"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." Albert Schweitzer
It always amazes me how lucky I have been to meet outstanding people and learn from their amazing life experiences. Mendy (Mend-Orshikh Amartaivan) has been one of those people. We first met last year after Mendy came across my website and asked if we could meet, telling me that he liked what I was doing in Mongolia and wanted to help. Now months later we have done some pretty cool things together, including organizing TEDxUlaanbaatar.
Like many entrepreneurs Mende has learned how to turn his passion into his job. He leads a team of outstanding people at the New Media Marketing Agency and spends his days and his weekends dedicated to work that he believes in. He also offers his team's valuable services for free to people who are doing great work in Mongolia like the Blue Sky Education Project and Nomadicare.
There are a lot of great people and books out there telling you to make money by becoming self-employed, offering great services to people and using online resources to your advantage. But Mendy is one of the few people that I've met (especially my age) who has learned how to do incredible things, make money doing them and help others at the same time. He is a huge inspiration to me and a great friend. I feel very lucky that he has inspired not only me but dozens and hundreds of other people and I think he will continue to do this for a very long time.
Here are a couple quick lessons that I've learned from Mendy in the last few months:
1. Connect With People Who Are Doing Great Things
We often see people who we think are doing great things (online, on television, in print, in person), but Mendy takes it a step further and reaches out to shake their hand. When you see someone doing something you admire, send them a quick note, or an email, or ask to sit down with them for coffee. When Mendy saw my website and asked me if we could meet, we met up at a cafe and it was probably one of the best meetings I have ever had with anyone. It doesn't matter how famous or busy you think the person may be, just give it a shot. I bet you'll be surprised who will write you back.
2. Ask How You Can Help
The second thing, when you do sit down and meet with the person, is ask how you can help them. I think it's very rare nowadays to find someone who will sit down with you, really listen, and sincerely offer you their help. So rare in fact that when Mendy did it to me I was taken aback. It was one of the best things I could have heard. I've started doing it with others more regularly and it's always turned out great. It's not always easy at first, to think of how I might even be able to help someone, but every time I reached out it's always gone incredibly well.
3. Thank People Sincerely
Lastly, it's key to thank people sincerely. When you thank someone for the opportunity to meet with them, thank them for the hard work they're doing, or just thank them for doing something small, it goes a long way. Often we feel unappreciated because, day after day, people forget to thank us for doing little things and they wait for the big things instead. Big or small, be sincere and appreciative with the people all around you.
When you mix all these things together, like Mendy, you might be surprised where it takes you. Whether that means making the Prime Minister's website (which Mendy has done) or just making a new friend.
Here is a recent video of Mendy in action, speaking at the "Mutual Understanding and Cooperation" conference in Mongolia. At the end of the presentation he closes with the main message of Crush It! by Gary Vanerychuk: "Build your personal brand." After reading the book, which Mendy let me borrow, I couldn't agree more. The internet is here to stay and "googling" yourself to see what everyone else (including potential employers) see when they search for you, is only the beginning. If you'd like to read more about this idea, check out my review of Crush It! Thanks!
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