If your name is God or Allah or Buddha or the Universe…then you don’t need a coach or mentor… for everyone else let’s chat about why you need one.
First let’s start with some definitions.
A Coach helps you achieve explicit objectives and goals. They help you get out of your own way and get unstuck. They help YOU find your own answers.
A Mentor is someone who has been there – has experience in your field and can guide you with sage advice and wisdom.
Many coaches are also mentors. In fact, I believe the best are.
We all need a mentor or a coach or a mentor coach – a confidant, someone in your corner to support you and your growth.
All highly successful people have had and do have one or more coaches. There is not one athlete, successful business person, musician or leader who did not have some sort of coach.
There is no such thing as self-made – they’ve all had help along the way.
I’ve had a coach from day one of my business and while the person has changed over the years and I have more than one coach, I truly believe it is a major reason of my success.
But why do YOU need a coach or a mentor? There are many many reasons, but I’ll stick to my top 3 for now.
A coach can…
- Help you fast track. They’ve been there done that – they can help you avoid major pitfalls and steer you in the direction faster than you ever would on your own. They can boost your confidence because you know they are there to support you if you run into trouble. Going for your goals is hard, and you will face challenges early in the process. Hearing first-hand from your mentor coach about their experiences will help you realize that the struggles you are going through now will prepare you for the future.
- Keep you focused. No matter your goals a coach can help clarify your direction and get you moving towards them. Most often you are too close to a situation to see it clearly. It’s pretty hard to see your nose, isn’t it? It is literally too close to your eyes, and you just can’t see it very well. Having another person sharing their insights about your situation gives you an outside perspective on how to improve. If you are motivated to make improvements, you’ll place a lot of value on that person’s perspective. They can keep you focused and away from shiny objects.
- Keep you accountable. Without accountability we usually end up with a lot of blame or a lot of excuses as to why things don’t get done. Sometimes both. Because it’s difficult to be accountable to yourself (not impossible, but quite difficult), having someone to whom you’re accountable helps you stay on track with those non-urgent but important actions which lead to personal and professional growth.
Coaching and mentoring is custom tailored to you. You can attend all the workshops and read all the books you want, but they will forever be delivered to a many people, not specifically to you. In coaching and mentoring relationships, everything is customized to meet your individual needs. You’ll have to become vulnerable to some degree and acknowledge your human frailty, but a good mentor or coach is looking for ways you can capitalize on your strengths while compensating for your weaknesses. That just can’t happen in a workshop the same way it can during a one-on-one session.
As a final word, be sure that whoever you select as a mentor/coach is qualified for the job. Do your due diligence. This field does not require a license, so anyone can say they’re a coach. Be confident that whoever you work with maintains your best interests at heart. Investing in yourself always brings worthwhile returns.