Figuring out how to find a coach or mentor can be a scary and overwhelming process. How do you know you found the right guide for you? And how do you make sure you don’t get scammed in the process?
On the one hand, self-development is exciting because it helps you become the person you were always meant to be. On the other hand, it can be scary because it involves serious commitment of time and resources and a whole lot of trust in your chosen advisor.
Because I want you to benefit from the lessons I’ve learned about self-development, I chose to write this is a truth-filled post (inspired in part by Malorie Beth of Always on Brand and the book, THE PROSPEROUS COACH which you can find out more about here.).
There are a TON of people giving advice about how to change this, that, and the other thing. And there are a lot of people who don’t know what they’re talking about (and just as many more who are genuine experts). When it comes to investing in yourself, you want to make the right choice for you. You want to know your money is being spent wisely.
This may be doubly true when you’re a spiritual person – because you’re putting more on the line. You’re putting your faith in this person (in every way).
You need a guide.
Before I go any further I want to be clear – coaching is not a luxury. It’s something that you need if you want to move forward and have a serious impact. Great athletes, singers, and actors all use coaches, and NO great athlete, singer, or actor has gone WITHOUT one.
If you’re looking to be great, you need someone to guide you. The transformation that happens as a result is worth it.
How to Find a Coach – Make Your List of Potentials
Coaches, mentors, and strategists are everywhere if you know where to look.
For the most part you can find guides by looking a few places:
- Look through the self-help book section of bookstores and libraries – a lot of big names have books available (and even lesser known names will have books available – especially in online retailers like Smashwords or Amazon).
- Search the internet – Google is your friend. If you’re looking for any kind of advisor, you can search the topic like you would for anything and see who comes up. Then you can make a list of names and evaluate them by some of the things we’ll talk about later in this post!
- Scope social media – Searching through social media will give you a LOT of options. You can search any of these just like you would using Google. The benefit of social media however, is that you may get “diamonds in the rough” that you might not find through a search engine. Some good coaches may only work through referrals and so they won’t necessarily have a website, but they may have a SUPER active social media presence (this is especially true for Instagram users).
- Scope Facebook Groups – This one can go three ways. You can see who has a group (and probably a linked page) as well as hang out in said group. This allows you to find out a little more about the coach before you buy – that way you’ll know if they’re the right guide for you (using some of the markers we’ll talk about a bit later in this post). You can also ask around in groups where you’re already a member and see what people have to say about different guides.
- Ask your friends – Friends can be great sources of information. Feel free to ask around and put some feelers out there! You may find someone really great!
- Ask other service providers – This may be counter-intuitive BUT a lot of service providers will have relationships with different businesses (think: a yoga teacher may have a coach she refers clients to). This is a good way to get some ideas for your list of possible guides and THEN you can check them out to see if they’re the right fit for you!
The Truth About Self-development Guides
We know we all need coaches and guides if we want to become great. Also we know how we can find them. But how do we know if they’re right for us? If their strategies work for us?
The more I’ve learned and helped people, the more I realize a few things about positive transformation and guidance:
- You can find “the advice” all over the place.
- The advice means shit-all until it’s given to you at the right time from the right person.
When I say “the advice,” I mean “the information you need to transform.” It might be found on a blog (like this one!), a book (like these), a class, or a coach/mentor/strategist.
I’ve read or heard just about EVERY different tactic and strategy you can use to change your life. I’ve been reading self-development books for about 20 years. Also, I’ve been working with mentors, coaches, and strategists in one way or another for pretty much my whole life (and been working with them intentionally for about 20 years).
Some of the advice I needed I heard from ten different sources until the 11th spoke up and a light bulb suddenly went off (think: Kathrin Zenkina’s book I talked about here). Sometimes you encounter a coach earlier in your search and they don’t speak to you, but two years later their message resonates to your core.
These things happen. It’s normal and completely expected.
The Truth About Life-Changing Strategies
Different guides have unique voices, but the strategies may start to feel similar from one advisor to another (think: every fitness guru ever).
These life-changing strategies have similarities, both in the type of problems people seek to solve, and because certain things just work:
- People always want some combination of more love, money, health, and or purpose.
