Caveat / Introduction:
I may be considered jaded on this subject of coaching in general as it relates the “Coaching Business.” But I feel compelled to make a few points because I have valuable mentors, teachers and guides that help me through difficult or uncomfortable times and situations.
There are mentors, coaches and trainers that have researched the mind; researched social psychology; developed ideas and concepts that are fully applicable to your needs. These folks then offer their services and they are quite good.
Academics and professors make a living teaching and lecturing, and that is right and proper even though they may have never worked in the fields they are teaching about.
Their papers are peer reviewed, they went through the scientific process. That process involves ‘making an observation creating or developing a hypothesis then testing that hypothesis for its validity.’ This a very important point here.
I have a few mentors from varying areas. An earth scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Then there’s the internet pioneer who’s technology many of you are using to read this article. And I have to mention the financial guy that, with his wife, created a major and notable Wall Street organization.
My local go-to guy is G. As a friend he is biased so can’t coach me, but certainly has helped me through some tough times. He’s worked with the biggest name in motivation; put the two biggest names together to form a sales organization; and is an all around great friend.
My songwriting partner and TOP THREE closest friend, Nathan Osmond, is an inspiration as both a creative and a family man. I can’t thank him enough for his friendship! As a matter of fact, Nathan and I had a songwriting session via Skype an hour before I sat to write this article 🙂
I am fortunate to have Grammy Award winning songwriters in my corner as well when I sit in the office and write songs. And so can you 🙂
And like all of us we have the ‘Ascended Masters” that have left their writings and recordings behind for us to enjoy and learn from… It was their mission and purpose in life to have future generations glean enlightenment from their studies and works.
Upshot – But Please Read On:
Everything is people. Relationships are paramount. The important thing to remember is that you have to bring something to the table as well.
So, am I jaded? Again, only as it relates to the folks selling “Snake Oil.” Then the question becomes, “Who are they?”
The following questions will help you ‘weed-out’ the ‘run-of-the-mill’ coaching types, then recognize the real deal as it relates to what you actually need.
When I need a kick in the ass from a military perspective (I served in the USAF and still hold tight to that time), I’ve got my guys for that too. One of them is my older son who’s been deployed to Afghanistan twice 🙂
The point is to ask in detail how their processes were vetted. Ask how they have benefitted from applying their material to themselves. Then ask them the questions that follow.
Willing Students Win!
“For those who are willing to make an effort, great miracles and wonderful treasures are in store.” – Isaac Bashevis
“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn
“If you are determined enough and willing to pay the price, you can get it done.” – Mike Ditka
Willing Students Win. There is a lot of information to consume and digest when venturing into something new and exciting. Of course maintaining and continuing education is essential and sometimes we need help or guidance.
A mentor is a good thing to have, and having the right mentor by your side can cut the learning curve. Knowing what questions to ask gives you clues about who to ask those questions of.
What’s Behind The Answer?
During my primary schooling if I didn’t know the definition of a word I’d go to mom and dad for the meaning. They would tell me to go to the dictionary (this was before Google, etc). It wasn’t important that they simply gave me the meaning, there was something more…
The action of defining, figuring out, essentially researching something for yourself helps anchor that answer in your mind and for future use, context, and so on.
A mentor or trainer helps facilitate this model. The thing to keep in mind and be circumspect about is whether or not a prospective mentor has used their programs or systems on themselves and are those programs or systems resulted in a model mentor/trainer, or are they making money on selling you.
You’ll save a lot of time and money if you listen carefully to the answers to these questions. Then of course, apply the lesson behind the answer.
When you’re asking questions it’s not enough to get the answers. It is best to look for the system or program that resulted in that answer. What is behind that answer? Is it enough to know that a nine-inch wall is nine inches thick? How about the position or perspective from which that measurement was taken? Was the answer derived from the fact that the wall is actually 19.26 centimeters thick? That maybe a silly example, but think about the power you’ll have for future decision making if you put attention on how that person came to the conclusion that resulted in the answer to your question.
The Key Questions:
Here are three questions when looked at closely and asked in this exact way, will get the answers you are looking for – Then you will have found your mentor.
- What opportunity did you see then act on and achieve?
- How did you prepare yourself to see and then act on that opportunity?
- How did you survive the gestation period? That period of time between acting on the opportunity and that opportunity actually paying off.
As a personal note here, I did odd jobs, installed dishwashers and whatever it took to fill the time and pay bills between having launched my first infomercial product years ago and finally getting paid. This process took almost a year and it was hard but ultimately worth it.
Successful people can be and usually are accessible to some degree; they just don’t have much time on their hands. They’re either working hard or playing hard. Decide on your questions (try the above questions FIRST!), and then go find that person you need to talk to.
- Take a good long look at the category of your idea. Is it a product, service or business? Write it down as you see it.
- Find that person you need to talk to that will be able to answer the three questions above.
- Ask the questions and dig deep into their answers to find out how they came to the conclusions they came to. What is the system behind the answers?
- Start acting from this newfound information and make sure your team members are informed.
Featured Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net