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This post was most recently updated on June 7th, 2010

Internet Marketing is very competitive.  To gain a competitive edge, most serious internet marketers seek out a success mentor. A mentor is a knowledgeable coach that is often the difference between failure and success.  A good mentor can be just what you need to get unstuck and surge forward in your ability to create a powerful personal brand, and unleash the power of attraction marketing to pull a steady stream of prospects, clients and downlines into your sales funnels and business opportunities.

Whether you are a newbie or a well-established internet marketer, you will rarely be able to break the plateau and advance to the next level of your internet marketing goals without the seasoned, objective and knowledgeable assistance of a personal mentor.

When I first joined a syndication tribe, I was one of the first to sign up and won a FREE ONE HOUR MENTORSHIP.  I spent my hour with Kary Rogney, who really helped me to focus in on the tools I needed to develop to reach some specific goals I had in mind.

The greatest value Kary imparted to me in that hour was in revealing the steps I needed to take to get to my destination.  Now, it wasn’t so much that I hadn’t already heard a lot of the things he taught me, but made it so clear and simple because he was looking critically at what I was doing.  He offered an outside, objective perspective.  Even though I had already educated myself about what I needed to do to be successful, I chose to work directly with Kary so that I could get a professional review of whether or not I was putting the tools I had collected to their best use.  I had already been familiar with Kary from his webinars.  I knew how he made things easy to understand, maybe because he is a first grade teacher.  Besides his vast knowledge, he didn’t try to overwhelm me.  That made me comfortable because when someone tells me 100 things to do, I begin to fade out.

With Kary’s mentorship, I learned to put many things into action.  I’d already learned many of these things in theory from classes and readings.  But my gratitude for learning how to put them to use to achieve my specific goals was beyond measure.

I recall this account of my experience with a mentor to illustrate how important it is to work with someone who knows the ropes first hand, and can show them to you in a way that is direct, simple and breathes life into your dreams.  This is the value of working with a good mentor.


You might wonder what qualifies me to discuss mentorship at all.  The truth is, that even though I sought mentorship from Kary Rogney, I’ve been a mentor myself for many years.  I’ve helped coach thousands of people to success in achieving their particular goals.  But I am always aware that to maximize my effectiveness as a mentor, I must step back from time to time and sharpen my own skills and strategies.  That’s when I turn to a mentor myself.  As a mentor, I bear the responsibility of learning as much as I can about my approach to helping others.  It becomes an ongoing process if you want to keep your skills honed.

Chances are… you’ve already got “the tools”.  My job is to show you how to use them.

If you wanted to be a carpenter, chances are you’d probably go out and buy a whole lot of tools to use.  But just possessing them is insufficient.  You’d also have to learn how to use them.  You’d need to know you’re using the right tools, the best types, and you’d have to know how to keep them sharpened and usable if you were to do the best job possible.

Of course, during mentoring, I might suggest you get some new tools, or put others on the back shelf for the time being.  I’d help you prioritize which tools to become skilled in first, and then which ones you’d need to advance to.  In this way, you’d learn to use your tools with particular attention given to exactly what you want to make.  But instead of wasting many years of trial and error, or in ruining expensive tools with common errors, and having to waste money and time buying more… you’d get an insider’s hand-holding direction from a master craftsman.  This would take you from being a simple apprentice to a master craftsman yourself, in as little time and with as little financial burden and learning frustrations as possible.

Communication Skills

When choosing a mentor to work with, be sure to find someone who has excellent communication skills.   Make sure it is someone who is going to teach you, not just “what to do”, but what YOU need to do to reach YOUR specific goals.

A mentor is a personal coach and guide, not a teacher.  A teacher may help you understand the history of carpentry, and various techniques that “builders” use for various construction projects.  But as a mentor, I am going to focus on showing you what specific technique or skill-set YOU need to employ NOW… today… to get from where you are to the very next level.  Once that is accomplished, we work on the next level… and so forth.

