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What to say when you meet someone you admire

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What to Say When You Meet Someone You Admire: When you ask people this question, they LOVE it.
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This week, we’re talking about mastery.

Maybe you want to be better at cooking or fashion or writing. Please god don’t tell me you want to improve your skills at tax-loss harvesting. I have enough nerds for readers.

So here’s a question: What do you do when you meet someone you admire?

I’ve stood there before tongue-tied. Or I just said, “Hi, I’m a big fan” (then came up with 20 amazingly clever sayings two hours later).

Instead, use this great question when you meet someone you admire:

“I’m a big fan and I’m curious: Who do you learn from?”

See, whenever I meet someone admire, I want to know who inspires them, which books they read, and who their mentors are.

When you ask people this question, they LOVE it.

People who are the best at what they do — masters of their craft — know that they wouldn’t have achieved the success they have if it weren’t for their mentors along the way.

And so, tomorrow, I get the very special opportunity to introduce you to one of my mentors — someone who’s had a transformational influence on my personal and professional life.

I bought his $10 book and was leafing through it when one of his paragraphs (in the first 2 chapters) caught my eye. I stopped cold, pulled out a pen, and started writing.

Within one month, that idea generated over $100,000 for me. More importantly, it actually made my business more fun to run.

I’ve told this story a couple times. The #1 question I get is — “RAMIT, WHAT BOOK WAS THAT?” And I’ll tell you the exact book, tomorrow.

But there are lots of books out there that have helped people make more money, improve their relationships, get healthier, etc.

It’s not just the information that matters. 

It’s about finding the right material and APPLYING it to your situation. (More on this tomorrow, too.)

So I read this book. It helped me make 6 figures in a month. Obviously, I was hooked, so I got on the author’s email list. I ended up joining his in-person course for over $20,000. Over the course of a year, he helped me double my business.

In my experience, it’s rare to meet someone who helps you see there are games being played around you that you didn’t even know existed.

Maybe your parents helped you see this. Or an especially influential professor in college. Some of us, unfortunately, have never met someone like this.

That’s about to change. Because tomorrow, I get the very special privilege of introducing you to one of my mentors who’s had the biggest impact on me.

TODAY, I want you to share your story about one particularly influential person in your life.

  • Who’s had the biggest impact on you (personally or professionally) in the last 3 years?
  • What was your life like BEFORE you met this person?
  • What was your life like AFTER? How did they help you change yourself? Be specific!

Share your story about someone who’s made a huge change in your life in the comments below. And tomorrow, I’ll introduce you to my mentor, with a very special opportunity.

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95 Comments

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  1. I bet you a trip to Hawaii that this mentor is…Jay Abraham?

    Unfortunately, I’m in Canada so if I’m right (and, I’m 100% sure) donate the tickets.

    Great question, will be using it next chance I get.

  2. Rick Cooper: He taught me that there is no “I” in team. Up to that point I had been extremely self-centred, now I am just mildly self-centred.

  3. Tim Ferriss . I have reduced my WFH time from 0 to 100% in 3 months and laid down some very simple rules for myself about when, where I will and won’t work.

    Life changing is an understatement.

    • Tim’s my person too. He gave credibility to what I was seeking and knew to be possible. I used some of his material to take the first steps, and inform what has become my own personal credo: I will settle for nothing less than doing work I love to earn what supports my ideal quality of life. I immediately began pursuit, barely tapping yet all that I’ve learned and imagine. In the first year, I earned 30% more, and 40% atop that last year – all doing work I really really really love – and in 1.5 weeks/month. Yay for us.

    • Thank you for introducing me to Tim Ferris I am now listening to his audio.

  4. Ha ha, this came just in time. I’m seeing Ryan Holiday at a talk in a few weeks in London, and I’m nervous about what to ask him. Although, guy keeps a freaking book list a mile long, so I kind of know what he reads already, better than anyone else!

