• Liv Conlon

How to Choose the Right Coach for You

In this week’s blog Liv Conlon, founder of The Thought Leader Method, discusses the importance of not only having a coach and mentor, but choosing the right one who is aligned with your vision and goals. She provides a unique perspective of both the coach and the mentee, having experienced both. We talk transparency and choosing a mentor who can show you the roadmap to the success you desire, as they should already have walked the path.

Liv dives into why she is giving this piece of advice & why it is so important in your specific industry whether you are an entrepreneur or you have a corporate career, to ensure you choose someone who has achieved what you are looking to and can show you the roadmap to that success. Mentoring is one of the major factors that helped Liv reach 7 figures in her business & she explains how having the right people to guide her took her business to the next level. If you are thinking of investing in a mentor Liv shares her 3 Golden Traits to look for when choosing a Mentor/Coach. Follow these and it will catapult you to the next level.

What is a coach and why are they important?

A coach or mentor is 'someone whose job it is to teach and help you improve at something,' and indeed, almost every successful person in life, whether they be involved with sports, politics, business or entertainment, have coaches.

The great Michael Jordan perhaps sums it up best, when he says:

“A coach is someone that sees beyond your limits and guides you to greatness.”

Believe it or not, even world renowned life coaches such as Tony Robbins seek guidance and advice from their own coaches to help them navigate the thing we call life.

Bringing a coach on board your journey to greatness should be seen as a massive investment.

Ask yourself; would you climb Mount Everest alone, without the help of someone who had been there and done it before?

Of course not.

It would take you 10 times longer and your path would potentially be a treacherous one.

I like to look at business in the same way. Every time you reach a summit (a goal), there will always be bigger ones for you to reach that you will undoubtedly set your sights on, but how do you get there?

Finding a coach is all about selecting the right person that will help you get there. Who has the tools and the map and, most importantly, who knows the shortcuts to get to the top?

choosing the right coach

The importance of having the right coach cannot be underestimated, which is why it always baffles me when people work with a coach who has not been successful in the field that they want to become a thought leader in.

When it comes down to choosing the right coach for you, always consider what your prospective coach has achieved and how that matches up to your ambitions.

For example, If you want to become a 7 figure entrepreneur, you shouldn’t work with a coach who has only hit the 6 figure mark. Only those who have been there can provide you with the map on how to join them at the top. You should only invest in mentors who are living examples of what you want to achieve. Make educated decisions.

I firmly believe we all need a mentor/coach to stay the most respected people in our industry, but they need to impart useable strategies.

I see too many coaches play the role of a cheerleader, psyching people up for a week before then failing to equip their mentees with the specific techniques that they need to achieve success.

Being on the other side of the conversation as a coach, I have insights from both sides. When a client is looking to work with me as their coach, I take a very realistic view of where they are now, and what I think is possible.

I’ve been promised as a mentee in the past that I will have tripled my income in one month. The coach obviously thinks that’s what I want to hear, but it’s totally unrealistic. Think, am I receiving a realistic view of where I am and where they can take me? Entering into a coaching relationship with unrealistic expectations creates an unhappy client.

We need more than cheerleaders or strategists, we need someone who’s been there & done it and not so long ago that they can’t remember what it’s like to be where you are.

Take, for example, someone who wants to build their personal brand on social media. Naturally, you would look for a coach who has already done that, not someone who rarely posts and only has 100 followers.

On the other hand, you might not look at someone who has 2 million followers, as you may feel you are years behind them in achieving this and, thus, they would not be a good match for you.

It's about finding a balance.

Coaching is a sacred relationship and, of course, the responsibility is on you, the mentee, to take action and get results.

However, your coach should only be working with you if they truly believe they can empower you to grow. I worked with one coach, who should never have taken me on as a client and, on reflection, they didn’t have the expertise to guide me on the subject I was looking to be coached on. I had to terminate our coaching package as it was draining my energy and finances in exchange for a poor service. Be careful.

What traits should you look for in a coach?

Good mentors tend to have certain things in common.

First, they are thought leaders. They demonstrate innovative thinking that inspires others and they are outstanding communicators.

Top coaches are recognised for their writing, speaking, and communication skills. Most importantly they are experienced.

They have founded successful businesses and they are credible because they have remained true to their message and principles. They also have methods or frameworks and people who apply them get results! Savvy coaches need understand how to leverage media, an essential skill for successful enterprise in the 21st century!

What are the top 3 traits in my experience of the best business mentors/coaches?

They have experience.

You want to learn from someone who has also made the journey to success.

You can see evidence of this by researching them, and their success should be well documented or evident from their profile, press coverage or awards.

They will be one of the go to people in your space. The best coaches are seasoned thought leaders.

They do their own work.

They are usually still working in their field and they are well known within their industry.

They are Thought Leaders and demonstrate this through speaking at events, training others, writing books and are featured in the media.

The best coaches are members of professional groups, round-tables, or have their own coaches who keep them on a growth trajectory. You will benefit hugely from this as they often spend tens of thousands on this and if they are good they will pass on their learning to you at a fraction of the cost.

They have high standards.

They will hold you to the plan to move forward. They will hold to the values and standards that have made them successful and will further you in your development, even if it means they lose you as a client. They are firm in their beliefs.

Understanding how you learn best is vital to building a successful relationship with your coach and choosing the right person. Before choosing a coach, I consider what my ROI will be and how quickly will I be able to see my investment back?

Most importantly, I check in with the most powerful tool we have as entrepreneurs. I check in with my gut.

Always remember:

'A good coach can change the game, a great coach can change your life.'

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