Steal The 5 Mentors Who Shaped My Mind and My Current Life 112

Steal The 5 Mentors Who Shaped My Mind and My Current Life - tynan dan andrews mark manson pat flynn neil patel

Mentorship is about guidance.

Most entrepreneurial resources always have these guides and how-to articles on finding the right mentor for you so that you can reach your life and business goals sooner.

Studies have proven the multiple benefits of mentorship on how your brain works when trying to stay disciplined, how you take more risks and stay motivated, what your energy levels and focus are, and so much more.

And if you think about it, you can make a profile of such a person.

A mentor needs to be more expert than you on the aspect of life you’re trying to improve. He needs to be your trusted advisor, someone you look up to, but who also challenges you.

Here’s a sweet definition of mentorship:

‘Mentoring is a long term relationship where the focus is on supporting the growth and development of the mentee. The mentor is a source of wisdom, teaching and support, but not someone who observes and advises on specific actions or behavioral changes in daily work.’

Let’s be realistic, that mentor you can get wouldn’t be someone like Richard Branson, who’ll tell you how to build a successful brand, be a serial entrepreneur or make billions. Or Tim Ferris for that matter, who knows how to hack his body and mind in more ways than we ever thought possible.

That’s simply because people like that don’t have the time to deal with teaching individuals, but they are still sharing their journey to a point where we can replicate their actions from the past, skip their mistakes, and learn from their advice.

If it’s something short-term, task-driven and without forming an actual relationship but mostly being told what you struggle with and what to do, then that would be coaching. And there are quite many differences between a coach and a mentor.

The usual trajectory for finding mentors though, goes like this:

  • Actively seek one by getting out there, connecting with people, showing you’re a good mentee;
  • Excelling at your job and looking for more responsibilities (thus attracting those who want to give these to someone);
  • Joining mastermind groups;
  • Following someone you admire online, trying to provide value and form relationships over time, before you contact them personally;
  • Asking and getting rejected many times;
  • Going to every networking event in your area and being social and prepared;
  • Finding and visiting entrepreneur hubs in your city (places where smart, strategic and purpose-driven successful or aspiring businessmen gather to meet, learn, do work, start projects, socialize, etc.);
  • Constantly seeking guidance from anyone you meet, with the hope to form a lasting relationship and turn someone more experienced than you into a mentor.

Okay, so far so good.

That kind of communication and such business goals might be your thing. If they are, I’m excited for you.

There are literally millions of hustlers and already established entrepreneurs out there ready to give you advice and direction.

But I believe there’s another way mentorship can happen these days.

podcasting is convenient

I know that, because that’s how it was in my life, and the overall effect of learning from other people’s experience, being inspired by them and taking action because of their advice, is the same.

The idea is simple. I’ve been following a number of people online over the last few years.

In the beginning, I read their stories, checked out their businesses, took notes during their podcasts, felt their personality through what they posted on social media, and admired them in a friendly way, without really believing I can live the lifestyle.

But, oh the lifestyle.

It was all about that, and still is. The business happened in order to provide freedom, or to complement the life they were already loving.

Not all of the people below can be called lifestyle designers, but they all have the elements I was seeking to have in my life, I just didn’t know it yet cause my environment was completely different.

Now, whatever new thing I do, goals I set, realization I come to, or vision I have for the future, is somehow related to something I’ve read in one of their posts over the years. That makes me smile. It shows me that even though these people are mostly Americans in their 30s, at a different stage in their life, and often making millions, it’s a mindset so many other individuals all over the world share.

When I first got to Thailand, which was my first time outside of Europe, my biggest travel moment, my ultimate getaway from my comfort zone, and so many other things, it felt not just right, but exactly like what I’ve imagined it. Because almost all the people I’ve been following and learning from online, ended up at that place when they earned their freedom for the very first time, even thought they didn’t have the money or authority yet.

All that, but experienced on another level, of course, as it was through my eyes this time.

So, the list of mentors I’ll now share, which I encourage you to steal (although their way of thinking doesn’t necessarily needs to resonate with you, of course), isn’t what you might be expecting.

I’m familiar with a ton of success stories on the Internet, all of which of cool, down to earth people who started from nothing. But I share these on the podcast every other episode, and I constantly mention them in my writing and link to their resources.

The people I’ll now point you to are something else.

I won’t be going into details about the life of each, but will mention some important facts. I believe you can choose the right role model for you.

The factor you should use when deciding how to find the type of mentor I’m talking about, is deciding what person is currently living a life you’ll want to replicate some elements of and also have a few years from now.

That’s the best criteria I think.

Let’s get to the point.

Names are in no particular order of importance.

