I’m Sorry, Internet Courses are not a Replacement for a Mentor

Who’s going to hold you accountable?

Cal Axe
4 min readAug 27, 2021


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I scrolled past a LinkedIn poll the other day asking about personal development.

“What is your personal development plan?”

a.) Work with a mentor.

b.) Online courses.

c.) My company’s training program.

d.) I have no plan.

It about killed me, but I selected online courses.

I’m a huge believer in mentorship. If you’re trying to develop a new skill or accomplish anything worthwhile — which should be all the time — there’s not a faster learning strategy than the classic master/padawan relationship. But the awful truth is, I haven’t had a mentor in over a year.

I don’t have a business development mentor because I’m changing companies. But that’s a lame excuse. Business development is a transferable skill — I could’ve found a mentor anywhere.

I don’t have a mentor for writing because it’s hard messaging influencers like Tom Kuegler or Tim Denning for advice. Also, a lame excuse. It just takes a little more effort.

I’m a walking contradiction, but there’s one thing I know for certain: internet courses will never replace mentorship.

Here’s why.

How do you actually get better at something?

You don’t know fear until you’ve cold-called a busy CEO and requested a sit-down meeting.

I must’ve sounded like porky the pig the first time I called a high-profile prospect. “So n-n-nice weather we’re having to-today?”

I was timid, clueless, and anxious during my few weeks. A year later, I became one of the most prolific cold callers in the office — so good that competitors started asking if I would lend advice to their junior brokers.

How did I go from porky the pig to Jordan Belfort so quickly?

Grit expert Angela Duckworth calls it deliberate practice: An action toward a goal, feedback from a coach, and constant repetition.



Cal Axe

I give practical advice about leadership and mindsets | Subscribe https://yoprolibrary.substack.com and get a free eBook about how to journal.