In other words, as your mentor, I must demonstrate the skills to stand in your shoes, and to effectively communicate to you what you need to do today, to get to exactly where you want to be tomorrow.  In order to do this, I need to be a good listener first and foremost.  Good mentorship requires not only that I give you useful information, but also that I listen carefully to what you want to achieve so I know I’m giving you the information, tools and skills that you require to achieve the goals YOU want to achieve.   As the old saying goes, “listening is an art,” and it’s an art that is carefully cultivated by the best mentors.


Mentorship requires responsibility.  I am responsible to my clients, to be fully aware of what they are doing with their lives as well as their business or career. Kary began our session by asking me what I wanted to accomplish.  That was his way of “listening” to me.  This was his way of assuming responsibility for being my mentor.  He asked me a few questions designed to explore my personal situation so that he could then determine the best course for me to pursue.

That was his way of being responsible for his client – to introduce the skills he knew I’d need to gain to pursue my passion.  He then proceeded to give me the information I needed in order to put the skills to use.

A mentor can’t just write lessons a, b, c, etc.  When I mentor a client, I first get into the mechanics of their business, their passions, and their long-term goals.  Then I dig down into my client’s knowledge base to determine the guidance I need to give.

This cannot be Cookie Cutter guidance.  It must be intimate mentorship based on an organically grown one-on-one relationship.  Cookie Cutter responses are for our auto-responders and introductory webinars and classes.  Cookie Cutter intervention plays no role in my mentorship process

You need a mentor to be a mentor!

Some of my best clients have been those seeking to learn to be mentors in their own right.  If you ever considered being a mentor or coach, consider a few things.  How can you ever teach something you have not learned yourself?  If you are offering mentorship, you certainly need a mentor yourself.

It is well known that the most successful people in internet marketing have made extensive use of mentors.  To make money you must spend money. Mentorship is absolutely critical if you are going to succeed in your online business.  It’s extremely rare for a person to succeed in any business or undertaking without a coach or a mentor.  If you are serious about succeeding, mentorship is the first and fastest way for you to begin.

Whatever Your Internet Marketing Niche Is, You’re Already a Mentor

For those of you who are not offering mentorship, you are selling something or you wouldn’t be here.  You have put yourself in a position of authority and have branded yourself that way.  So, in fact, you are already mentoring.

Please keep in mind that whatever you do, you must keep your mentoring skills fine-tuned.  Keep on learning, keep on perfecting your skills and you will go a long way!

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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  1. Nelson Schroeder March 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    My Mentor has this saying: “Most people don’t know what they don’t know but they think they know. It is a rare combination of Arrogance and Ignorance”
    Your right on with the need of Mentoring.
    .-= Nelson Schroeder´s last blog ..OMG!…..I’ve Found My Niche =-.

  2. Dona Merrill
    March 26, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Thanks Raisa

    I’ve been mentoring for years, but not on the internet. Now I’m out of my closet and rolling on the net. I’ve learned many things along the way of the responsibility of being a mentor. We all need one in different facets in our lives.

    Thanks for responding, Love Donna

  3. Raisa Garrido March 25, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    Great Donna!,

    To have a mentor is really a key to succeed, and as you said, is often the differene between failure and success. “Havig the tools and not getting the results it’s frustrating.
    There you see the difference between having a mentor versus trying to do it by yourself.

    Keep being a mentor!
    .-= Raisa Garrido´s last blog ..Cambia tu Manera de Pensar y Cambiará tu vida =-.

  4. Christy Dutilly March 25, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    You are so on target about the responsibility of a mentor. Thanks for being clear about that!
    .-= Christy Dutilly´s last blog ..Gratitude and Appreciation Marketing =-.

  5. David A Haines March 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mentors. I remember struggling when I thought I could do it all on my own. And I agree with Sandhan, the accountability factor can’t be overlooked.

    Great Article Donna!


    David Haines
    .-= David A Haines´s last blog ..Are We Adding Value? =-.

    • Anonymous March 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

      Thanks David
      I see we are all on the same page here with accountability. I agree with Sandhan too. Isn’t she great?

