How to Pick a Success Mentor to Accelerate your Results

Jessica was dog-tired. As an expert in her field, she spent the last 2 years building her small business thinking she’d done all the right things…but was troubled by her less-than-desirable results. Jessica had heard friends talking about how hiring a mentor had helped them short-cut their path to success and eliminate the frustration of doing the wrong things.

She started looking online for coaches. But page after page of experts calling themselves coaches just left her more confused. Months later Jessica was still without a mentor. When a friend asked her what was stopping her from hiring someone Jessica announced, “There are so many! How could I pick one that’s right for me?

Sound familiar?

Knowing HOW to pick a mentor or coach can be the most important decision you make this year. Having someone who can eliminate the guesswork, brainstorm new solutions assist you in prioritizing what to do in what order is essential to accelerating results. But you do want to make sure the person you choose to work with is a good match for you, especially since you will be making a significant investment in your business growth.

Here are five of my personal insights into finding the right mentor.

1. Proof is in the Pudding

The most important tip to finding a mentor is picking someone who has achieved successes in business that you admire. And I don’t just mean financially. Success is also about who they are being, how well they are respected, how they treat people, what kind of lifestyle they live and what they stand for in the world.

When you are mentored by someone you are will be learning how to achieve success. You want to pick someone that gets what’s important to you so that you aren’t trying to convince them your goals are worthy. Ultimately a business coach will influence your decision making, so make sure they have have proven results!

2. Coach vs. Mentor

There is a big difference between a coach and a mentor. A mentor is someone who can teach you how to do what they did. A coach is (hopefully) trained to help you align proven strategies with what’s important to you. If you are lucky, you’ll find someone who is both (like me.)

One of the pitfalls I’ve witnessed of working with a mentor who is NOT a trained coach is they do not know how to get you out of your own way. They just know how to tell you how to do what THEY did. It’s why many entrepreneurs who invest in a guru’s miracle system fail. Find someone who has a proven system, can customize it to your needs, skills and values AND can help you break free of your limiting beliefs.

3. Do Your Homework

A fast way to find out if you align with someone is to do some research on them. For instance, you could:

  • Follow them on Social Media
  • Buy one of their books
  • Checkout their podcast or blog
  • Purchase one of their online programs or buy a ticket to their event

I’ve found that some of my best clients have hired me on the spot after they invested in my Build Your Dream Team or MoneyDNA 2.0 programs. Why?  Because they’ve had a sample of my results-driven process and already have the “know-like-trust” factor. Don’t be shy to take a first step and invest in a small program first. At least check out their free offer!

Get a copy of my Top 10 Strategies to Create Your Revenue Rush — FREE!

4. Due Diligence

Check out what other people have experienced from this expert. You never want to rely on hearsay alone cause not everyone is a good fit for each mentor. But if you hear a common theme of “I liked their marketing but they didn’t deliver” or “They were never available to conduct my coaching sessions” then I’d steer clear.

Recently a new client told me, “I’ve searched high and low for dirt on you and impressively, I couldn’t find anything! All I heard was people singing your praises.” Of course, I felt great pride in that and she’s not the first to say something similar. My point is: check references, do google searches, read their testimonials and watch their case studies. Feel confident in your decision (but don’t drag on with research forever…it’s just another form of procrastination!)

Then book a consultation with them. Its important that you evaluate if you have synergy and a compatible style. It helps if you make a list of your “desirable traits” and “deal breakers” before you meet with them!

5. Look for The Stretch

Some people get caught up in feeling like they have to really like their mentor. You don’t. I’d suggest you find someone that makes you nervous in a good way. Why on earth would you spend a boatload of money to have a new best friend? Now I don’t mean hire a coach who shouts, puts you down or bullies you in any way.

Hire a mentor who will really stretch you to into a new paradigm. You want to be pushed and challenged to be more than you are now. That’s not going to happen if you are all nice and cozy hanging out with your new best friend. And that’s why you should never, ever let yourself ONLY be guided by your friends or family. Friends can inspire you, but they can’t challenge you the same was a good coach will.

6. Invest High

My last tip is to hire a success coach at a level that scares you. You MUST have some serious skin in the game to experience the level of growth you desire. If you aren’t feeling a pinch then you aren’t being charged enough. Here’s why. When you find your stride you’ll be tempted to back off or slow down. When you are dropping some serious change (and this is at whatever level is a stretch for you – could be $500 or $20,000 a month) then you will work a million times harder to ensure you get the return on investment.

Now you might find yourself talking yourself out of hiring a business coach because you can’t afford it. If you are interviewing a really good coach they will help you overcome that fear — and transform your investment into massive results.

Want to see if we are a good fit? Check out my current coaching programs today (and if you are looking for a business mastermind for experts, apply right away as spots fill up quickly.)

 

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6 Comments

  • Pam Ivey

    December 15, 2009

    I particularly like and agree with #5 – working within less than an ideal comfort zone with your mentor is necessary for true growth.

    • Melanie Benson Strick

      December 17, 2009

      Thanks Pam, yes, you are right! If you are comfortable then you probably aren’t growing too much!

  • Yoana

    December 15, 2009

    I also think just the fact of having someone who can hold you a bit accountable for whatever projects/tasks you discuss can light a fire under your butt!

    This is one of the reasons why I love coaches/mentors!

    • Melanie Benson Strick

      December 17, 2009

      Yoana, you are definitely right! Coaches/mentors are great at keeping you on track but also getting you to think much bigger and explore new options you may not have thought of before.

  • Jim

    June 2, 2011

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  • Deb Coman

    April 2, 2015

    Melanie, this is a great post. I’m so glad you shared it. I especially love #2 and the distinction you make there. Customization is key, not only because our businesses are all different but also because we all learn differently and go at different paces. I also agree so strongly that you want to find someone who you can admire and who has success, not just financially but in a way that you want to emulate. It is so true that when we work with someone we become linked to them.