The 5 Guys Whose Work and Life Helped Me Get to Where I Am Today

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Dan Andrews

That’s Dan (and Ian) from TropicalMBA – a popular blog, podcast and community for location independent entrepreneurs.

He’s more business-oriented, but also left his corporate job long time ago, traveled a bit, then moved to Thailand to start even more businesses.

He’s a player when it comes to entrepreneurship, and has interesting chats or even shares his own musings on the podcast on anything from what city to relocate to, the harsh truths of working for yourself, how others won’t really understand what you’re doing, making good money and managing it even better, taking things further with a business, but also knowing when to quit and move onto something else, and so on.

You should check out this page with the top posts and episodes.

But here are some that can give you an idea of his way of thinking and personality:


When I say the guys (it’s guys only actually, that must say a lot about me!), in this list are basically mentoring me and I feel like I know them, it also means that on autopilot once or twice a week I head to their blogs to see if there’s a new post.

There always is (depending on their posting schedule, of course) and in each they mention what’s currently going on in their life.

So after reading a piece, I continue my day, and week, feeling good knowing what others are working on, and what I’m working on. Different, but motivational.

I’ve linked to posts by Tynan quite a lot. He’s a pretty unusual guy, and definitely one down to earth.

He’s doing what everyone will agree is called unconventional living.

Having lived in an RV, ditched his belongings and mostly lived off of a backpack, traveled more than what’s considered normal, bought an island with friends and is often spending time on it building stuff, has 3 places he can call home, and he might actually own property in each one day (Las Vegas, Tokyo and Budapest), and is tracking and internalizing any event in his life so that he can know what’s going on at any moment and make changes to let it head in the direction he wants to.

In this post I share his lessons when it comes to money. Pretty solid advice. He lives frugally, but enjoys every little thing he does, and loves everything about his daily life. We have a lot to learn from that attitude.

Here are some cool posts you can also check out on his blog:

Pat Flynn

pat flynn mentor

When you listen to somebody’s podcast for years, know what they were working on back in the days and then see progress over the years, know exactly how much money they make (as they share their income reports), what their family and team are like and the relationship this person has with them, what their aspirations and doubts are, and more, you feel like you know then.

Especially the podcast thing. Hearing their voice, and them talking about serious stuff, makes all the difference.

You either know Pat Flynn from his blog SmartPassiveIncome, have seen me link to his work, or just heard about the name while reading another person’s blog. If you don’t, now’s the time to check him out.

He’s one of the friendliest personalities online, and has formed a special connection with his audience. You build trust by being authentic. But what’s even more important to him, is to serve first.

In fact, he now often wears a T-shirt with this as it has become the motto of his brand. He believes providing more value than expected has helped him reach the life and business he has today.

We can learn a lot from him not just on how to make money online and build and keep an audience, but on family values, consistency, and appreciation.

Here are some examples:

Neil Patel

Now my relationship with this mentor is strictly business, so to say.

I had to include him as I do type the first letter of his main blog and immediately get to the new posts page, and check out the new piece.

I do this Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or follow up a day or two after each. These are the days when he publishes a super long-form, data-driven and practical article over at

I recently shared a lot about him in an episode of the LRS Podcast.

He is a marketing guru, and knows what he’s doing. You might not know him if that’s not your field, but chances are, when you want to learn something about content marketing, branding, advertising, SEO or else (some of the most crucial topics when it comes to online business), the first pages in the search results will be stuff written by him, his team, or a site he works with.

He’s the guy I trust, and when there’s a checklist on improving your rankings, for instance, with 20 items on it, I carefully go through each, take notes, go to the links he provides to free and paid tools and basically do what he says.

He’s my teacher and adviser, and reading his articles is enough to have that kind of mentorship. At least for me.

Here’s some practical advice:

Mark Manson

Okay, you probably expected this, and even to see it on top of the list. But things have changed and by ‘mentor’ I mean something else other than just feeling a rush of adrenaline after reading a scandalous article of a man.

Before I’ve referred to Mark Manson as the guy whose articles I’m printing out and re-reading. That was true.

I’m reading his book now – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck– and always go back to his site to see what’s new.

I’ve gone through most of his past articles. Each has made me feel good and more motivated about something in life. And that’s what powerful content does to the mind.

So, yes, Mark has helped me in multiple ways. I feel like I know him (by reading somebody’s work you eventually get a sense of how their brain works). But he’s my guy for mentorship on topics such as relationship advice, self-esteem, meaning of life, and more.

I loved reading what he had to say about lifestyle design, business, travel, writing, hustling, etc. But that wasn’t the type of advice I was looking for.

Anyways, the directions my mind has taken right after reading a long post of his are incredible, and I will be forever grateful.

