Ladies, I felt compelled to write a blog post for those of you that are thinking about working with a coach or mentor some time soon.

What is the difference between a coach and mentor?

All coaches and mentors are different in their approach but according to the BREFIGroup

Coaching: helping another person to improve awareness, to set and achieve goals in order to improve a particular behavioural performance

Mentoring: helping to shape an individual’s beliefs and values in a positive way; often a longer-term career relationship from someone who has ‘done it before’.

Full article here

katie colella social, va, virtual assistant, mentor, business mentor, coach

In my opinion, I wanted to be a mentor for women in business, as I felt having started, owned and sold numerous businesses, I had the experience and skills to help support, show and assist other women in this same position.

I’ve recently read quite a few stories about women having had bad experiences whilst working with coaches and mentors and this can give the industry a really bad name.

There was the lady that signed up over the phone and paid a UK based coach £4000 upfront, with a promise of another two £3000, the following two months. Within a week, the lady had changed her mind and decided that due to personal financial issues, coaching wasn’t for her at that time, or at least this particular coach wasn’t for her and asked for a refund. No contract had been signed. A month later and still no refund, despite numerous messages to this coach.

Another post I’ve come across lately is a lady that had signed up to a coaching package and paid £2000, with another £3000 to follow. They had one session together and the coach failed to deliver the content that had been agreed on before payment had been made. Due to this, the lady in question decided that this wasn’t going to work and asked for a refund and to end the agreement. As above, no contract had been signed. Unfortunately, the coach tried to take the 2nd payment for £3000 without this ladies consent and again ignored messages sent.

These are just two horror stories that I’ve read in the past week. I appreciate that they are just the one side of the story, but this type of immoral behaviour and ignoring requests from clients can give the coaching and mentoring industry a bad name.

I realised that there must be plenty of women who are looking for the right help and support but aren’t sure what to look for in a coach or mentor, so wanted to put my own (opinion based) tips together for you. I’m a business mentor myself and have worked with a few coaches as well as worked with coaches as my client (for my VA business), so hoping this has given me some insight to be able to offer you some help when selecting who you’ll work with!

My Top 10 Tips for choosing a coach or mentor

  1. Resonate

When you are choosing your coach or mentor, it’s imperative that you ‘gel’ with them. If you don’t feel in your gut right about working with someone, then it may not be right for you. Trust in your instincts and make sure you resonate with this person’s beliefs.

2. Testimonials

This can be tricky when you are starting out as you don’t always have testimonials. However, someone who is charging high-end will generally have worked with others previously and received testimonials from their clients if they were happy. Check them out!

3. Ask friends

Ask around. You’ll find lots of friends, family or colleagues that will have worked with a coach or mentor. Ask around in the groups you are in for a recommendation for what you are looking for.

4. Contract

Sounds obvious, but always make sure you check through the contract and are happy with it all. If you aren’t let them know. A coach or mentor shouldn’t start work with you before a contract is signed.

5. Be Clear

Know what you are looking for from this experience. You need to be clear about your expectations and what you’d like by the end of your time together.

6. Avoid Fake Promises

We’ve all seen the promises from coaches of making £20k in 20 days. In my opinion, nobody can make you a financial promise. The coach can explain how they have done things and what worked for them and even show you how they have done things. But you need to do the work and take the action and there are no guarantees.

They need to be authentic and that will come across when you are speaking with them or looking around at their videos etc.

7. Book A Chat

Always have a relaxed chat with the coach you are thinking of working with. It helps you understand what they are about and how they can help you. If it doesn’t feel right, then avoid. Also, don’t be forced into agreeing on the phone to anything if that isn’t good for you. Yes, we all love a client being happy to sign up straight away, but you are entitled to have a think about it too.

8. Avoid Promises Without Proof

Some coaches like to share their results, especially financial to show us what they are doing. Now, this doesn’t bother me as such, I find it quite inspiring. However, I know a lot of colleagues can’t stand it. What I would say is to be aware of financial results being shared without proof to back up the claims. If a coach does this it doesn’t mean they are dodgy of course, just something to be aware of. Do they have integrity? Have they got results before?

9. Experience

Business Coaches or mentors that are offering this help without ever having owned a business before this doesn’t quite sit well with me. Again, this is my opinion, but when I am looking for a business coach, I like them to have had a business previously to this one. Again with a mindset coach if they are constantly having a moan, then they are probably not for me.

The coaching industry is unregulated so you don’t need to have specific training, but some experience at what they are teaching is a definite must for me!

10. Integrity

Do they show integrity in what they believe? Do they practice what they preach and do you love what they stand for?

I’ve seen posts from coaches that promise you one thing, then the next day show a post that completely contradicts what they’ve just said. We can all change our mind occasionally, but look out for anyone not showing their true colours.

katie colella social, va, virtual assistant, mentor, business mentor, coach

What do I do?

As mentioned I’m a business mentor helping female entrepreneurs. I’ve started various businesses, grown them and sold some too.

Does this make me the right fit for everyone? Absolutely not.

Before working with anyone as a mentor, I like to have a chat and see that we are a good fit. That my skills are what the person is looking for and that they are ready to work with a mentor.

If you’d like to book in for a free 30min call to discuss working together, click the link below

If you’d like to read more about my mentor 1:1 packages or group mentoring, check them out below!

Thanks for reading, Katie xx

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