- Mindset (thought patterns) is always the underlying issue that needs to change FIRST.
- People always have some issue in their past to deal with that holds them back (and needs resolving).
- Fear around that past issue always needs to get cleared out.
- The type of strategies that work best will be those that address the strength of attachment to the past problem and the personality of the person seeking help.
I’m saying this in general – 99% clients have these things going on. Any coach who has been working for any length of time knows this.
Okay, so why am I telling you this?
Because honestly, I want to be clear – I’m a preference. Any advisor or guide is a preference.
ANYONE who has spent time doing the things I’ve done should be able to help you. There are a lot of well trained people who use all kinds of techniques that can get your life moving.
So why choose one person over the other? Let’s unpack specifically how to find a coach or mentor that is the guide for you.
Expertise: They know what they’re doing!
The first thing is expertise. This “advisor” – coach, mentor, or strategist – should know what they’re talking about. They have some kind of training. It could be formal structured training (like a certification), self-taught (books, seeking unpaid mentor relationships, etc), experience (like in a corporate or academic job), or some combination of the three.
But there is a catch to expertise!
Most people actually don’t want to go right to the Dalai Lama for advice (though, of course he’s at the peak of expertise!). They prefer to get advice from someone who is a little above them. That’s part of the reason why there are so many different “advisors” out there – because they’re speaking to different levels of development.Most people actually don’t want to go right to the Dalai Lama for advice! Click To Tweet
A good example is a body-builder hoping to win a body-building competition is not going to get a trainer who hasn’t competed – but someone who just wants to get into shape is much more likely to choose them.
You need to figure out where you are and what level you want to reach. Then you can find the coach or guide who has achieved it and can bring you there.
Note: Different guides work in different ways. A good life coach, for example, doesn’t need specific knowledge of marketing to be able to help you up-level your business. They should be able to guide you to discover the answers yourself using good coaching technique. A good business strategist however, should have deep knowledge of business.
Confidence – They’re trustworthy.
I don’t know how many times I’ve felt “the skeaze” on a site, in a video or newsletter.
You know what I’m talking about!
Sometimes a person just feels off – and you may not be able to put your finger on why. Sometimes it’s obvious, like narcissistic behaviors (gaslighting in comments, for example), or just being unreliable (a 3 AM newsletter, then nothing for three weeks!).
Other times it’s less obvious. Maybe it’s word choices, or even solely referencing men (there’s nothing that sends me packing FASTER than the “Boy’s Club Syndrome”).Sometimes a person just feels off – and you may not be able to put your finger on why. Click To Tweet
On the other hand, when someone is consistent, does what they promise (or MORE), remains authentic, and genuinely cares about their readers and clients, you’re more likely to feel comfortable going to that person for advice.
You just feel like you can trust them to be there for you.
When considering a coach, mentor, or strategist, you need to ask yourself, “Can I trust this person? Do I trust this person?” If you’re getting a “skeaze” vibe, do yourself a favor and walk away!
Personality – They’re likeable!
There are a lot of things that play into making someone likeable, but the big ones have to do with someone’s personality meshing with yours.
Their values influence this – as in, what is important to them. For example, my primary values are loving kindness (towards the self and others), spirituality (the lens things are seen through), and creativity (the expression or manifestation of things).
In a good match, the client’s (that’s you) and the advisor’s values will align. You should know pretty quickly if this is the case.The fact is everyone will resonate with different personalities differently. Click To Tweet
Another aspect is voice – the manner of this advisor. Do they swear every now and again? Are they more proper? This is the type of person they are. They’re either going to fit like a glove or make you crinkle your nose.
Think about guided meditation on YouTube. Ever found yourself laughing because the person’s voice sounded affected or well, just ridiculous? It’s happened to me A LOT.
That said, someone likes those people’s voices, otherwise they wouldn’t get the views they have.
The fact is everyone will resonate with different personalities differently and it’s all fine. It’s all good. Know what you like and honor it when you’re looking for guidance.
You Deserve Good Guidance
Figuring out how to find a coach to transform your life can be overwhelming. Choosing someone to help you transform is a big decision, and when you follow your gut, honoring your needs and values, you’ll find your unadulterated YES. And that, dear one, is what you deserve.
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