8 Practical Tips for Intuitive Entrepreneurs Seeking Mentorship to Up Level Their Biz
Whether you’ve been coached for years and are looking to make a change, or if you are seeking a mentor for the very first time, here are some guidelines I’ve found helpful in selecting just the right person.
The first thing you must do before deciding on a coach is to know where you want to go and what you want to accomplish. (Unless you’re hiring a coach for that very purpose and are totally confused about who you are and what you desire out of your life. And yes, there are coaches who specialize in that.) Until you know what you want a coach to provide for you, how can you find one?
Second, begin asking around to see who is recommended in that field for reaching that goal. Also look at people you admire who are doing what you want to do. You may not be ready (or able to afford) someone who is tops in that field. If not, look for someone just above you.
Once you know what and have some ideas on who, review the following list to see how they stack up. You can also look at a mentor you already have and use these items as a grading scale.
- Does your coach “get” you? Some coaches have been trained to say back to you what you are saying. This makes it sound like they hear what you’re saying, and they know just what you need to help. Having fallen into this trap myself, be forewarned, and dig a little deeper. Are they experienced in or willing to experience your method, read your book, or walk awhile along your path? If not, you may just be a person with a giant dollar sign for a head, and while you will receive coaching, it may not lead you down the path of your heart, but rather, down the path of an empty wallet.
- How do you feel? When talking to them, whether in casual conversation or during a “Discovery session” (a free call to find out if you are a good fit), how do they make you feel? While a good coach will call you out when you are mired in your own BS, overall, you should feel motivated, inspired, and grateful to be working with this person. They should be able to point out your weaknesses without pulling the rug out from under you. They should know how to motivate you without letting you use excuses to stand in your way. Some of my mentors have made me cry in a way that inspired me to try harder and reach further. Some have caused me burdens that made my heart cry out in despair letting me know it was time to move on.
- What is their integrity level? Ask others who have worked with them, did this coach deliver what they promised? Did materials show up on time? Did the coaching provide the expected support? Were there open channels of communication? In addition, if this is someone new you are considering, take some time to do a few Internet searches including the coach’s name and/or business name along with some words such as: problems, reviews, trouble, scam, felony, ripoff, illegal, (and anything else that comes to mind). It’s always better to learn these things before you sign on the dotted line.
- What type of networking opportunities do they provide? Depending on your business, this may not be important, but for most, it is. By connecting yourself to this person will you have opportunities to meet other people who you can learn from? Will there be marketing opportunities? Will you be promoted on their list? Are there live or online groups where you can converse with others and spur each other on as you pursue like-minded goals? Networking has tremendous value, sometimes as much as the coach themselves.
- What is your coach’s everyday attitude? When reading their materials, talking with them, and watching them interact with the world, do they have a positive attitude or are they mumbling about something all the time? Know however they show up in the world is going to reflect on their attitude when mentoring you. Is this a person you want to mirror?
- What is their body of knowledge in connection with what you want to learn? Look for someone who has succeeded and proven they can do what you want to do. Don’t rely only what their sales pages say. Ask around. Watch them in action. Check the facts.
- Do a gut check. You're an intuitive being. What is your body saying when you interact with this person? Your body is your wisest advisor, so don’t ignore its warning signs. (But it is okay to sometimes feel uncomfortable when being asked to step out of your outmoded boundaries.) Before saying “yes,” take time to seek out your inner wisdom through whatever channels your normally use. Decide if you’re getting a “hell yes” or a “maybe.” There’s a wide gap of difference between the two.
- Know when it’s time to move on. Don’t overstay your welcome. At the end of each term, take time to discover and write down what you’ve learned, what you’re grateful for, and if you received what you hoped for. Determine if there is still potential to learn more, or is it time to up level to someone new. Have your goals or needs changed? Have your skill levels changed? Are you getting a good value and return on the money you have invested in you?
Lastly, here are a few other things to keep in mind when coaching:
Remember to honor and value this person’s time. If they are showing up as they promised, you to have the obligation to show up on time and end on time with any expected materials or assignments complete.
If you signed an agreement, that is a legal and binding document. It’s not okay to simply disappear. Communicate if something needs to change. Work with your mentor to resolve issues. And, yes, sometimes you will mutually agree to part ways.
Pay close attention to what is promised and compare it to your expectations. Ask questions to clarify anything unclear. There typically are no guarantees that you will become rich and famous from coaching, rather your coach will promise to show up, provide agreed-upon advice, and encourage you to take the necessary steps you need to take to move forward. But almost no one can force you to move forward. You have to take those life-changing actions on your own.
I have been blessed with many mentors. Not all of the experiences have been good, but I have learned greatly from them all. Without them, I would not be where I am today… and I assure you, I have come so very far. While I have often traversed my path on my own, these people have provided many signposts for me to follow along the way, and for that, I am very grateful.
Are you considering a coach? What needs do you hope to fulfill? Have you had a coaching experience you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below.