Mentor? Mastermind? Coach? Consultant? Accountability buddy? Engaging the support of an advisor as you grow your business is worth its weight in gold. You can only go so far on your own and it’s not ideal to operate in a bubble. Having support from outside your business is going to help you uplevel and grow.
But it can be a minefield when it comes to figuring out what support is best for you.
Michelle Broadbent has a unique insight into this world. Not only do I provide accountability support in my business but many of my clients are coaches. I have in-depth knowledge of their businesses, offerings and the experience they give their clients. I am also part of a mastermind and have had coaches throughout my career. So you could say I have a 360 degree view about what to consider when engaging a coach or joining a group coaching program.
So where do you start?
START WITH WHAT YOU NEED:
- Why do you feel you need support?
- What’s your objective?
- Are you starting a business? Wanting to leave a job? Upleveling your business?
- Is it a revenue goal?
- Is it mindset?
- Is it a specific challenge around sales, or marketing or money?
There are all sorts of specialists – life coaches, money coaches, mindset coaches, marketing coaches, sales coaches, social media, and generalists out there so you need to be clear of your objective BEFORE you go hunting for help otherwise you are going to end up feeling like your needs are not being met.
Then you need to consider what format works best for you – would you prefer to work 1:1 or would a group coaching program or mastermind be better? Or a blend of both? This comes down to knowing yourself. Some people really need that individual support from someone who gets to know them deeply, others love the connections and multiple points of view from a group scenario like a mastermind.
THEN, DETERMINE WHO IS GOING TO HELP YOU:
No doubt your social media feeds are flooded with ads and offers from business coaches or group coaching programs. They all promise the world but sadly many people sign up to their services, only to realise they’re just not right for them. Rather than putting your decision in Facebook (or I should say Meta’s) hands – here’s what you can do to be more discerning:
1. Ask Around
Look at the people you know who are killing it. Chances are they are supported in some way
Social media is great to know who is out there then look for a mutual connection. That is actually what I did when I joined my mastermind. I saw that one of my clients was a part of the group and she validated that this would be a good option for me.
2. Talk to Them First.
Like picking a romantic partner, you do need to feel like there is a “fit”. Most service providers will do a discovery call. This is an opportunity to ask them about their process and get clear on how they work, their availability, etc. Tell them what your objective is to get an idea of how they can help get you there. Listen to what they say… sometimes we only hear what we want to hear!!
You also need to consider whether they have done what you’re doing to be the right person. Do you want to learn how to build a million dollar business from someone who barely makes six figures? Have they walked the path before you?
Trust your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right then you can’t force it, you might need to keep looking. Don’t let anyone pressure you into working with them if you don’t feel its’ right for you!
3. Be aware of what you are signing up for
Read the fine print. Is there a prerequisite that you run your business through a piece of software that is going to cost you 100’s of dollars a month? Are you obliged to become an affiliate or referral of business? Is there a guarantee or cooling off period? Don’t just check the box to say you’ve read the Terms & Conditions – be aware of what you are agreeing to.
4. Try before you buy
Is there an option to get a taster first? Do an introductory session or a masterclass where you can get an insight into their approach. Some coaches offer a month by month arrangement so you are not subject to a massive financial outlay upfront.
5. Justifying the cost
What can you afford? You either need to be making a profit or have the money set aside to pay for this. I have made back my investment in the mastermind I’m in 10 fold and I haven’t looked back but that’s not everyone’s experience. So it’s a bit of a chicken or egg situation – do you outlay the money before you have it in the knowledge that you will earn your investment back? That is a decision for you. Usually the higher the price, the bigger field you are playing in so you will be stretched. Are you ready for this? Come back to your objective… why are you doing this? You can get great group coaching and then build up to 1:1 when your business can sustain it.
6. Prepare for discomfort
People can find working with a coach confronting, they feel very exposed. One of my clients likens it to having someone rummaging around in your dirty laundry. You need to be prepared for real talk, to hear things that you don’t want to hear.
There are coaches who will be more hands-off or you could hide in a group setting which might be a better option if don’t like the spotlight on you
If you are investing in yourself my advice would be to make the most of the experience – the biggest transformation comes when you are open, honest and brave.
7. YOU need to do the work
While my clients may think I have a magic wand to make all their problems disappear, sadly there is more to it than that and they need to take ownership and do the work. Your coach isn’t going to run your business for you.
You can be surrounded and supported by the most incredible people, pay for the most expensive service and the highest level of coaching, but if you don’t do the work required then you may as well set fire to those $100 bills for all the good the help will do.
I hope that these insights can give you clarity around getting support next year. I have yet to meet anyone whose business is not better off with the right support in their business.