    Tell you what: Mark Horstman.

    Before I met him, I was suspicious of “playing politics” and making an effort in the work environment that wasn’t directly doing my job.

    After I met him, I understood the importance of doing favours, understanding politics (who likes who, who can I count on for buy-in, etc), speaking to people in the way they like speaking, all kinds of stuff like that.

    I’m far, far from a master at it, but especially meeting him in person (and seeing what a genuinely warm guy he is, and seeing him practice what he preaches, in terms of his communication style), gave me a real goal to reach for in terms of who I want to be as a working professional. Generous and friendly, but unafraid to be assertive too.

  5. the biggest change in my life happened when I met a guy at a random lounge. we talked for a while, exchanged numbers and agreed to meet the following week. it was not until I returned to the lounge few days that I learned who he was! let’s just say it was a jaw dropping moment for me!

    prior to our meeting I have been struggling with the death of my husband. before even turning 30, when my peers plan their life, I had to overcome not only the death of my spouse but to find a way to reorganize my life again. all I knew was the I have two choices either I allow myself to slowly die or continue to live life to the fullest!

    after our meeting I felt encouraged to return to school, finish my art management studies and finally start my own business that I wanted to do for so long. he has become a mentor, a friend and so much more and without meeting him on a random Tuesday night in New York I have no clue where I would be today!

    BTW did I mention that my random strange happened to be an ambassador to on of the richest countries in the world. As they say ONLY in NEW YORK!

    • Msam, I love your story and am so happy to hear how this stranger changed the course of your life. Congratulations on having the courage to stay open.

  6. The person that has influenced me the most in life is Deepak Chopra. (Given I’m an IWT fan, you could probably safely assume I like smart Indian/ Americans!) I’ve only spent about 1 minute with him personally when he signed a book for me at a conference years ago, but I’ve read about 20 of his 50 books (I actually re-read one of them almost non-stop for almost 5 years). Plus I’ve listened to some of his audio books for probably hundreds of hours. His insights on quantum physics, enlightenment and coincidences, have me intrigued.

    • Sorry- specifically, how did they help me? Taught me the ability to clear my mind & access the gap between thoughts (where everything infinite dwells). Educated me in wisdom, enlightenment and to better understand the crazy mysteries of the universe.

  7. The founder who flew me out to Miami for eMerge Americas. I’ve met more people in any 2 hour period than in the last four months.

    And, as suck-upy as it sounds, Ramit. Earn1k changed and continues to change my life. (People seem generally enthused when I call myself a “Consumer psychology consultant”, as if nobody had ever heard of that before. A hell of a lot catchier than marketer!)

  8. I’m going to sound like a huge kiss-ass, but it’s true: the most influential person I’ve interacted with in the last three years is Ramit. I was directed to the IWT book, and just that little section on finances (60/20/10/10) changed my finances for the better. The simple (so to speak) straight talk about business has been a big boost, as well.

  9. Jonathan Dolezal Link to this comment

    Keith Ferrazzi hands down. Since reading his books on relationship building and networking I have scheduled a meeting with one person a day to get to know them better.
    I recently had my story posted to his blog and social media pages with hopes to getting a virtual lunch with him.
    My story can be found here:
    http://keithferrazzi.com/article/your-never-eat-alone-story-jonathan-dolezal
    If you are interested in building meaningful relationships with anyone read his books Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back!

  10. I am a speech pathologist who works with kids, teens and adults with social challenges. For years I did traditional social skills work with my groups but never saw lasting change and improvement. In 2000 I went to a presentation by Michelle Garcia Winner, an SLP who created the social thinking approach. The whole day was one huge light bulb moment for me! She taught me that we have to teach people the thinking behind our social interactions before we ever start working on skills and behaviors. Completely changed the course of my professional career…I mentored with her, went to every conference she put on and opened my private practice using her model. She is constantly innovating and remains a huge inspiration for me.

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