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A reflection on my internet mentors

Gone are the days when mentors were people you worked with in person. Today, the internet has allowed us to find people who inspire us, and use them as our own mentors.

Internet mentor faces

What are internet mentors?

Well, lets start with what a mentor is. One way of describing a mentor is a person who guides you and provides you with knowledge and wisdom. You could have a business mentor, a workout mentor, a general "life coach".

So then, what is an internet mentor?

Today we have the ability to find people through the internet. As people do, we follow people who; entertain us, inspire us, or educate us. Over time we create our own world of information provided to us by these people we follow online. This information becomes what we hear, what we think, what we say and what we believe.

I'm sure you've heard the saying "you're the average of your five closest friends".

Well the same applies on the internet. You are what you consume.

So this article will talk about the people on the internet I listen to the most. You've most likely heard of them before. But I'll still give you a brief overview of what they're doing on the internet, and most importantly why I listen to them.

Tim Ferriss

Tim is definitely the person I've been listening to the longest. He describes himself as a "human guinee pig", experimenting with different tools, mindsets and habbits. He has a very successful podcast with a wide range of guests, and has written multiple books. His latest, "Tools of Titans" and "Tribe of Mentors" both center around learning from outstanding individuals.

Why I listen to Tim

Tim, without-a-doubt, asks the most unusual, yet fascinating questions. These days I find myself living for the moments where you say "Oh I never thought of that". That's what listening to Tim is like, but pretty much all the time. He's also an avid preacher of stoicism.

Stoicism is a philosophical system that focusses on separating the things you can control from the things you can't control, and then instils habits and exercises in your daily practice such that you can focus as much of your energy as possible on the things you can control. Tim Ferriss

I think one way you could get better at asking thought-provoking questions is by being more skeptical. Don't believe or trust easily. This mindset of not buying in to everything will force you to re-evaluate your sources of information, and essentially question everything.

I think Tims questions are actually so powerful that they shape the way you think and approach problem solving. Here's one I enjoy:

If you were forced to work only two hours per week on your business, what would you do in those two hours?

It's not a trick question. There's no funny gotcha answer here. Two hours is a very exagerated amount of time. But it's meant to make you evaluate what your priorities are. Going hand in hand with this is a question I believe he got from Peter Thiel:

How could you achieve your ten-year business plan in 6 months?

These questions are meant to make you stretch your brain and think outside the box. Instead of following a ten-year plan, a question like this could help brainstorm solutions that might get you 80% of the results you were after, but ultimately save you years.

There is a plethora of content to consume from Tim. He's done TED talks, numerous podcast episodes, books, blog posts, his newsletter etc. I can't recommend following him enough.

Simon Sinek

Simon is very well known for his books on leadership, such as Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last and most recently, The Infinite Game. He's also very well known for the internet-breaking speech about Millenials.

Why I listen to Simon

Simon has probably had the most influence on me. He describes himself to be an optimist, and is very focussed on helping people and companies create safe working environments. Safe in the sense that people wake up inspired to go to work, love what they do, and return at the end of their day with a feeling of fulfillment. He tells capturing stories about the US military and how we can apply their learnings to our own lives and businesses. He's an incredibly articulate speaker, but mostly he strikes me as a caring and genuine person.

Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last have shaped my perception of not only creating a great company culture but also the way I carry myself as an individual.

I pretty much consume everything there is when it comes to Simon, and I highly recommend following him.

Joe Rogan

Joe runs one of the most popular podcasts called the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) which has millions of followers on YouTube. He's also been a part of the UFC for about 20 years. On top of that he's also been an active stand-up comedian.

Joe's podcast has had so many guests. Politicians, athletes, comedians, actors, CEO's of large companies. The diversity of guests is largely because Joe is an extremely open-minded person. He's fully engaged with his guests, and is known to challenge them on their opinions.

Here's why I like the JRE podcast:

  • The conversations he has normally range between two and three hours long. This allows them to really dive deep into a topic.
  • The format is very relaxed. Sometimes when you listen to a podcast it feels too much like an interview. Whereas with Joe, the conversation flows so well that you never really think it's an interview. It's more like two people are meeting up to chat.
  • It humanizes his guests. This is a huge point. The long-form conversation along with the relaxed vibe normally allows the guest to just be themselves. A good example is the episode with Post Malone. It's very rare that you as a listener get to "hang out" with a celebrity for such a long period of time. And they talk about silly topics (if you watch JRE you'll know how much the conversation goes into aliens, conspiracies, monkeys etc.) But that's why it's so good! Humanizing the guest makes you have a completely new perspective of the guest. You stop looking at them like a celebrity, and more like a human.