  6. Sharon Hartman March 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    WOW Donna! Great Post.

    Everyone needs a mentor…and you’re right, even the most successful people have mentors!

    It is so important when mentoring to see John Smith thru John Smiths eyes! That’s why when mentoring, we must learn to ask questions and then LISTEN!

    We were given 2 ears and one mouth to listen twice as much as we speak.

    We must all keep learning so we can keep on teaching and sharing. Having a great mentor will help us accomplish this!

    .-= Sharon Hartman´s last blog ..How To Create and Why You Need…A Gravatar =-.

  7. Karla Setchel March 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    Thanks Donna!

    So glad I’m not alone in “needing someone to talk me through” what I’m trying to learn rather than just trying to figure it out from written instructions!

    Karla’s last blog http://karlasetchel.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/fibromyalgiach…-support-group/

  8. admin March 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Thanks Sadhan, I agree that the element of accountability is very important. We have to keep ’em enthused and excited. We have to “check their homework” i.e. their productivity. We, as mentors are accountable for that and so much more. Thanks for replying, Donna


  9. Sandhan March 25, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    The thing I love best about mentoring and being mentored is the element of accountability…

    Love to know what Kary told you were the essential tools you needed to take to get on track…maybe the next blog post??

  10. admin March 25, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    Hey Krista, Kary was great! I use mentors from time to time for all those different things I need to learn and keep up with. There is so much information out there and sometimes we can get overwhelmed. The technology part is where I use a mentor at this point.

    The more I learn, the more I can teach. It is an ongoing process.

    Thanks again,

  11. admin March 25, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    Yes Glyna, we do have the tools, but sometimes we forget to open up that tool box. lol

  12. admin March 25, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    Thanks Val for understanding this article. As mentors we need to keep people on point and not slide away. It happens so frequently doesn’t it?

  13. admin March 25, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    Thank you Kimberly for your kind words and insight. Sometimes in this business especially, we over extend ourselves. A good mentor won’t let you do that. Take one thing at a time, master it and pass it along.
    Thanks Again, Donna

  14. Robin Lynn Brooks March 24, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    I don’t think enough people realize all of the mentor-ship
    points (or even the half!)you have mentioned here. It is a
    real responsibility to assume the role and invite yourself
    into a part of someone’s life. I appreciate what you share
    here and will surely refer back often myself. Really great
    pointers and a real good feeling hearing you personally.
    .-= Robin Lynn Brooks´s last blog ..First Colors of Spring Planning My Garden =-.

  15. Krista Abbott March 24, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    Wow, looks like Kary gave you a lot of value in the one on one mentoring session. The world of internet marketing is very unique, and having someone who has blazed the trail help us get off on the right track. I was so thankful for the awesome info from my one on one coach. Thanks for sharing with us here what you gleaned from your session.

    .-= Krista Abbott´s last blog ..Are you using the right Key Words for SEO? =-.

  16. Glyna Humm March 24, 2010 at 12:37 am #

    Donna – You really make some great points. You may have all the tools you need in front of you but if you don’t know how to use them effectively, it is no use. Thansk for the information.
    .-= Glyna Humm´s last blog ..Google Buzz – Ready to Sting or Get Stung? =-.

  17. Val Wilcox March 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    What a great article spelling out the reasons to find a mentor and move forward in your life. Accountability in following through is so vital to achieving the results we desire. A mentor is not going to let you slide.
    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..“Woo-Hoo, What A Ride!” =-.

  18. Kimberly Castleberry March 23, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Everyone needs a mentor to become a mentor is a pretty nice way to look at it. You really hit home with a lot of the mindset required to even BE coach-able by a mentor however. There’s a limit to how much a mentor can guide our steps if we flat out refuse to TAKE the steps needed. Mentors (coaches) bring so much value to our lives. They take us out of our comfort zone and hold us accountable to realistic coals that we may not have been willing to reach for or that we may have over-reached for and set ourselves up for failure. Coaches keep it real. Thanks for all you’ve done for me!
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry´s last blog ..Social Bookmarking Automation How-To: Onlywire =-.

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