Like many of us I enjoy a good magazine read, especially articles about other women who have created their own successful businesses.
One of the commonalities I’ve noted is the use of business coaches and mentors.
So I’m investing in one. I’m finding it worthwhile, challenging and motivating; all the things I wanted it to be.
I think personal, professional and business coaching can be one of the best investments you can make for yourself. But does it really work and how can you make it worthwhile?
Here’s 7 tips on making the most of coaching and mentoring:
1. Have a good idea about what you want from the process. For me it helps to write things down either in lists, mind maps, or in a diary. This clarifies thoughts and is really useful to share with the coach to get you started in the right direction.
2. Review this list of what you want to get out of the process after 3 or 4 meetings as your vision will be clarifying and you will have moved past some initial blocks.
3. Be ready to work. You only get out what you put in and a coach is there to guide and motivate, no to do the work. Think of a swimmer, her coach can’t do the training to get her body into the condition it needs to be in for the Olympics, only she can. The same with you and a coach.
I’ve heard stories of people who start all gun-oh with their business coach but it just fizzles away because they don’t do the work, they don’t give it the time, they don’t prioritise it so nothing useful comes from it. Make your choice about being active and involved so it is worthwhile.
4. Be honest with yourself and your coach. You will make a heap more progress by being straight with yourself and your coach. Part of the process is looking at what you do, why you do it and how well it works for you. By being honest about this with yourself you can make the changes where they are needed and get to where you want to be – both personally and professionally.
5. Think about the money. I had always thought that I couldn’t get a coach or mentor because of course it was way too expensive. So I didn’t go seeking it out. This is the wrong way to do it. A friend of mine with similar financial considerations recommended her business coach and the price is right and the coach is right.
There are also government business groups doing really affordable and valuable programs. I have a friend applying to the NSW Government’s Regional Business Development Mentor 6 month program and it is tremendous value.
So if you want it go looking for it.
6. The first meeting should be free. It is about scoping each other out and seeing if you are a good mix. You should talk about money and find out if it is the right financial solution for you. If it doesn’t fit have patience and look elsewhere.
7. Track how you are going. Have your goals set out and keep note how you are going with them. The idea is to be creating progress, some weeks are slower, some weeks are faster but it is the overall result that matters.
As for whether a coach or mentor works it comes down to how prepared you are to make it work, to put the effort in. It is an investment of time, effort, care and prioritising. Then it will be successful and you will get what you want.
Having a business, professional or personal coach is about bringing positive change into your life. It is constructive and liberating.
All the best,
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