Let’s face it. Being an entrepreneur isn’t an easy job. There are times that you feel like things are not moving forward and that they are never going to get better.
Not only that, being a solo business owner can be a lonely existence – especially if you work at home. Even if you have a VA or you’re fortunate enough to have a biz partner as I do, you still work within a small circle and “don’t get out much.”
That kind of insulation can slow your progress down to a crawl. That’s why it’s so easy to feel lost and why it’s so important to get support. Having a “fresh set of eyes” on anything can infuse it with new life.
And while it’s great to have your spouse or friends cheer you up, the type of support that will benefit you most is getting expert help from a qualified mentor.
The most obvious benefit of having a mentor is learning from their real-life experiences. You will be privy to their personal tips for overcoming professional challenges, making difficult business decisions, planning a roadmap for the future, setting realistic goals, etc.
Not only that, but your mentor’s network can also be your most valuable set of contacts. Since they are invested in your success, they will open up their “business Rolodex” to you and steer you in the direction of other resources you might need.
The truth is, nothing that can substitute for what can be accomplished through focused, one-on-one mentoring that’s completely customized to your needs and your business!
When you feel stuck or you’re just starting out, it is common to be paralyzed with overwhelm. And you may be hearing advice from myriad gurus who all have their certain way of doing things.
Having a personal coach or mentor means getting relevant and actionable strategies that will actually propel you forward and build your business.
Here are some things you might want to look for in a mentor:
- You want someone who will tell you the straight scoop, but in a gentle, uplifting way. Although some may respond well to a kick-ass drill sergeant, I believe support is better than intimidation.
- A Model. I don’t mean Christie Brinkley. I mean someone who walks their talk and has what it is you want. They should be successful by your standards as well.
- Deeply Committed To You. You can’t expect a coach to be more committed to your business than you are, you want someone who clearly has your best interests in mind, no matter what.
- If your coach only talks about their wins and never their missteps, that should raise a red flag. Not only can you learn much from their mistakes, but they must have the empathy to understand when you feel like a failure.
- An Excellent Teacher. Their experiences won’t do you much good if they can’t express them well and extract the teachable nuggets in a way that you can implement in your own business. They need to be able to define and help you achieve your dream.
- Shares Freely. Any good coach or mentor does not hold the “best stuff” back for him or herself or act stingy with their knowledge and expertise.
- Believes In You. Any coach is part teacher, part confidant, and part cheerleader. Sometimes what we need most is someone to see in us the potential that we are temporarily blind to.
When I took the step to hire my first coach, it stretched me financially and personally more than I had ever imagined.
But I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would not be enjoying the success I have if it had not been for their expert guidance.
And that has made all the difference.