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DAN KOE

ALEX MATHERS

TAYLIN SIMMONDS

Founder, KorteX
3.5M followers

medium.com top writer
120K followers

BRAND CONSULTANT
79K followers

★★★★★

★★★★★

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"If you want practical strategies to maximize your own well-being, then create a profitable internet business around your passions, interests and curiosities – Goldfield is your guy."

DAN KOE

without the guidance i’ve received throughout my life i’d be a drunk, broke, fat, lazy mess.

intelligent co-operation is the unique edge of our species, and nowhere is this more obvious than in our ability to learn from one another.

a chimpanzee’s life now is the same as that of a chimpanzee 1000 years ago (because it can’t communicate in anything more than grunts and screeches).

but when one human made fire, then told another how to make fire, the first technological revolution began.

fast-forward to 2023:

🔹internet
🔹digitized libraries
🔹smartphones
🔹AI

all because we’re able to pass on what we learn.

so why are some of us still struggling?

because not all of us leverage this great advantage to its maximum.

and i sympathize: finding excellent teachers and mentors is hard. the better they are, the fewer you’ll find.

but in this letter i’ll show you that it costs more energy to stay at your current level of knowledge than it does to embody a growth mindset, seek out high-quality guidance from experts and implement on that guidance.

and i’ll show you exactly how to identify, seek out and take whatever type of guidance you need—in 7 simple steps.

once you know this there’s no going back: you’ll be shooting ahead of everyone else on all metrics because you’ll want to do what’s best for yourself.

no-one can compete with that.

and in case you’re thinking all this sounds selfish, good news: doing what’s best for you is best for everyone else.

going it alone: the path of trial and error

let’s say you’re an entrepreneur and you want to maximize your performance so you can:

🔹 realize your vision
🔹 outperform your competitors
🔹 engage the world in a massively beneficial win/win arrangement.

and let’s say—for illustration—you want to do this alone.

you’ll gather information from books, articles and papers but you don’t want to co-operate with anyone nor take any advice.

where do you start?

🔹 diet?
🔹 fitness?
🔹 software?
🔹 fundraising?
🔹 mindfulness?
🔹 social media?
🔹 skill stacking?
🔹 supplementation?
🔹 entrepreneurship?
🔹 time management?
🔹 sleep optimization?
🔹 cold water exposure?

what part of entrepreneurship do you begin with? strategy? finance? market research? branding? offer creation? marketing? sales? networking?

what diet do you try first? keto? vegan? paleo?

what exercise program do you go for?

what skill do you learn first?

you see where this is headed.

even if you knew where to start, learning all this from books would take longer than a lifetime—because at the start you’ve no idea what’s relevant to your individual situation and what’s not.

if you try to do everything alone you’ll be trying for a lifetime.

you might get lucky in one area and hit the thing that works for you first time.

but you’ll never get lucky with all of the above.

meanwhile:

🔹 your vision is left unrealized
🔹 your impact is left unmade
🔹 your health, income and relationships stay at their current level

good news: a bunch of people have already dedicated their lives to each of the areas above.

and some of them are willing to share their knowledge with you.

i owe my life to these 7 mentors

i was that kid who was always asking “why?”

i was predisposed to seeking guidance. i sure didn’t know what the fuck was going on when i became self-aware as a 4-year-old boy. so i looked to others to tell me.

“the grown-ups must know, right?”

wrong.

"little dan" was almost always disappointed with the answers he got.

but there was one person in his early life who made some sense…

mentor #1: my dad

my father is a worldly man—a damn good one.

he built the largest independent insurance brokerage in the uk before exiting a few years ago.

he always worked long hours, but he always made time for me—especially when i hit my teenage years and needed long talks on morals, ethics and how to find my place in the world.

i could’ve taken my dad’s advice alone and lived a secure, comfortable and reasonably happy life.

but i wasn’t satisfied with that.

mentor #2: Steve Popejoy

at age 11 i took up drums.

at 14 i attended my first open stage night.

that night i went from being the best drummer in school to the worst drummer in town. i’d found a bigger pond and i needed swimming lessons.

steve was in his 50s and had thousands of professional gigs under his belt.

he was also somewhat christian, somewhat buddhist, and one of the first to practice and teach ninjutsu in the uk.

he enjoyed being a mentor to young musicians and he offered a kind of guidance my dad never could have—his life experience was entirely different.

i recall feeling apprehensive about taking this guidance—as if i were somehow insulting my father by engaging another father figure.

