The power of finding the right mentor (and how to make it happen)

After last week’s newsletter discussing my recent “failure” at a ninja competition, today I wanted to share with you what at first might not appear to be a big deal but is a HUGE success for me. And it’s literally a single photo that took me four years to capture.

Jessie Graff Zack Arnold and Tony Horton

The photo above was taken just yesterday after a 4 1/2 hour ninja workout marathon (which has become my usual Sunday routine since the summer of 2018), a workout I do every weekend in Tony Horton’s backyard (the guy on the right). If you’re not familiar with Tony, he’s been the #1 name in home fitness for over two decades after creating the most popular fitness program in history – P90X.

And the woman on the left of the photo is Jessie Graff, an actor, stuntwoman, and also one of the most decorated and accomplished female ninja warriors in the history of the sport. She may not be a “household name” (yet), but in the world of ninja she’s recognizable worldwide. She’s literally THE face of the entire sport!

I’m not sharing this photo with you to impress you with the celebrities that I hang around with. In fact, I hate name droppers. And I could care less about people who take pictures with other famous people. Wow, you happened to have your phone in the same location and the same time as somebody who was willing to take a picture with you? Big whoooooop.

The reason I’m so proud of this photo – and the reason it took me four years to capture this moment – is because I can genuinely call both of them friends.

Even more importantly, I also consider both of them mentors.

So how in the world did an overweight, burned out film editor with a killer Dad-bod back in 2018 with ZERO connections in the fitness industry end up with two fitness legends as my mentors? Well that’s a conversation for another day that focuses on networking strategy and how to build genuine relationships.

Today I want to stick with the concept of mentorship.

You Cannot Succeed Without a Mentor

If you don’t already know, mentorship is a HUGE topic of conversation on this site, on the podcast, and most importantly in my Optimizer coaching & mentorship program.

I believe that if the goals you’ve set don’t require support from a mentor, then you’re probably not setting big enough goals for yourself, friend.

And that’s why I’ve been a mentor for many years of my editing career and why I’ve built an entire business around providing mentorship for anyone looking to optimize their lifestyle, their productivity, and their careers.

Once I help my student develop the clarity and confidence to achieve their most important goals, inevitably a thousand questions come up.

And the only people that have the answers you seek are most likely those people doing now what you hope to be doing next.

When I seek out mentors I always seek out the best, hence why instead of just hiring a personal trainer to help me improve my grip strength or my balance I’ve surrounded myself with the best in the world at this sport.

And I believe if you want to succeed you have to surround yourself with the best who are doing now what you hope to be doing next.

I know this can seem daunting and overwhelming, so that’s why below I’m sharing with you my two favorite articles from my site that I’ve written on the topic of mentorship.

Because no matter how much you believe you “shouldn’t need others to help you,” or how embarrassing it might be to reach out and ask silly questions, or how it might make you look weak if you can’t just “figure it out on your own,” I promise you if you set real goals, you’re gonna need help to achieve them.

My Two Best Articles on Mentorship

How to Find the Right Type of Mentor (and When You Should Seek the Best)

How to Go From Cold Contact to Your Ideal Mentors In Seven Simple Steps

I hope you find these articles useful so you can surround yourself with people who inspire you, challenge you, and most importantly guide you towards a life that you’re excited to wake up to every Monday morning, friend.

Be well.
Zack Arnold
Creator, Optimize Yourself

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”