Why I listen to Joe

When I say I listen to Joe, I mean it figuratively and literally. I listen to the JRE very regularly. Not only for entertainment but also for general information. Joe's ability to have such an open mind is inspiring. He's a great listener and speaker. While I can understand he might not be everyones cup of tea, I enjoy his perspective on a lot of topics and use him and his show as a continuous source of entertainment and as a way to be introduced to other amazing people out in the world.

Darin Olien

Darin is a health and wellness expert mainly known for his books Superfood and Superlife. He recently gained some fame through a Netflix series he did with with Zac Efron called Down To Earth. The show follows the two of them travelling around the world, introducing health and sustainable ways of living. It's a great show, and made me curious about Darins work.

I read his book, Superlife, and can definitely say it has changed the way I view food and life in general. For a while I've been concious of what I eat, but Superlife really helped educate me in areas of health I didn't even know about it. I highly recommend giving it a read!

Why I listen to Darin

Darin's personality is very warm and positive. His mission of creating a healthier and more sustainable future is something I'm inspired by. I constantly listen to what he has to say, and as of right now, he has definitely had the most impact on my lifestyle. He's made me much more aware of everything I eat, drink, buy and use. It goes without saying, you absolutely should follow him - he'll probably change your life too.

David Goggins

I first heard of Goggins in Living With A Seal by Jesse Itzler. I can't remember what made me read this book but I'm so glad I did. It's more about Jesse and what he learned living with Goggins for a month. But I was mostly glad that I came to know who Goggins was. He later featured on numerous podcasts, including the JRE. He also wrote Can't Hurt Me, a fantastic self-help book.

Why I listen to Goggins

Goggins has been coined many terms including "the hardest man on Earth". His story is so inpirational, and his mindset has seriously influenced my own. I mostly refer to his 40% rule. Which is that whenever you feel you are completely finished, you've just reached 40% of what you're capable of. I've applied this in the gym, and even when it comes to work. His talk of "calacing your mind" is something I now completely understand. He might seem absolutely crazy from the outside, and he kind of is, but I think if there's anyone on this list you should start with, it's Goggins.

Naval Ravikant

Naval is the wisest person I think I've ever listened to. I first heard of him through Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans. I also watched his episode of the JRE. To give you an idea of the conversation in that episode; everything that Naval said was so intuitive and simple that Joe was constantly making "mmhmmm" and "aaahhhh" sounds. And that's not what Joe's normally like. The typical conversation goes back and forth. But with Naval, his opinions were so profound that it felt like someone was giving you those "aha" moments. Except it happened the entire two hours of the episode.

Why I listen to Naval

Naval is an immaculate speaker, and constantly provides these gold nuggets of wisdom and knowledge. His opinions on the future and where we're going as a species are very interesting. I like keeping up to date with his podcast, and really any kind of content he puts out on the internet. I think he's a great example of someone you could study. His episode on the JRE would be the first place I'd start.

Gary Vaynerchuck

If you're on YouTube or Instagram, I'm sure you've heard of Gary Vee. He's probably the most active person on social media today. He's nutorious for pioneering "hustle" culture and entrepreneurship.

Why I listen to Gary

Like Joe Rogan, I think Gary is quite misunderstood, but this should sum him up sufficely; Gary's advice depends on the person he's giving it to. If you are happy with your life and you don't complain, he doesn't have any advice for you. But if you aren't happy or you complain about your situation, he has a very simple message - eat shit for now so that later you don't have to. He's very big on hustling, working as hard as you can, being frugal and most importantly not trying to impress anyone.

Why I listen to Gary

I really like his mindset when it comes to wanting to achieve more. The only thing you have control of is how much and how hard you work. The more you work, the better your chance of succeeding. I know that's a very blanket statement and probably not true in a lot of cases. But the principle remains that if you want to succeed you need to only blame yourself. This kind of mindset has helped me become more disciplined and determined when working on my own projects.

Patrick Bet-David

Patrick is the creator of the YouTube channel Valuetainment. It has posted a serious amount of content when it comes to entrepreneurship and business. If there's anyone on this list that most embodies a mentor, it's Patrick. This is because the YouTube channel is very much an educational channel. I'd say 90% of the videos are specifically trying to teach certain concepts. The videos cover everything from money principles, sales and marketing, leadership to even how to start a family.

Why I listen to Patrick

I thoroughly enjoy Valuetainment and more recently the interviews Patrick has done with countless world-class performers. He's a great host, speaker, leader and most importantly, a great teacher. I always feel like a learned something new after watching one of this videos.

Worthy mentions

The following people are also active online and worth following