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Do You Need A Mentor? (Or Books)…

– So, do you need a mentor? Should you read books? Lotta different opposing views out there, it’s hard to know what to believe. I’ll just give you this
advice someone once told me. People lie, but numbers don’t. When you’re confused,
just look at the numbers. So don’t listen to what I say, don’t listen to other people’s opinions. Do the research for yourself. It’s very easy. Just look at the Forbes list. Most successful entrepreneurs. Did they have mentors? Did they read? I’m gonna read you a list. I kept a little list that
I found very interesting. I once did the research,
and it blew me away. Like, it was like, oh my
gosh, almost everybody that I could look up, that
I looked up to, had one. I’ll just give you a quick example. I’ll just read randomly. Bill Gates had Ed Roberts. Oprah Winfrey had Mary Duncan. Steve Jobs had Robert Friedland. Buffet had Benjamin Graham. Michael Jordan had Phil Jackson. Sam Walton has L.S. Robson. Zuckerberg had, of course,
talking about this earlier, Steve Jobs, and I can go on
and on, like, here’s a list of like… People and their mentors. Now. If you change one word, this
becomes the most obvious point. I don’t even know why I
have to record this video. Change the word mentor for coach. You know, I sat next to Kobe
Bryant at the end of last year for a few games, and I went
back in the locker room, he’d let me come back
with him, and I asked him, I recorded a video, and I
said, did you have mentors? And he instantly was like, Tai, mentors are the most important thing, and he had a wide variety of mentors. He, he mentioned Michael
Jackson had given him advice. He had one of the CEOs of Disney, all these different
people, giving him advice. Mark Zuckerberg, when it comes to reading, not only did he have
Steve Jobs as a mentor, but he said this. He put a post last year,
he started a book club, he said, I’m not reading enough. Now, like I said, I don’t know about you, but I’m not as good a mentor, good of an entrepreneur
as Mark Zuckerberg. If Mark Zuckerberg
needs books and mentors, I need 10 times more than him. He’s smarter than me. He’s more successful than me. Albert Einstein, one of the
smartest people in history, had a mentor. Every Friday, every
Thursday, he had lunch, starting as a teenager, with
the family of that mentor, and talked, learned math and physics, and all types of things. Stephen Hawking had a mentor. I don’t know about you. I’m not smarter than Albert
Einstein or Stephen Hawking. If they need one, I need ’em even moreso. Throughout history, it all stays the same. Alexander the Great, one
of the great conquerors… He had a mentor. His father, at fifteen and
a half, hired Aristotle, the great philosopher, and said, I need you to travel
with my son, teach him. And so he did. The great Aristotle. Interestingly though, Aristotle
was mentored by Plato. Plato was mentored by Socrates. You see that? Paying it forward? You see that Steve Jobs
was mentored, and in turn, he mentored others? Y Combinator is a group up in… The Silicon Valley area, and what they do, is they find young,
promising entrepreneurs, and they bring them in, they
give ’em a little capital, they put ’em in a building,
and they give them advice, give them mentorship,
point them in direction, motivate them. You see, mentors don’t
just give you advice. They also motivate you. What companies came from
that Y Combinator mentorship incubator idea? Dropbox. Airbnb. Reddit. Stripe. Multi-billion dollar companies,
coming from this idea. Remember, there’s only two ways you learn: from somebody, or from what
somebody wrote down or recorded. That’s it. You don’t learn English on your own. You don’t learn math, just
by laying in a bed and go, ah, I’ll learn this all on my own. Now, some people say, but Tai, what if you only have books and mentors, but you don’t put in the work? Well, of course you gotta put in the work. If you lock yourself in
a basement and just read, and just get, watch
YouTube videos of mentors, that’s not gonna help you. But I’ll tell you this. If you just work hard,
and forget to work smart, you’re not gonna accomplish much either. Who works harder? Day laborers or Steve Jobs? Or Elon Musk? Now, we need day laborers. I’m not looking down on them. But I’m saying this. If you talk about who accomplishes more, it’s not just the people who work hard, it’s the people who work smart. If you get out of an airplane,
you’re at the airport, and you’re at a city you’ve
never been in, use GPS. That navigation will shorten the time. Sure, you could just work
hard and drive around and try to find it on your
own, but why not use the GPS? Why not do it the short way? Science is based upon a body of knowledge passed on from scientist
to scientist, mentors. Tesla, the great Nikolas
Tesla had mentors. On and on, it goes, the cycle goes, okay. Become part of that cycle. Bill Gates goes on reading vacations. You know what Arnold
Schwarzenegger told me? And Elon Musk? I’m gonna tell you two
stories that I have heard. I told you Kobe Bryant. Like I said, people lie,
but I like to hear things straight from the mouth of great people. That’s why I go and find these people. It’s not to be able to
name-drop and say, oh, I’m with celebrities. It’s to get the truth from them. The media often lies. People lie. But I asked Kobe Bryant,
did you have a mentor? Yes, he gave me five names. I talked to Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was in his kitchen, last
summer, just me and him. I said, Arnold, what’s a turning point in your career as a body builder? And he said, well, I
couldn’t get my calves big. I had the rest of my body big, but I couldn’t get my calves big. And I heard about this
guy who had big calves down in South Africa. His name was Reg Park. I got on an airplane,
and I flew down to him, and I said, what am I doing wrong? And he said, let me see you work out. They went to the gym together, and Reg Park went on a calf machine and put on 900 pounds, and Arnold Schwarzenegger,
the light bulb went off. He said, I’m doing too many reps. I’m only lifting like 400 pounds. Reg Park said, put those heavy weights on. Change up your game. Just like Bruce Lee
was mentored by Ip Man, Arnold Schwarzenegger
was mentored by Reg Park, and Arnold told me, my
calves got so big, the media started saying I had calf
implants, but I didn’t. My success was magnified. It became so big people
didn’t even believe it, because he had that mentor Reg Park. Over and over, the cycle continues. Do you wanna be in the
cycle or out of the cycle? People lie, opinions
lie, but numbers don’t. Look at the numbers for yourself. Go through the Forbes list. Go to the top. Jeff Bezos started Amazon. He started a book company,
ironically enough. But he reads books so
much, he has one book, it’s the story of Sam Walton,
who is a virtual mentor through a book to him, that
the pages are tattered. Jeff Bezos, now the third
richest man in the world. I’m not as good an entrepreneur. If he needs books, if he
mentors, if he needs mentors, I need moreso. Conor McGregor, one of the
great fighters of all time, he’s had the same
mentor/coach his whole career. I don’t know about you, but
I’m not as good an athlete as Conor McGregor. If he needs a mentor, I need one too. That’s why I said, it you
change the conversation from mentors to coaches… Then you become kinda silly when you go, oh, you don’t need a coach. Name a great athlete
who didn’t have a coach. Michael Jordan, I read a
fascinating book about him. And he said… The two biggest influences,
important, why he has six rings. Of course, him being a great athlete and putting in the work was important. He knew how to work hard,
but he worked smart, because he had Dean Smith at UNC
and Phil Jackson at Chicago, guiding him, making him work smart, making him work more efficiently. You need motivation too from mentors. Sometimes you wanna give up. Sometimes you wanna procrastinate. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like procrastinating. And then I remember the story that I read in an autobiography, or
the person that I met. You know what Elon Musk told me? I said, Elon, how did you start SpaceX? You didn’t have any
experience with spaceships. You were, you had PayPal before. He said, “Oh, I just read a lot of books.” Just read books. Now, that’s a virtual mentor. It’s not a person, but
it’s the same effect. An author of the book was the mentor. I shouldn’t have to record this video, but it’s important that I clear the air. There’s a lot of nonsense
being said out there, and… You know, I don’t, this
is not a direct attack on any one person, ’cause I’ve
heard many people say this. And you might have heard it growing up. Oh, you just become book smart. Just do stuff. Just work hard. Well, a lot of people work
hard and aren’t successful. A lot of people work hard
and aren’t successful. A lot of people work hard, and never make more than 50
grand in their whole life. And there’s nothing wrong. Not everybody has to try to be Steve Jobs, not everyone has to try
to be Albert Einstein, that’s not what I’m saying. But I’m saying I wanna learn
from people who did big things. You choose who you wanna learn from. I go straight to the top. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a mentor. Gandhi had a mentor. That helped him become
a humanitarian, and… And fight for the independence of India. Oprah Winfrey had Maya Angelou, the poet. Malcolm X had a mentor. Everybody, you go through history, great people had great mentors. Great people read. Mark Cuban was over at my
