“I’m not a teacher, but an awakener.”—Robert Frost
Does your business need a boost?
Do the six and seven figure entrepreneurial lifestyles you read about seem more like wishful thinking and pipe dreams than a reality in your future?
One of the most frequent questions we get from GKIC members is about how to apply to your own business the guidance you receive in our newsletter, live training and other resources.
Because when you operate your business in isolation, it’s easy to doubt yourself. (Tweet this!) Which may lead to you being indecisive about which ideas and obstacles to implement and conquer first.
But the truth is our most successful GKIC members haven’t done it alone. They’ve used mentors or coaching as a major part of their winning formula. In fact, every successful person on the planet has had a mentor they trust.
If you think about it, your biggest achievements in life can likely be tied to having a mentor—even if you didn’t officially call them that.
For instance, growing up, you probably had someone who proved influential in shaping your values. Perhaps a teacher, a parent, or religious leader. Maybe there is a sports coach or family friend who you continue to look up to and respect.
Business is no different. A mentor can be transformative by helping you identify what is standing in your way. They can help build your confidence, guide you to make better decisions and push you to greater heights both personally and financially.
However, like all things, there are things you need to know to help you succeed with mentoring.
Step one: Find the right mentor. It’s important to recognize when a mentor is worth your investment and how to choose the ideal mentor that is right for you.
When choosing a mentor, consider:
- Are you willing and able to work on your business? Mentors will guide you, but they are not going to do the work for you. You must be prepared to put the work in, because a good mentor will challenge you and demand more of you than you will of yourself. This is a good thing, because often we don’t reach as far as we are capable of.
However, if you aren’t willing to work, then you might not be ready for a mentor.
- Are you willing to invest in a mentor? Mentors or coaches range vastly in what they charge. Some charge upwards of $25K per year, while others are much less. It’s important to look at what your personal goals are when determining what you’ll spend. For instance, if you are looking to make an extra five figures a year working part time, then a mentoring program that costs $12,000 a year might not make sense. But if you are looking to make $250,000 a year, $12,000 a year may be worth the investment.
- Before committing, speak with potential mentor(s) to determine if their style is a good fit for you. Have a conversation with a potential mentor prior to getting started to ask questions and find the best fit. For instance, find out how much access you’ll have, whether you will speak with them directly or just through email. Do you feel comfortable with them—are they easy going or is conversation a challenge. Do their strengths line up with your weaknesses? How quickly do they typically respond to questions? What type of time and financial commitment are they asking for and what is their cancellation policy?
After speaking with a potential mentor, if you feel comfortable with them, consider asking for the names of two or three people they’ve worked with that you can call. During calls with previous mentees, you can find out how the mentor helped them the most and find out if they would do it all over again.
Step two: Write down your goals before your first session. Prepare for success by taking stock of where you are in your business and where you’d like to go. To be as prepared as possible when you first meet with your mentor, make a list of what you feel you are good at and areas you need help. For example, do you need help with getting clients? Better productivity? Generating consistent income in your business?
Write down what you feel are your biggest obstacles so your mentor can help you create a plan to overcome them.
Step three: Prepare to work with your mentor. To make sure you get the most out of your mentoring, here are five tips:
- Be prepared for your meetings. Show up to each meeting prepared with whatever materials or actions complete that you’ve agreed upon and bring something new that you have a question about, an issue with or is challenging. It doesn’t need to be a big issue, sometimes small ideas or simple things lead to big change.
- Commit. Ongoing contact with your mentor is one of the keys to success. Agree on a regular time to meet, keep your appointments and do what you say you’ll do.
- Tell your mentor how they’ve helped you. While your mentor might not ask for feedback, telling your mentor how he/she has been the most helpful will guide them on how to better help you going forward. Plus, saying “thank you” and sharing examples of what has worked for you often results in a mentor wanting to do even more for you without you even asking.
- Discuss your expectations with your mentor. Always talk to your mentor about what you expect from him/her and what you expect from your relationship. This will help ensure you have realistic expectations. Also, to avoid having problems or being disappointed, be sure to let your mentor know if your expectations or goals change.
- Be willing to go outside your comfort zone. Mentors are there to challenge you and push you professionally and personally. They are there to help you discover where your genius lies and inspire you to take risks. They are there to help you fully develop, so when a mentor asks you to do something that seems risky, challenging or out of your comfort zone…be willing to give it a try.
Mentoring might not be for everyone. But for the person who is eager to listen, eager to learn and willing to try new things, you’ll find mentoring can help you reach a level of success you would never reach on your own.
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