Stuff like expectations, doubts, wanting to have it all, living in an illusion – all these are barriers to seeing what life is all about. Mark is pretty good at putting everything on the table and saying all he has to say. I like the language he uses. But it’s not for everyone.

Now that he’s in a serious relationship, married actually, his relationship advice is completely different from when he was a pick-up artist back in the days.

I love that transformation. It helps me improve my thinking and approach in that exact area of life.

It’s also interesting to notice how his writing process and creative thinking have changed after publishing the best work in his life, or at least the book that got most attention of all (the one I mentioned above).

Here’s some controversial wisdom:


Okay, so these are the mentors you can steal if you don’t have support or inspiration to do what you think you should be doing with the rest of your life.

Or if you need a push.

It’s all about self-discipline in the end of the day, of course.

You make yourself read these guys, internalize what you read, and then take action upon it.

Do it long enough though, and you’ll see yourself having their good habits and living a similar lifestyle some time from now :)

Share some other cool people you’ve been following. Would love to check their blogs out.

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How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer 54

How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer

Writing is what I love doing and I managed to turn it into my career. But that wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without having the freedom to work from anywhere and move to my favorite country. So after I became a freelance writer, I also took a few steps to become location independent.

Let me share how that journey looked like for me and maybe inspire you to take the leap and not just become a freelancer but also travel the world or just leave your home country and never look back.

Stage 1: Overcoming The Doubts

I believe all change happens on the inside first. In the case of becoming a freelance writer and a lifestyle designer, you’d first need to do a couple of things related to developing a strong mindset.

To begin with, define what you don’t like about your current lifestyle. Be clear about it and see yourself living a better life some time from now. This vision will also help you realize what you truly desire.

For me, it was freedom and independence but in a specific way.

I mean, I don’t really need to travel the world. It was enough to spend a few weeks in Thailand and to always have the chance to get back to a destination like that if I feel like. But what I truly desired was to leave my home country, Bulgaria, and instead move to the Netherlands.

However, my transformation started many years ago, before I even knew that’s where I wanted to live. First, I wasn’t satisfied with my life back then. I was already in my 20s and I always felt like I wasn’t spending my time right. So something had to be done.

Doubts are scary.

In fact, they are one of the reasons why so many people all over the world never start a business, end a relationship, travel or else.

Once you get through that stage though, you start having hope, you visualize a better life, and you finally take action. And once you take the first step, magical things begin to happen.

For me, that first step was to define my passion (personal development) and combine it with writing, which I simply loved doing and felt like it was the right way to spend my time.

English is just my second language. I had no official degree in what I’m doing. I wasn’t tech-savvy and had no idea how the Internet actually worked.

But the desire for a different life and more meaningful activities was stronger than any lack of knowledge or experience. So I dedicated the 4 years of my life during university to building the foundation of my online business and the lifestyle I enjoy today.

Stage 2: Getting The First Clients

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I began writing, first on my blog (more on that below), then for others. But the magical ingredient here is reading.

I spent a ton of time (still do and probably always will) reading about people who were already living the life I was after. And that changed it all. I overcame all the doubts because I saw all that I wanted was possible. If other people were living like that and they all started from nothing, then it’s just a matter of time till I get there too.

That encouraged me. And my motivation never decreased because of some people I started following consistently and seeing their progress kept me action-oriented too.

It was time to earn my first dollars freelancing.

The good thing about the Internet is that you don’t have to be anyone in order to land your first gig. Once you do, the second one is easier. You just need someone to pay you for your freelance services so you can have confidence in your abilities and improve your skills.

I never thought I’d be able to call myself a freelance writer, not to mention be location independent together with that. But I left the big picture behind for a while and focused on simpler things. Such as:

What can I do today to land my first client?

After researching, I realized there are sites for freelancers where employers post jobs and I can apply to each that seems like a good fit for me. And so I did.

I created my profiles, had low rates (because any money was good money for me then if it was online), and applied for a few jobs. I had no idea what to say exactly so I just went with what felt right.

I introduced myself when pitching clients and told them how I can help them with their project. Rejection here is normal as there’s a ton of competition.

Eventually, someone hired me for a job and I made my first $20 or so.

It was a short and sweet gig and I did a good job. The communication with the client was smooth.

It’s hard to land someone for the first time, especially in my case. On my profile they could see Bulgaria and that English isn’t my native language. Also, that I’m new to the site and have no previous feedback. Basically, not the most trustworthy freelance writer to hire.

But there are new employers to such platforms too and they are ready to hire you as long as you have something to offer them.

So if you want to make money online and eventually turn that into a business, become location independent and work remotely, or just want to do what you love freelancing, then create your profiles on sites like Upwork, Guru, Freelancer and PeoplePerHour and start pitching.