house, the billionaire, the Shark Tank billionaire. I said, do you read much, Mark? He said, you know what, Tai? The reason I got a private jet
waiting down at LAX for me, empty, that’s so when I get
in it, I can just catch up on reading without anybody disturbing me. He keeps a multi-million… You know, I don’t know, I think
he has like a Gulf Stream. He keeps a 50-million-dollar
jet hanging around just so he could read more. Warren Buffet gets on a
plane, they say nobody talks. He just reads. Go through the history. People lie, but numbers don’t. Work hard… But work smart. You need tools, you need leverage. What makes Bill Gates the
16-time richest man in the world? Well, he goes on reading vacations. His blog is all about books. And one thing he said
that I found fascinating, he said, you know, I’m kinda lazy. I try to find ways to do it
smarter than most people. And sure, he put in the hours. It’s a necessity to put in the hours, but the goal isn’t to put in the hours. The goal is to work less and do more. The goal is to work half as
much and get twice the results. That comes from the leverage of… Intelligence. That’s what can make you great. Find great people. Read more. Trust me. And just split test it. If you don’t believe me,
test it for yourself. Find an amazing book. I got a free book list you can read, Find one of those books. At the end of it, if it doesn’t… Read a few of ’em, if it
doesn’t help you, stop reading. Different people have
different ways of learning. But nine out of 10
people who do big things either had mentors or read
books, and so, play the cards. Play the odds. If you got a bad hand in poker,
you’re gonna fold that hand. Sure, you might win
with a two and a three, but it’s better to have pocket aces. Better to have two aces. The odds are better. Using mentors, using books
increases the odds of success. It’s not a guarantee, ’cause you still gotta put in the work. You still must execute,
but I’ll tell you this. You got a poor hand, and you
just try to work your way, you’re still gonna lose. All those people, just trying hard work… I recorded this video to
save you a lotta heartache. A lot of hard years, so… Yeah. All I can say in summary is… I’m not as smart or as good an athlete or as good an entrepreneur as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Hanks, Larry Page,
co-founder of Google… Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Bruce Lee, Conor McGregor, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant. By the way, I’m reciting back just a few of the people who had mentors. I’m not as good on
camera as Oprah Winfrey, who mentored Ellen DeGeneres. If they needed it, I need it more. If you don’t need it, if
you’re better than them, I’d have to question your humility. If they need it but you don’t, if Einstein needed a mentor, and I said, nah, I don’t need a mentor. I would question my humility. Remember. Pride comes before a fall. And it’s the humble who
will inherit the earth. But it’s not the humility
most people think. It’s not the humility of you just, oh, you know, woe is me, nobody likes… That’s not humble. You don’t have to demean yourself. Humility in action is
what the world needs. People who go… Well, damn. Conor McGregor is in great shape. I wanna learn to do MMA fighting. He needed a coach. I better find me a coach. I do Brazilian jiu-jitsu. If you try to walk in a
gym and say you’re good at jiu-jitsu, and they say
who’s your mentor/coach, and you say, ma, I don’t need one. They’re gonna tap you out. No one gonna like you. They gonna tap you out, put you in a… Put you, choke you out,
and throw you out the door. I was mentored by Rigan Machado. By Rener Gracie. I just had Rorion Gracie at my house. His father… Basically invented Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I respect those mentors. And if I came to them and I
said there’s people out there teaching that you shouldn’t,
that mentors aren’t needed, do you know what they would say? They would say, that’s
a disrespectful person. They’d say, bring them to my gym, Tai. Let ’em roll with me on the mats. Let me put them to sleep. We’ll record it. (Tai laughs) Everybody, it’s called a lineage. It’s called a lineage. It’s called pedigree. You say, I learned from this person, who learned from this person,
who learned from this person. That’s how science works, by the way. Isaac Newton said, if I’m great, it’s because I stand on
the shoulder of giants. If you think you don’t need
shoulders and giants… I can guess how much money’s gonna be in your bank account soon. It ain’t as much as you could if you listened to smart people. Anyway. Leave your opinion below.

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