How to get mentored by an online pro and fast-forward your learning…sort of

This post was inspired by my newfound home boy, Joel Runyon. The article that he wrote that brought about this thought can be found here.

***A quick side-note on Joel. There’s some discussion going on throughout the Interwebs over who he most-closely resembles. Let’s settle this debate once and for all in the comments. Who do you think Master Runyon most closely resembles (celebrity-wise)?? Check out a pic of this handsome stud here***

Presenting a new word – “Infolanche”

Meaning: An avalanche of information.

I’m not going to go into a long schpeal about how much information is out there. I’m still wondering if I spelled “schpeal” correctly in that last sentence…anyways, y’all know that the connected Internet has more information available than Shaq has nicknames. In fact, it seems as though we’re in the midst of an information (attention) gold rush right now.

So many wonderful flavors to choose from! Which one do I choose from?

The delicious Information Buffet. Yummmmm!

For you newbies our there (and yes, there are a LOT that read this blog. I love my noobs!), you may be wondering “Where do I start?” Great question! Here’s a quick list of suggestions:

  • Take note of the other people that are linked to and mentioned on this blog. They’re folks that I find very interesting and intriguing (in some cases, entertaining as well).
  • Search Twitter for different topics that interest you (sports, money, underwater basket weaving…whatever).
  • Find out what online personalities your friends end up reading or learning from also (Which really goes hand in hand with the first bullet above)

What I’m saying is this: go through the Internet Info-Buffet and throw a bunch of stuff on your plate. Look around, get a taste for what looks good. It’s not all going to be good, but you’ll find some tasty stuff! Once you’ve figured out what you like…

Go back for seconds

Ahhh seconds. This is the magic moment for me every time I go to Ponderosa or and Old Country Buffet. I usually go for a delicious pizza-esque thing, or some nice fried chicken. But forget what I like to eat, let’s get back to the info-buffet analogy.

You’ve figured out what blogs and info sources you like, now it’s time to dig in and get some good eats! This is where the real magic that Joel led me to comes in. (Let’s be clear that I’m dropping the buffet analogy right……now.)

Getting mentored by your favorite blogger

If you haven’t clicked the link to Joel’s post that gave me this wonderful idea, do it now. If you’re still lazy and aren’t going to click it, I’ll share it with you here.

The archives.

No, I’m not talking about something from National Treasure or Indiana Jones. I’m talking about your favorite blogger’s blog archives. Here’s why reading the archives can help you get (sort of) mentored by your favorite online personality:

At one point in ________’s (insert favorite blogger’s name here) history, they were just starting out. If you’re new to blogging, you’re actually in the same position they’re in right now. Cool, huh?

Going through their archives is like taking a trip back in time to where they were when they first began. You get to see all the mistakes they’ve made, how awkward their writing style (or video/audio presence) was, and in most cases, you can almost detect how “nervous” they were (maybe you’re feeling the same way right now?).

Starting chronologically and working your way through (going to the site map section of their website helps to do this) to the present day gives you the opportunity to learn as they learned. Especially if this is somebody you admire and want to emulate in some fashion.

I’m currently working my way through Tim Ferriss’ archives (here’s his sitemap that I’m using), so I can learn some of the thought-processes that were going through his mind when he was just beginning as well.  There’s much wisdom to be found by doing this!

But won’t this “time travel” reading take a lot of time?

Yes. But that’s why you went through the “buffet” line first to see what you did and didn’t like (ok I brought back the buffet analogy just ONE more time). On your second time through the line, you didn’t pick up the stuff you didn’t like, did you? So, if you’re subscribing to blogs you don’t read, knock that junk out!

Since you’re focusing on someone that you really would want to mentor you, it shouldn’t be a problem to only laser-beam focus on the stuff they’ve written about. They may not have the time to give you the full history of how they arrived at where they are now, but by reading through their archives, you already have this advantage. Isn’t technology just plain wonderful?

Books baby, books!

There’s a future post cooking up here at TFS on self-development and education, but for now I’ll leave you with this quote from Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. I’ll give you the full quote and then modify it a little for the sake of this post (you’ll understand what I mean fo’ sho’!).

“You’ll be the same person 5 years from now as you are today except for 2 things: The people you meet, and the books you read”

and modified for this post:

“You’ll be the same person 5 months from now as you are today except for 2 things: The people you meet, and the blogs you read”

Going through the archives is like spending the past few months/years with that blogger and learning as they learn. I’m loving the process right now, and if you try it, you will too.

Cheers mates!

– JC

P.S. – Don’t forget to answer the question from above about my buddy Joel. He’s gonna love the feedback 😉

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