Stage 3: Building a Blog and a Brand

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The 3rd crucial step in my journey to becoming a location independent freelance writer was this blog.

Let’s Reach Success started as a personal blog on self-improvement. But consistency was the key and I seemed to be good at this. It’s because I love writing too of course. It eventually turned into my biggest project and today it’s my portfolio.

There are more than 1600 articles in the archives, a whole book store, proper design (thanks to this premium theme), authority, and a story behind it. Which makes me and Let’s Reach Success kind of a personal brand.

If you haven’t started a site yet, you’re wasting time. Whatever it is that you wanna do online, you need that one platform.

I’ve written a quick guide on how to do that. Check out How to Set Up a WordPress Site on Bluehost. Don’t worry, the technical aspect is easy and I’ve outlined the few simple steps you should take to have your site up and running in less than 30 minutes.

Blogging is a must for every freelance writer. Here’s why:

First, you get to showcase your work. You can write articles all the time and show them to clients. Whenever you want to start writing about a new topic, you’ll simply start covering it on your blog and then provide samples to employers.

You become known as an expert. If you stay consistent and provide unique and quality content frequently, people will know you’re the go-to blogger in the niche. Together with your unique voice and all other things you’re doing on the side, you can build a name for yourself. That means clients will start finding you soon.

Blogging is a learning experience. There’s a lot going on in the archives on my blog. If I go back, I can even see how I’ve grown over the years. Your writing will change too and that’s okay. Your site becomes your biggest project, especially if you’re a writer yourself. Also, it’s thanks to wanting to improve Let’s Reach Success that I’ve learned so much about optimizing content, making money from a blog, and more.

Stage 4: Setting Up an Online Business

Now that you’ve overcome the doubts, have landed your first freelance client, and have your own blog, you can turn that into an online business soon.

First, of course, you’ll need to have some decent income monthly to be a proper location independent freelance writer. Although plenty of people register a company from the beginning and then slowly grow their freelance business.

However, in the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. I was paying taxes and fees for the freelancing platforms I worked with and that was enough. I wasn’t sure how much more I could make each month.

When I got to a few hundred dollars monthly, though, (which is an amount you can live with back in my home country if you aren’t paying rent), I decided to fix the legal part and register as an independent worker there and start paying my taxes.

Over the next months, I truly believed I’m now a freelance writer earning money from my craft and loved it. Of course, I also wanted to grow, build skills, land better clients, improve my site and see what else I could be doing online.

Stage 5: Choosing Your Ideal Destination and Moving There

amsterdam - the dream location

When I was making $1000/month from my blog and freelance writing services, and because the business was online, I finally felt like I could soon move away and start a new life.

The country I wanted to live in was the Netherlands. I already had friends there and knew it was the place to be for me. So I booked a place in Amsterdam with AirBnB and dedicated these 10 days to finding my new home.

I needed it to be affordable and in a good neighborhood and that’s exactly what I got.

Because I wanted to be there so much and worked hard for it, there hasn’t been a day since I moved that I didn’t wake up with a smile on my face.

That’s one of the main aspects of lifestyle design. Doing work you love and making just enough to be able to live the way you like.

Of course, Amsterdam isn’t cheap so I had to limit my expenses and change things.

Stage 6: Living The Location Independent Lifestyle

I did some traveling too. Spending 5 weeks in Thailand cost me a lot in terms of money (although it could have been cheaper too but I didn’t prepare well) and focus. But it’s safe to say these weeks have been the craziest and most adventurous ones in my life.

I might go back there, but that’s not necessary. I love my daily life too and don’t need an escape from that. The important thing about being a location independent freelance writer is that you have to enjoy the freedom of being where you are. And if you earned your chance to get there, it tastes even better.

Stage 7:  Mastering Working Remotely and From Home

Location independence and freelancing aren’t for everyone as it’s not easy, there are sacrifices to be made and plenty of challenges. One of them is getting distracted and not doing focused work on a daily basis.

One thing I did right though was to build some good productivity habits and eliminate procrastination and distractions early on. In fact, that was when I started making my first money as a freelance writer.

It’s nice to imagine how you can live and work from anywhere 6 months from now. But if you don’t build the discipline in advance and learn how to structure your day so you can do your best work, you won’t make it.

Here are some things that can help:

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Stage 8: Growing The Freelance Writing Business

My focus is on increasing my income now. I got to over $3500. These come from sponsored posts here on Let’s Reach Success and freelance writing for clients.

I’m working on other things too such as increasing book sales and building systems to earn passive income from affiliate marketing. But these don’t come naturally to me so it takes time.

So that’s how I became a location independent freelance writer and how you can do the same.

Here are the exact steps I took to become a location independent freelance writer: