From my personal perspective , I know that it would be extremely difficult to build my business without a Business Coach and a Mentor.
In my industry people often think that Coach and Mentor are the same things, however , there is a difference. A Coach is somebody who helps you achieve results as fast as possible, reach a certain objective, often short-term. This is about keeping you accountable and focused on the task, challenging you and making you move forward even when you don’t feel like it.
A Mentor to me is a person who is always there for you, to help you through some emotional roller-coasters not only in the business, but also in life, a person who is mentoring you through challenges with or without you producing results, even when you don’t want to produce results and remain in so called “resistance” stage of your journey.
In Direct Sales these two often blend and now, being a leader of a large international team myself, I believe that I became more adaptable to be both, while in the past I felt very frustrated when people asked me for help to move forward, worked out the accountability schedule with me and then didn’t stick to it. In those cases, I had to step back being a “Coach” to help a team member reach their objective in that period of time, but remain a Mentor, continuing to guide them through challenging times of self- sabotage and self-doubt, before they were ready to step again into the business.
In our industry it is also very important to have a what is called a “3rd Party Edification”. You might be very good in promoting products or services of your company but you cannot promote yourself. Who is going to edify, congratulate, support you? What happens when you reach your next level – are you going to do a big announcement telling everyone in your team how wonderful you are? If you work on your own, you shut down the most powerful tool of our business – 3rd party edification. People often believe you more when there is somebody with greater credentials and achievements than you. Even when you say and do all the right things, until you have your own success, great bonuses, winning lifestyle trips, having extra “perks” like a car or a lifestyle bonuses – whatever your company offers, there is only so much you can do on your own.
So , I firmly believe that having a Coach and a Mentor is crucial, and the best person would be someone who has your interest in heart – meaning a leader who’s team you are in. It might be a person different from the one who linked you to the company, but has to be the one who is still interested in your business development. Unless you are prepared to hire somebody completely outside of the industry who had a great experience in the industry, but even then – they are not as interested in your results long term as somebody who benefits from your growth as a leader and creating more turnover in your organisation. And the best thing – you don’t even have to pay them!
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE? For me personally it was and still is finding the right balance between challenging somebody to move to a higher level in the business ( after all, that was our initial agreement when we set up that “accountability”/ “coaching and mentoring” schedule) and not “pushing” them when they start resisting my input.
However, no matter how good my intentions were to help somebody move up in the business, I still came across situations where all of a sudden there was some resistance from someone I would work with, and they would go “quiet” and sometimes even “disappear” from the business.
The fact is : YOU CANNOT PLEASE EVERYONE , so I learnt to accept that fact and continue working with those leaders who want to move forward, who are OK to have an honest conversation and accept that nobody is perfect, not even their leader!
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING – STAY IN THE GAME!!! Then, like many of us you can change your life forever, and CREATE THE LIFE THAT YOU DESIRE!