I speak to dozens of coaches a week about having a mentor and the benefit of that to their coaching business. Some of them are just finishing up courses; others are weary from failing to get clients 12+-months post-qualification; some are just starting out. I wanted to clear up some confusion about where you need to be in your coaching journey to benefit from being mentored.
1 – You Don’t Need To Already Have Clients
One mistaken belief is that The Coaching Revolution mentors only mentor coaches who are already active in the field.
Our mentors can work with coaches who are part way through their courses (or haven’t actually started yet, if you have significant experience) and can support them to get the ‘paying clients’ element of their coaching course.
You can have no clients at all and still be mentored to success.
2 – You Can’t Coach ‘Anyone’
When I ask coaches ‘who do you work with?’ or ‘who are you going to work with?’ I get answers like ‘I want to coach women in tech, and university leavers, and those facing redundancy and…….’. It makes me take a deep breath, because no – they won’t.
One of the reasons that so many coaches (82% according to the ICF) fail to create viable coaching businesses is because they don’t understand that you can’t coach ‘anyone’. Your coaching skills may mean that theoretically, you can coach any willing individual. However, if you set off to find clients in lots of different areas/fields you will almost certainly fail to develop a meaningful business.
Your mentor will help you understand why setting out to coach ‘anyone’ means that you end up coaching no-one.
3 – Who Will You Coach?
You absolutely and definitely will need to define exactly who you’re going to work with. That ‘ideal client’ should be those who a) you like to work with and b) will gain the most from working with you.
You don’t need to know who these lucky people are in order to be mentored; in fact, it’s the very first thing your mentor will work on with you.
4 – How Will You Find These Lucky People?
Your mentor is going to help you a) work out who you’re going to coach b) where you will find them. Powerful huh?
In short, you don’t need to already know how to find your clients – your mentor will help you.
5 – How Do I Explain What I Do?
Unseasoned coaches have a habit of trying to define what coaching is when they’re talking to a potential client. The problem with this is that honestly, coaching is so difficult to define succinctly that it ends up sounding either a) boring (goals? yawn…) or b) mad.
Ideally, coaches should be able to describe what they do in a single sentence, without using the word ‘coach’. The problem with the word coach is that everyone thinks they know exactly what a coach is, and almost all of them are wrong!
Our mentors work on helping you create that single sentence, as well as an entire marketing message – that’s uniquely yours – that speaks directly to those you are going to work with.
6 – You Simply Have To Be An Action-Taker
One of the wonderful things about working with coaches is that they already understand that the magic is in the doing. Talking about things is great, but without action, nothing happens. At the end of each mentoring session, you will agree a list of actions with your mentor. Your job is to go away and do them. There’s support available between your mentoring sessions, for a start all the mentors hang out in a Facebook group with all our mentees. We’re there to offer help when you’re stuck.
7 – It’s The Fastest Route To Success
Being mentored by those who have achieved what you want to achieve is the fastest way to succeed. A good mentor is further down the same road you want to travel. They can help you avoid the pitfalls along the way – because they’ve fallen down themselves.
The only thing better than a mentor is a collection of mentors. Together they know almost all the pitfalls there are to know!