According to a 2013 executive coaching survey conducted by Stanford, 80 percent of CEOs said they had a business mentor that year. Additionally, those businesses that are mentored statistically last longer than those that don’t invest in mentorship.
In other words, finding the right business mentor is essential to your success. Period. This begs the question: how do you find the right business mentor? Here are some steps to help you.
First, a word about investing in a business mentor
Business mentorship, whether it comes in the form of a group coaching program, a professional organization, a mastermind or privately, is not cheap. And it shouldn’t be.
When you hire a business mentor, you are essentially paying for the two most expensive things they have: their time and their brain.
Speaking from experience, the investment in mentorship is usually well worth it. While there may be sticker shock at first, you must realize that if you do the work, you will get a return.
For example, I invested about $5,000 to work with one specific mentor this year. In a matter of a few months, what they taught me has yielded $36,000 worth of contracts. That’s a return of $31,000!
Had I tried to figure it out on my own, I wouldn’t be on track to earning six figures in such a short amount of time. Instead, it would have taken me three times as long and cost me more money in the end.
What are their credentials?
In an online world where literally anyone can put a website together and call themselves a business coach, you need to be extra careful about vetting potential mentors.
The truth, is we’re in a business coaching bubble of sorts. People realized there was money in coaching and the internet made it easy for anyone to get started. The problem is, like I mentioned, a lot of “business coaches” out there don’t really know what they are doing.
As a result, it has now become your obligation to do your due diligence before investing in a business mentor. This is the part where credentials come in:
- Do they have any professional certifications?
- What is their previous work history? (Hint: Running a coaching business as their first business doesn’t count)
- What trainings have they done?
- How did they make their money before becoming a business mentor? Was it from a business?
- What is their social proof?
- Do they have any referrals?
All of these are potential questions that need to be answered before you decide to invest any kind of money in a business mentor.
What do you need help with specifically?
Just like you can’t expect one contractor to do everything in your business, you also can’t expect one business mentor to be an expert at everything in business. This is especially true for the digital age when things change very rapidly.
That’s why it may be beneficial to determine the specific area where your business needs improvement in 2018. For example, maybe you’re a great marketer but you’re terrible at systems. As a result, you need to find a business mentor who can help you set up back-end systems so you can make money.
Or, maybe you are struggling closing sales. If this is the case, then you’ll definitely want to someone who can help you there. Just note that while certain old-school tactics may still work (cold calling), these days you’ll likely also want a business mentor who can help you with sales in an online world.
Maybe your issue is neither or these, and it’s all about mindset. Believe it or not, there are business mentors out there who focus specifically on helping their clients change their mindsets so that they experience more success in business.
What kinds of results are they getting for clients?
The last thing you’ll want to make sure you look at before investing in a business mentor is their results. More specifically, you’ll want to see what kinds of results they are getting not just for themselves, but also for their clients.
Any business mentor worth their salt has video testimonials of their clients explaining the kind of ROI they got from investing with them.
Do you like them?
As a final step, consider whether or not you like your prospective business mentor. Speaking as someone who has several mentees, one of the main reasons they claim they hire me is because (in addition to getting results for clients) they like me.
Different business mentors have a different energy and style, so you’ll want to make sure you work with one you can gel with.
You still have plenty of time to find the right business mentor for 2018. Just keep these questions in mind as you vet your prospects. It’s only in finding the right mentor for your specific needs that you’ll get the results you desire.