200 years ago if your dad was a blacksmith, you were a blacksmith.

but there was no way in hell i was going to be an insurance broker.

so i continued toward a career as a musician, taking advice from musicians.

steve taught me that being great on drums wasn’t enough for a career in music.

he taught me how to get along with people (i.e. how to not be a dick) and how to be professional (i.e. how to not make everyone else wait to start rehearsal because i had beers the night before).

steve also took me to the woods and out on the beach and taught me some ninjutsu.

ninjutsu, being of japan, had plenty of zen in it.

so it was with steve that i meditated for the first time.

it did almost nothing for me.

steve’s explanations were good enough.

i suspect, looking back, that it was just too soon for teenaged dan.

following my time with steve i entered a “wisdom dark age”.

it would be almost 10 years before i’d find my next real mentor.

mentor #3: Simon Gore I.T.M.

when i was approaching 30 years old i’d been playing drums for 20.

i was travelling europe playing with lots of artists and trying to hide from them that i was desperately stressed out and in chronic pain.

see, no-one ever told me how to manage stress or unsociable hours. and no-one told me how to use my body efficiently at the drums.

but a career in music involves fucked up hours, low pay and a lot of travel. and drumming involves swinging all four limbs at the same time at great velocity. this became a problem.

at my worst, i was sneaking off after shows to find a spot backstage where i could lie on the ground to try to get some pain relief. it rarely worked. simon gore would be the man to tell me why.

simon began a long process of retraining the way i went about things through his method of teaching a little-known thing called alexander technique.

this turned out to be about mental discipline.

as i developed that mental discipline, something else happened. i stopped procrastinating.

and one thing i’d been procrastinating on was listening to more talks by a guy called…

mentor #4: Alan Watts

alan was dead by the time i caught up with him, but that didn’t stop me having a wonderful relationship with him.

with alan i finally felt like i was getting answers to the questions i’d been asking since i was 4 years old:

🔹 who am i?
🔹 what’s the point of all this?
🔹 why are there so many fucking rules?

i listened to everything i could find by alan over a 6-month period.

my world-view changed almost daily.

i could barely keep up.

but at some point the recordings ran out.

after listening to many of them a 2nd or even 3rd time, i began to explore other famous teachers:

🔹 ram dass
🔹 thich nhat hanh
🔹 eckhart tolle
🔹 adyashanti
🔹 rupert spira
🔹 mooji
🔹 mingyur rinpoche

these were all wonderful encounters, through which my dissatisfaction with life was fading.

but it was still there.

regarding what to do about it, i kept hearing the same message coming from the teachers i was listening to…

if i wanted to get serious about this stuff, i’d need to find a teacher for one-to-one guidance.

a connection that would change my life came through reddit…

mentor #5: Dhammarato

dhammarato is an american who lived as a monk in thailand for 8 years.

he was sent out of the monastery to teach their inner circle secrets online.

i was sceptical when i first called, but we spoke for 3 hours.

then i called the next day and we spoke for 3 hours more.

over the course of hundreds of hours and a visit to thailand, dhammarato gave me a thorough, modern presentation of theravada buddhism.

his guidance finally brought the understanding i’d been gaining into my direct experience.

up to then i’d been doing guided meditations.

by prescribing powerful methods suited to my own temperament, dhammarato taught me to meditate unaided.

but most importantly, he taught me that mindfulness is to be practised 24/7, not just when sitting quietly.

after all, what good is peace, calm and clarity if it’s only present when you’re on your own?

dhammarato guided me through my first experience as a teacher and gave me lineage to the historical buddha.

after i helped my first student (my mother) through a mental health crisis, dhammarato encouraged me to start teaching others.

but i didn’t feel ready.

i knew the help i’d given mum qualified me to at least try.

but in the 21st century we have access to many different presentations of wisdom.

i wanted to understand those other presentations and “cross-reference” my understanding.

so that’s what i did.

mentor #6: Ziji Rinpoche

i discovered a group in ziji rinpoche’s lineage who ran weekly meetings in my city of bristol, uk.

they were a delightful bunch, but rinpoche’s teachings seemed odd to me at first.

dhammarato’s teaching was piercing like an arrow.

rinpoche’s was like a bullet. it shocked me at first. then it killed whatever was left of my ego.

i spent a long while comparing the differences between these two marvellous teachings.

this was rough.

only when i’d had enough of that roughness did i give up the comparison and instead appreciate the vast similarity between the teachings.

then things got really good.

i relaxed like i’d never relaxed before.

my problems vanished as if they’d never existed at all (spoiler: they hadn’t).

i discovered in my own direct experience what all these teachers were pointing at.

i was free.

but this wasn’t the end of my journey…

mentor #8: Artem Boytsov

Artem is a spiritual teacher outside of any tradition.

his own awakening process was rapid and painful, and he focuses on guiding people through the most difficult parts of their own journeys.

Artem gave me one final little push out of buddhism to set me free of all models, then gave me further encouragement to teach.

mentor #7: Deb Goldfield

i met the woman who would become my wife in october 2019.

while i’d been here in the west studying the wisdom of the east, she’d been in the east studying the psychology of the west.

we hit it off immediately, comparing notes for hours at a time.

when i’d refined my understanding to something that withstood the scrutiny of all four of these main approaches i’d studied:

🔹 modern personal development (included in the teacher training i was taking with simon)
🔹 theravada buddhism
🔹 nonduality (as taught by ziji rinpoche and others)
🔹 psychology

…then i finally felt ready to go public with my teaching.

so i did.

and it went very well.

finally i ended up here, writing this post to you.

pretty cool, right?

but where does this leave you?

7 steps to finding your perfect mentor

if you’re someone who’s yet to enjoy the type of relationship i described above, don’t worry: it’s not too late.

i’m going to tell you exactly how to find whatever guidance you need, step-by-step.

step 1: figure out who you are

millions of people over thousands of years have found that when they get really quiet, everything becomes clear.

imagine you’re standing in a pond.

when you’re busy moving around, the mud on the bottom is kicked up and the water becomes murky.

but when you stand still, the mud settles and the water becomes clear.

your mind is like that water.

so if you don’t have one already i recommend taking up a mindfulness practice like this one:

step 2: figure out your core values

from your newfound quietude, it’ll be easier to identify what you really care about.

for 20 years i thought music was my top priority.

music is wonderful, but my true interest always lay in those existential questions i’d had since childhood.

having found those answers and enjoyed the freedom and happiness they brought, my mission is now to guide others to that same wellbeing.

it took me a while to figure this out.

but the quieter i got, the easier it was.

the same will be true for you.

step 3: decide what your life would have to be like to be aligned with those values 24/7

this part was tough for me.

i’d been so married to my teenage ambition (to be the best drummer in the world) that i struggled to let it go.

i knew my values had changed, i just didn’t know how to rearrange my circumstances to reflect those changes.

i could’ve lived happily ever after as a musician and teacher of music, but that wouldn’t have been my greatest contribution to humanity.

to realize that, i’d have to make some changes.

i’d need to position myself to help people with their own existential questions—because it was impossible to make time for that while maintaining my old career.

but i had a vision.

do you have a vision?

if not, you need to spend more time on steps 1 & 2.

step 4: figure out what you must know to create your aligned life

if you knew how to create a life in alignment with your core values you’d be living it already.

(or you'd at least be on your way.)

otherwise there’s a knowledge gap.

to close that gap, you need to…

step 5: figure out who has the knowledge you need

who’s doing what you want to be doing already?

in 2023 there must be a bunch of them.

some of that bunch will be doing it on social media.

find them using search or hashtags. this may take a while but hey, we’re all pretty good at scrolling social media by now :)

step 6: figure out how to get around them

which platforms do they hang out on?

who do they talk to?

do they run a community?

are they part of someone else’s community?

this may start to feel like stalking but hey, social media is for making connections.

you might wonder why i’ve skipped the possibility of offline connections...

they’re just harder.

you have to be in a place at the same time as the other person.

this is called stalking.

weird, right? commenting under every post someone makes on social media is fair game but if you turn up daily to their favourite café you can be arrested.

obviously on social media people make public statements inviting strangers to interact.

but it’s still an unfair advantage over those still trying to make connections locally.

step 7: figure out how to give value first

rule number one of internet networking: never ask for anything.

the days of win/lose business are well and truly over.

okay, maybe some used car dealers are still screwing people over. but i’m confident those people aren’t modelling your vision of an ideal life.

online, the vast majority of people are about win/win arrangements.

this means you get to just give, and trust that you’ll receive. (the abundance of opportunity and resources flowing through the digital economy helps.)

here’s what this looks like in practice…

how to make it easy for people to help you

i have an 8th mentor who i’ve saved for last.

his name is Dan Koe.

dan teaches people how to create the life they want by leveraging the internet.

he demonstrates the power of what he teaches by:

🔹 having the most engaged audience i’ve ever seen
🔹 serving that following massively for huge impact
🔹 living the life he designed for himself

this is a dude who needs very little from anyone.

so how do we get dan’s help without asking for it?

we give.

we give with zero expectation to receive.

inside dan’s course, digital economics, he encourages participants to connect with one another.

when i joined up, i started doing this. but i quickly realized i’d have no chance of getting to everyone.

so i took the initiative to organize a group mastermind on twitter spaces.

i polled for availability, laid out a structure for the call and encouraged everyone to get involved.

in one part of the agenda we planned for one person to tell their story.

dan popped up in the chat and said “hey, i’ll go first.”

cut to, i’m interviewing one of the platform’s favourite creators, asking him all the questions i want.

but i never asked for it.

i had no idea this would happen.

but i’d made it easy for dan to jump in.

the interview was a hit: lots of people got lots of value.

in fact, it went so well that other established creators came to me to offer their time and i interviewed them too.

this is how it goes online in 2023.

it’s never been easier to get the knowledge you need and create the life you want.

~

2024 update: i actually ended up working with Dan, teaching other people what he taught me. pretty cool, right?

~

conclusion: growth is the easy route

consider two timelines.

in one, you remain in your current position with all its struggles.

in another, you go through the steps above—again and again—and you grow exponentially.

will you become free of all challenges? hell no.

but your challenges will be of better and better quality—e.g. instead of another sleepless night worrying about cash flow, you’ll have another inbound client you can’t fit in.

each of the guides i spent time with helped me “upgrade” my challenges.

with steve i was learning to be a pro musician.

with simon i was learning to deal with the symptoms of being a pro musician for 15 years.

see how this works?

as mentioned, i really could’ve lived happily ever after as a music teacher. it was a great little coaching business.

but there was another level of impact for me to make. and now that i’ve hit it i wouldn’t dream of going back to the old set of challenges associated with being a music teacher.

a well-lived life is spent exchanging "good" for "better", again and again, on the basis of mutual benefit.

i’m grateful every day to those mentors who pointed the way for me.

if i’m the guy who knows what you want to know, i’ve got your back

maybe you want to go deeper on this whole “wellbeing in all circumstances” thing.

maybe you want to learn what i'm teaching working alongside Dan Koe.

if you do, click here to tell me your goals and hear back from me within 24 hours.

win/win for the win,
dg 💙

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If you've ever been confused about which spiritual practice to commit to, you're not alone. I spent a whole f¥cking YEAR looping on this. But the solution was right under my nose the whole time. Let me give it to you right now (and save you a lot of headaches)...

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How to Make Friends & Enjoy Win/Win Arrangements

(Without Even Trying)

Everything great that humans have achieved has been achieved by teamwork. Unfortunately, many people struggle to unlock their true friend-making potential because of insecurity, doubt and anxiety. Here's a simple 3-step process you can use to delete your fears and start getting all the benefits of collaboration.

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How to Stop Wasting Your Time In Meditation

(7 Insights to Save You 1000 Hours of Practice)

Over 8 years, I spent 29,366 hours experimenting with every mindfulness technique available. I checked my results with a senior monk and a neuropsychologist. Want to know a secret? Meditation isn’t necessary. Contemplate these 7 insights. If you understand them, you can save yourself a lot of time.

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How to Avoid The #1 Cause of Stress

(3 Steps to Avoid Early Death)

A 2012 study by NHS Scotland found that "psychological distress is associated with increased risk of mortality from several major causes." It's proven: stress is literally a matter of life or death. Here's how to get out of the trap (and stay out).

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How to Get What You Want In Life

(3 Steps to Stop Feeling Lost)

Unless you know what you want, it’s impossible to get it. Sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many of my 1,000+ one-to-one students have been confused on this subject. Here's how to find your north star and get on the road to a life of wealth, freedom, love and inspiration.

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How To Attract Your Perfect Life-Partner

(Avoid the #1 Killer of Attraction)

A strong romantic partnership is the ultimate team. Sadly, most people never even meet their perfect partner—let alone attract them and make them happy for a lifetime. Here's how to make sure you don't miss out on the most significant relationship you'll ever have.

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How to Maintain Healthy Social Boundaries

(The Power of Saying No)

The main reason you struggle to say "no" is fear of what will happen if you do. But have you ever seen things going badly for someone who has their boundaries dialled in? Me neither. Here's how to value your time properly and take it back (before you run out of it altogether)...

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