!

    The idea of doing something creative, unexpected, and that shows that you’re serious is definitely valid. Just be careful to avoid creepy.

    • Daniel Scocco

      In my opinion the worst thing that could happen is that the other person will say “No.”

      Big deal? Not in my opinion. If you really want it, even 10 people saying “no” to you won’t stop you.

      • Web Marketing Tips

        Yes we have internet … most powerful tool …

        And believe me GOOGLE will never say NO to you.

  • Samir@Cool SEO Tips

    Daniel what you quoted as an example is an extreme way of wanting something, but can you suggest something which would be possible for someone who lives in a different continent? I mean obviously sending emails won’t work. Joining courses offered by the masters of the trade would work if they do offer it, but it wouldn’t be one-on-one. So is there really a plausible option for a distant newbie willing to learn from a master? What would you be able to offer a new blogger who wants to learn from you?

    • Daniel Scocco

      I am sure there are Aaron Wall’s on your country too, so you don’t need to go to the US to execute the strategy I mentioned.

      In fact you wouldn’t even need to move to a new house, that was just an extreme example I used to make my point.

      You could simply start building a relationship over the web and then offer him a beer sometime, and try to get it from there.

      • Alex Dumitru

        I definitely agree with you. There are thousands of people around us we can learn from.

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