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What I’ve Learned (Good and Bad) From the Various Mentors of My Career

Brett Snodgrass
4 min read
What I’ve Learned (Good and Bad) From the Various Mentors of My Career

There are so many different phases to the real estate investing life—getting started, establishing your business, scaling up, and being a leader in the industry. Luckily for us, there are people who have already done those things all around us.

Real estate mentors can be found anywhere, but why do you need one?

Just like life, real estate is all about experience. We can learn over and over again from our own experiences, but why reinvent the wheel? We should be able to learn from others’ experiences, as well.

I have had many mentors throughout my life that I have learned from. And to be honest, not all of those mentors were positive role models, but I still allowed myself to learn from them.

Having a mentor can keep you on track, lend you personal experience, and help you grow as a business and as a person.

No matter where you are in your journey, it is all about learning.

What I Learned From My First (Not Quite) Mentor

During part of my journey, my dad introduced me to a gentleman who owned a timber company. His company would basically buy land with trees on it, harvest the timber, and then sell off the land. They did this process over and over again, and this man was a millionaire because of it.

I was drawn to his success and wanted to learn from him, but I did not know how to cut down trees or how to operate any of the equipment. I realized though that I still had something to offer him. He needed land with trees, so I could find him land.

That is what I did. I worked for this man for a year and half as an independent contractor, driving all over Indiana looking for land and trees for his company while collecting a commission off of the deals I found for him.


Related: 10 Entrepreneurs Share Their Most Memorable Mentor-Taught Lessons

I was bringing him and his company value, and in turn, I was able to learn from him. He invested in me and would feed me little tidbits of information about the business world.

I can’t lie to you and tell you that all of that info he gave me was life-changing; most of it was terrible, in fact. This man did not have an email address, and he never answered his phone. He only talked to people when it was convenient for him. He did not have the best business model. But I took something from my conversations with him that changed my life and that is the basis for my business today.

“Keep things simple. Find a process that works and use it.”

Now, at the time, I never looked at him as a mentor, and I never asked him to be my mentor. All I did was converse with him, ask him questions, and learn from him—taking note to myself of what to do and what not to do.

Don’t Stop Learning and Growing

Like I said before, real estate is all about experience and learning. You do not have to have someone in your life who you have given an official title of mentor, especially when you are getting started. What you need to have are people in your life who you can learn and gain experience from.

People, even those who do not know me, contact me every day to be their mentor. I am always more than happy to help people out or point them in the direction of someone who can. I can provide information and content just like so many other people out there, but that is only part of the mentoring process.

A mentor should be able to know and understand where you are, what you’re doing, and where you want to go. You want a mentor who wants to invest in you and help you grow.

Depending on where you are in your journey, you may need different mentors.

I went through a part of my life a few years ago where I thought that I was pretty successful. I was doing a lot of deals and making pretty good money wholesaling properties, so I stopped reaching out for help. I stopped reading books and articles.

I bet you can guess what happened. My business stood still.


When you stop learning and stop pushing is when your business stops growing. Do you know what happens to businesses that stop growing? They die.

I realized that I was in a different spot in my business life, so I needed a different type of mentor. I began reading more, listening to all kinds of podcasts, and networking more and more at local real estate clubs. Because I put myself out there as someone who wanted to grow and learn more, I was introduced to two people who have changed my life and my business dramatically.

Related: 7 Ways to Find a Real Estate Mentor for Free

These two people were my business coach and the leader of my mastermind group.

My business coach has helped me and my team scale our business and set goals for our business. I meet with him on a regular basis, and my whole team sits down with him once a year. Last year at this time, we sat down with him and set goals that we thought were pretty lofty, but this year, we hit every single one of those goals.

My mastermind group is full of other real estate investors who are doing what I am doing, are all super successful, and are all pushing the limits of their businesses. Since I have joined this group, my business has doubled. This is not because I am doing anything in particular, but I now have a group of people who I can bounce ideas off of who have been through it, and I have people encouraging me and holding me accountable.

Why do we need a mentor in real estate? I believe that we all need someone to help push us and to learn from.

Think about a professional boxer. They have a coach. That coach can probably not beat them in a match if they were to step into a ring, but that coach can give them the insights, training, and motivation to beat the fighter in the other corner.

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Do you think having a mentor in real estate is invaluable? Why or why not?

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.