Choosing the right Business Mentor or Business Coach can be a bit like choosing a suit.
The right fit, suitability for the occasion, quality, accessibility and appeal to you are all key factors in picking out the suit or mentor that’s right for you.
However, enough with the analogy - let’s dig into some key constructive advice in helping you to choose the right Business Coach or Business Mentor for you.
FIRST UP… do you need a Coach OR do you need a Mentor?
It’s important to make a distinction between the two. Whilst the definitions and the titles that many attach to themselves can be vague, I think of the key differences as follows:
Business Coaches will use a particular methodology or program to guide you through the set of challenges you’re facing. Your coach will use that framework (and there are many methodologies out there) to guide you to find answers yourself. In short, a coach does more asking than telling. Many coaches work on your mindset as a business owner, whilst others develop frameworks to guide you toward growth decisions in the business.
Business Mentors come from a particular position of expertise and can guide your business using that skillset or experience. Your mentor may have worked in the same industry, in the same position as you; OR they may have certain expertise and experience developed elsewhere that complement your own weaknesses. So, as examples, you may equally choose a mentor who has developed a successful business in your industry; OR you may choose one who has structured financial expertise to complement your own creative brain. As a guide, mentors tend to do more telling than asking.
Once you’ve made a decision on whether you need a Business Coach OR a Business Mentor (you may need both, or you may need more than one type of each!), it’s time to dive into the selection criteria to work out who is the best fit for you.
SECOND STEP: Do Your Research to Create Your Shortlist
Undoubtedly, it may feel like there are a myriad of options out there. As a first step to create a shortlist, I’d suggest the following:
Speak to people you trust in your industry, or people in other industries who are similar in mindset to you. Ask them if they have a coach or mentor they recommend.
Hit the Google machine. Search for the Coach or Mentor with the key terms you’re after. Add them to your shortlist.
THIRDLY: Consume, Consume, Contact
Once you’ve created your shortlist, it’s time to hungrily consume as much of the content that your potential new professional partner has published online as possible. Scour their website for words and videos. Look out for recommendations, reviews and testimonials. Take a look at their social media content.
Get a feel for what they are like as a person - it is incredibly important that you can get on with them and respect them as a professional who can guide your own growth and that of your business. You will be spending a lot of time with them and establishing a lot of trust, so bear that in mind.
After consuming as much as you can, if you are quite happy with what you see, don’t shy away from getting in touch. A talk on the phone or face-to-face meeting will reveal clearly whether or not you can form a strong relationship with your potential mentor. This is key to a productive relationship.
How much YOU like the person you’re going to work with is so much more important than how much OTHER PEOPLE like them. Go with your gut.
FOURTH: Location, Location, Location
Increasingly Coaches and Mentors and their clients are harnessing the power of the internet to conduct their sessions together remotely. Video chats via Skype, FaceTime and Zoom (amongst other tools) can make it feel like you’re virtually in the same place — just without the associated travel time!
That said, coaching and mentoring sessions via video/phone just might not be for you. AND THAT IS TOTALLY FINE.
Never let a Mentor or Coach coerce you into a form of delivery you aren’t comfortable with. The reality is, you simply won’t get the most out of your mentoring or coaching, if you’re not in tune with the delivery method.
With that in mind - your best bet is if you can find someone who is located nearby to you. This will allow them to potentially meet you for face-to-face mentoring sessions, or at the very least, understand the local conditions which you face.
LASTLY: Get Down To Details
The numbers have to work for you. It’s important that you feel like you can get value for money in your business from the fees that your potential Mentor or Coach charges.
Think about exactly what success looks like for you. What is at stake in your business?
Are you looking to find growth strategies that will unlock millions of dollars of market share? Do you have tens of thousands of dollars of inefficiencies in your business? If so, then paying a Mentor a small fraction of that per month to help get you there sounds like an absolute bargain.
Where possible, avoid the long-term lock-in contracts that some Coaches and Mentors demand. If they back themselves and the results they can offer you, they’ll be happy for your relationship to work on a month-by-month basis, pending results.
The reality is: maybe we’re not meant to work together. And that’s OK. It really is. What IS important, is that we both find people to work with, whom we resonate deeply with, as that is where the true magic can happen.
Own Your Direction.
Own Your Growth Strategy.
Own Your Mark.
PS If you’re interested in finding out more about working with me as your Business Growth Mentor, feel free to book in a time for a phone chat.