Mentorship from a Distance

Listening to George Raveling on Tim Ferriss’ podcast a few weeks ago, it dawned on me how many “mentors” that I have THAT I DON’T EVEN KNOW PERSONALLY!

And George reminded me during that interview why it’s not only OK to be mentored-from-afar, but it’s something we should all be doing. In fact, the interviewer in that instance, Tim Ferriss, has a book titled “Tribe of Mentors“, and it speaks directly to this idea.

On George’s wall growing up, he had several posters — MLK and others. He considered Dr. King a mentor long before he met him (which he did, and the story is incredibly awesome). He says that MLK taught him the power of words and speech, how important it is to have a vision, and much more.

“If a man or a woman hasn’t found something in life that they’re willing to die for, then perhaps they’re not fit to live.”  – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

None of these lessons came from a personal relationship.

We can frequently fall into the ‘excuse-making trap’ for why we are not successful or why we are not happy and blame it on lack of opportunity.

In many cases, opportunity (or the knowledge that presents opportunity) comes from our network of peers and mentors, and subsequently, what they teach us and the doors that they open for us. This is why reading books or listening to podcasts is so important! George, in this interview, does a fine job of busting the myth that you have to have a personal relationship with a great person to be able to learn from them.

No more excuses! Find your mentors, from a distance or not, and start taking notes.

Here is a list of my mentors and some links to find out who they are.

** side note: this list is not complete, nor does it include any of my tremendously impactful mentors that I DO have a personal relationship with. Mentors-from-Afar come and go as the lessons they can teach become more or less relevant in our lives. This list could more accurately be described as Mentors-From-Afar that have had a recent impact on my life.

Jakob Gollon’s “Mentors-from-Afar”

For a multitude of reasons, these guys all have traits, or at least one trait, that I am extraordinarily fond of in some way shape or form.

… and I say ‘guys’ because I realized in writing this that I have no women on the list. Obviously for me, it’s typically easier to relate to the same sex, but I need to do better at seeking the wisdom of women and other gendered people from now on. For even that notice alone, it was worth it for me to write this blog.

The first group is only links. Check them out, but odds are, if you don’t know them, you’ve got some catching up to do before you move on anyway. Chop-Chop! There’s much to learn!


Ben Franklin
Ernest Hemingway
Henry David Thoreau
Muhammad Ali
Jim Rohn
Steve Jobs

Gregg Popovich – Legendary Spurs coach. Simple-life attitude. Known for taking players that “don’t know everything” (meaning, no-ego, a rarity in the NBA) and winning championships with them. Social Activist as well.
Tony Robbins – if you haven’t heard him speak, just google his name and watch for an hour. He’s powerful. His impact is massive. He’s wealthy for good reason. And by all my observations, he’s a good person.
George Raveling – Old bball coach (won lots of games), big-time businessman with Nike. Wise beyond his years — and he’s old! Social activist. Leader. Has read like 50,000 books.
Jordan B Peterson – Psychologist, Author. ELOQUENT debater. ARTICULATE speaker and writer. Ultra intelligent. Believes in reason, responsibility, and wisdom over all else. His new book is called “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos“. He’s very “controversial” to folks with way far-left political views (although, I’m not always sure why). George Raveling likes him and he’s pretty blue.
Buzz Williams – Head Coach at Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball. Spitting wisdom and advice on Twitter frequently. Love his perspective and the way he coaches with LOVE.
Donald Trump – just kidding lol. F*** that guy. Awful leader. Sorry for cussing. (btw, I have no party affiliation. Neither one of those life-sucking hooligan parties are gonna take my soul).
Steve Kerr – Head Coach Golden State Warriors (NBA). Intellectual coach. Work smarter, not harder. Insightful. Reasonable. Competitive. Winner.

Eric Thomas – Motivational speake, author – HE BRINGS THE JUICE. His energy is contagious, and there’s a lot of people blaming others instead of looking in the mirror and taking action, and ET is changing those folk’s lives.

Tim Ferriss – Lifestyle Designer, author, podcaster, extreme intellectual and stoic. Biohacker/Self-Experimentalist. Great writer, not just for creativity, but for articulation and results-based thinking. He speaks a lot on mental illness as well, which I believe to be an honorable cause, especially given his massive platform.
Tom Bilyeu – Entrepreneur, host of Impact Theory and Health Theory podcasts/TV. Insightful. When he tries to be motivational, he’s corny IMO, but he’s doing big things and he’s all about positivity.
Ermias Asghedom – Rapper, speaker. I admire the fact that he’s always trying to gain perspective, and he preaches wisdom and reason frequently. He’s willing to ‘Hussle’ in order to grow.
Benjamin Haggerty – Rapper, entrepreneur. Fearless. Energetic. He couldn’t cut it the old way, so he made his own route. Thrifty.
Aubrey Marcus – Founder/CEO of ONNIT, author, podcaster – new-age thinker, open-minded, challenges the status quo, his book title is “Own the Day, Own your Life“. If you can’t tell, I like people who believe in taking responsibility.
Gregory Alan Isakov – Singer, I just have mad respect for his music and I love jammin’ some Gregory on long car rides by myself (or with my dog, Cash).

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A note from the author:
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Serving you is my sincerest pleasure. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out with criticisms (be harsh), praise (not necessary), questions (answers), or just to say hello and chat (my favorite).

Love & Areté,
Jakob Gollon


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