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How to find or choose the right business mentor.
I was asked on IG a while back if I ever hired a business coach. The answer to that is no if we’re referring to a 1:1 biz coach.
While I prefer 1:1 for a specific service like accounting or a funnel build out, or managing a podcast, I actually prefer to learn on my own at my own pace.
I am really big on implementation of specific needs for gaps in my business. For me, that has come through multiple courses, and investing in one off services or masterclasses for guidance in a given area.
With that, I know many people prefer a 1:1 coach in various spaces, be it fitness or business, or general life coaching.
So, let’s talk about what you need in a business mentor. Because I still chose my courses and teachers based on a few key things. Things that I believe apply to also hiring a 1:1 business mentor.
Mind you I have definitely made the decision to NOT sign up with various coaches. And I think that speaks volumes as well.
These might surprise you. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But in my opinion, these are the most important factors in choosing a mentor.
This is unequivocally the most important piece. It is your responsibility to be crystal clear on what exactly you need from your experience with a mentor.
Expectations are everything. And they will lead to success or disappointment. Because even if you think you have no clarity, I guarantee you have subconscious expectations. We need to bring those into the light and identify them.
That way, we know if this mentor can guide you in that or not. I remember once I began applying for a high level mastermind/1:1 hybrid and the coach actually told me via dm that she didn’t think her mentorship was what I needed. Looking back, I actually think it was, but I wasn’t as clear as I needed to be on what it was that I needed. So, that’s my bad.
Moral is, get clear on what you need. What boxes do you need to check? And can this mentor help you do that? Is that within their wheel house?
In 2022 one of my Fitspros and 1:1 biz client of over a year moved on to her new coach who could fill a different gap for her than I could. I am not passionate about building teams. Hiring coaches and assistants, for sure. But building teams is not my niche. So, she hired for THAT need.
Know your next season. Define it. Hire accordingly.
This might be one of the most important points. Do they use the tactics, approaches, marketing, and business model that you want to build?
I know this might sound counter to my “no one size fits all approach” and “I don’t make mini me’s” in my business coaching. But also, what will you be learning from this person?
If not the same exact tactics, there is something you’re learning from them that you’ve seen in their business. Maybe it’s their schedule, or again, the model – the way they’ve built out their offer suite. There is likely some stage of their business that was or is appealing to you.
Perhaps it is as simple as their overall philosophy around entrepreneurship. That’s what it was for me when I bought courses from Hillary Rushford back in the day – she was a personal stylist, but I was really drawn to her general approach to business. It was counter to what I saw in the health and fitness industry. And definitely different to what coaches in our space were offering. There were no sales calls in her field. She went on a four month sabbatical to Europe. Nearly everything was passive. That was appealing to me. So that’s who I learned from.
I hope that paints a picture of what I mean by needing to dig their business model without needing to necessarily become a mini me or copy cat of that person or their business.
It’s looking at their approach and saying, yeah, I want a piece of that.
I think I’ve mentioned this before but as an example, I was never drawn to mom-preneurs because their life didn’t apply or appeal to me. Now that’s a different story. I have absolutely paid more attention to women who have families and run businesses. It makes a massive difference I think. And being a mom, and building a family does make one question and refine their business model, what they want from their business, and how they want life and business to look.
Now, that does not mean I have to learn from a mom. I could 100% hire a business mentor who is childless that can help me get closer to what I desire. That takes us back to #1 and knowing what exactly we NEED.
A las, is their business model appealing to you? If not, probs not the coach for you.
I would think this is a given. I am not at all saying you can’t disagree with, or have a slightly different world view than this mentor. Absolutely. But generally speaking, from a business standpoint at least, values should be aligned. Not misaligned for sure.
I say this because your values will undoubtedly come up in decision making. And their values will come up in their leadership of you through your process. So, if there is a mismatch there, it will become evident.
If they value money above all else (and this kind of piggybacks off of point 3), and you just want to build a biz that makes enough to vacation one month of the year, then that’s probably not a great fit. You get the gist of this I hope.
Ideally you know this before applying. If you need handholding (nothing wrong with that) then the structure of their coaching needs to be VERY HIGH TOUCH, hands on. You’re expecting daily or multiple check ins per week.
If you really like learning in a group setting – seeing and hearing from others, you need to be sure that there is a group piece that is nurtured throughout the mentorship.
If you prefer 1:1 mentorship but need a schedule and structure (like taking you through step 1, step 2, step 3) vs a more free flowing month by month or week by week structure, you need to know that up front!
You might jive with a given coach. But if their coaching style or mentorship structure is not what you ultimately need then you have a decision to make – can you make it work? Or not?
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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