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3 Simple Steps to Get a Business Mentor for Free: Enroll Others in your Message

As a newly single person, I get excited when someone asks me out to dinner, especially when I hear, “I’m treating!”

“Wow, that’s promising. Someone really likes me!”

But, my enthusiasm is dampened when I hear: “I’m treating because I want to pick your brain.”

Now, at my age, I’m thrilled that anyone wants to pick a piece of my body, but my least favorite part to give away for free is my brain.  Isn’t that called intellectual prostitution?  I’m whoring my brain away for a fillet of Salmon.

I understand why I get approached this way. After all, I’m a former standup comic turned speaker and one of the few people who actually gets paid to do what I love – to stand in front of others to entertain and inspire. Most people who consult with me on improving their presentation skills want to learn how to quit their day job and get paid to speak.

I know that the comic or speaker who asks me out for a date has good intent, but there’s a better approach to get information, than offer a meal. It’s not like I have a sign on my door that says, “Will consult for food.”

After all, I’m sure you, just like I, have spent a lot of money filling your brain with marketable skills and professional know-how. We’ve gone to college, attended meetings, got CPU credits, not to mention years of therapy to correct a dysfunctional childhood so we can go days without Xanax.

And you want me to tell you how togged paid to speak for a slice of pizza?

Now, I DO give stuff away. But, it’s usually when someone approaches me with a MESSAGE that I believe in. Then I don’t even care about the meal. I WANT to help because the person has ENROLLED me in their message. They get a “piece of my mind” and a boatload of my talent when they offer me to be a part of something I believe in.

I have donated speeches to cancer, children, veterans as well as assisting with writing TED talks for discounted fees because I believe in the MESSAGE. That’s what happened when Muslim scholar, Dalia Mogahed asked me to write her TED talk which resulted in over 1.5 million views. Even though I'm not Muslim, I’m proud to be a part of her message of ending Islamophobia.

So, when you need help that you can’t afford, think about how you approach someone. Rather that paying them with paella, know how to enroll someone in your message.

3 Steps to Enroll a Business Mentor


  1.  Describe your business without using these three words, “I” “My” “Me.” Rather, describe what you do in terms of the RESULTS you create for OTHERS.  
  2. Identify the “Problems” your business solves. Another words, when Dalia Mogahed came to me, rather than telling me all about herself and the TED talk she wanted to do, she told me of her concerns about the stereotyping and discrimination of Muslims. Although not Muslim myself, I fully got onboard as I wanted to join her in making a difference.
  3. Create a simple statement that contains the problem you want fixed, the audience your business addresses, your credentials to fix the problem, and the results you can create.
Master these simple 3 steps and you will not only enroll a business mentor, but interns, followers, and especially customers. Practice these three steps and use them to promote your business and even get paid to speak!

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11 comments:

  1. Brilliant and valuable! Hey anytime you're up for sushi let me know…

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  2. Thank you Judy. So succinct and useful. I shall employ these steps in my launch of "Transcend and End Pain, NOW" presentation and search for business and speaking mentors.

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  3. Thanks so much for picking a piece of your brain out and leaving it here. This is great direction to help me build a tribe of people who believe in the power of compassion in health care leadership. Best, Dee

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  4. Thanks so much for picking a piece of your brain out and leaving it here. This is great direction to help me build a tribe of people who believe in the power of compassion in health care leadership. Best, Dee

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  5. I want the number for your therapist! He/She did a wonderful job. A sense of power and self-worth after a cruddy childhood is worth every penny. Do women hit you with TED TALK ideas when you go to the POWDER ROOM???

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  6. How great are you? Wise and funny! Thanks for sharing and inspiring always :-)

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. This is fabulous, actionable advice!

    As always, thanks for being you!!

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  9. Judy you're all that in a handbag! I'll get on it. Thang Q!

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  10. Fabulous Judy although ( i) me lol has taken a Hiatus from speaking its still in my blood and you my friend have helped me so much I would go to no one else ever !!
    Oh can I buy you dinner -I want to ---ha ha ha -Just kidding
    Take Care

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Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.