When it comes to growing your coaching business, seeking the support of a coach or mentor makes sense for many reasons. Whether it’s getting strategic support and guidance or working with someone to support you around your mindset or from an accountability perspective, working with a coach or mentor can help you take things to the next level.
But how do you know when the best time to get support is in your business journey so your investment isn’t wasted? In this post we’ll be exploring when the best time to work with a coach or mentor is so you can gain the maximum benefit.
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Identifying the outcomes you want to achieve
Before considering specific scenarios as to when working with someone would be beneficial, I just want to touch on how helpful it is to get clear on the actual outcomes you want to achieve as a result of working with someone. Most coaches and mentors would be asking about this in any discovery or sales call they might have as part of the process of signing you up to coaching. What do you want to get out of the coaching relationship? What realistic outcomes do you hope to achieve?
Often coaching and mentoring packages are high ticket because you are getting that one-to-one direct support with that coach or mentor – just because something’s a high ticket investment doesn’t mean that all of your life and businesses problems will be solved overnight, so being realistic and knowing what some minimum outcomes you’d like to achieve would be can help you know if this is the right time to get support.
Plus, it’s also worth remembering that the outcomes of working with a coach or mentor aren’t always immediate, they will often increase over time and can sometimes come along months or even years after working with someone – which personally I love! Every so often I’ll become aware of a benefit I’ve experienced now due to coaching I did 3 years ago.
Another thing that you might want to consider here is whether or not you want to work with someone who does more coaching, or someone who does more mentoring. There are some subtle differences which I discuss in my post about Coaching v Mentoring. That explains it in a bit more detail, so then you can decide if there’s a particular way of working that might suit you and your needs better.
Now to get into some specific instances when I feel working with a coach or a mentor would be very beneficial.
You’re at a transition point
Certain transition points in your business journey can greatly benefit from working with a coach or mentor. These include:
- The Early Stages: When starting out, receiving support during the initial setup and development of coaching packages, websites etc can be invaluable.
- Finding Clients: After getting your website set up and your main coaching offers developed, you hit what I call the really tricky phase of growing a coaching business as this is when shit gets real! My 6 month group programme Wholehearted Business is specifically designed for people at this stage.
- Identifying what comes next: this usually happens once you’ve got a regular flow of clients and it’s time for whatever might come next – maybe you need support identifying what that should be to help you enjoy even more benefits from your business. This might be a pivot into a slightly different niche, scaling, creating new offers and much more.
These are really common transition points for coaches in their business journey and coaching and mentoring here can create some amazing results!
If you’re not sure what your next step should be
Maybe you’ve just been working hard on your business but suddenly feel a bit directionless and unsure where to go next. Working with someone who can either coach you through deciding what that should look like, or working with a mentor and getting advice and support from their own experience can be really beneficial to help you decide what that next step should be.
You need some reassurance
Maybe you just need some reassurance! I think this is a really important one, and actually when I think about when I’ve benefited from working with coaches and mentors, it’s often been at points in my business when I’ve just needed some reassurance. I’ve just needed someone to say, ‘actually Laura, you’re doing really well!
So feeling like you need reassurance from someone is a totally valid point at which to access support.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, that can also be a good time at work with a coach or a mentor. Trying to just do another course or getting bogged down in other things can usually just add to the overwhelm, but a good coach or mentor can help you see a path through more clearly.
I’ll often say to my clients, you just focus on this next step, and I’ll hold onto the bigger picture stuff because working towards big goals on big projects can be a little overwhelming.
It can also be helpful to point out here that perhaps you don’t actually need to work with a coach or mentor over a long period of time, maybe you just need a single session to gain some clarity so you can then move forward and implement that by yourself.
If you’re feeling stuck or have hit a plateau
Another great time to work with a coach or mentor is if you are feeling stuck or perhaps that you’ve hit a plateau.That might be an income plateau or the number of clients you’re attracting has plateaued. It may be that you’re just feeling a bit bored and uninspired in your business.
That can be a good time to work with a coach or mentor to support you to find new fun things to do, new ways to bust through that plateau and to get to another level. This can be a really great time to get some support to help you negotiate that particular phase of business, because I think we all kind of have peaks and troughs and certainly plateaus in business and actually getting someone else’s input to help you get through that can be really useful.
You want to move into the next level
Perhaps things have been consistently going okay, but you know that there’s another step that you would like to take in your business to reach new exciting outcomes. You’re just not sure how to do that! Maybe it’s an income related thing, a work life balance related outcome or more around the impact that your business is having.
This can be a great time to work with a coach or mentor who can help you take steps to reach that ‘next level’ whatever that looks like for you.
This is often where I work with coaches in my 1:1 mentoring programme as we’ll very often work on creating new offers which allow them to scale which basically helps them achieve all three of those ‘next level’ outcomes of more income, time freedom and impact.
You want to do something new
Perhaps you just want to do something new! Often clients work with me when they want to create a course for the first time, a group programme or when they want to do some kind of retreat or live event. Working with someone through this process can be really helpful because ultimately we don’t know what we don’t know, and if we work with someone experienced in this area then we can benefit from their knowledge of pitfalls and ways to do things better.
This is another area where coaching and mentoring is so valuable. You can learn certain things from a course, but actually having someone there alongside you, supporting you to do something new can be a much more effective and efficient way of working, than you struggling along on your own for ages and actually never really getting it done.
Another way that coaching and mentoring can help at this stage is via accountability to help you with the implementation around doing something new.
It just feels like the right time!
Perhaps it just feels like the right time! Sometimes I think we just get that internal nudge and it’s ‘actually, now is the right time I need to work with someone’. Maybe you just come across someone and just feel a connection and really want to work with them.
And I’m a big fan of following those internal nudges if they feel really good and then following them to see where you end up!
It’s not always the most logical way to make decisions but sometimes our bodies and our intuition just know what we need and that now is the right time.
You have time
Something else to consider when deciding if it’s the right time to work with a coach or mentor is that you actually have some time available to work on, and implement, what comes up.
However, it’s equally important to recognise that there’s no such thing as ‘the perfect time’ – most people will probably always have something else going on in their lives, yet it’s still important to take steps towards where you want to go.
If things in your life are incredibly intense, stressful and busy then maybe now isn’t the right time to access coaching and mentoring for your business if you really feel you’ll struggle to do the work (sometimes this is when you might want to consider working with a contractor as well who can actually do the work for you – but this is very much budget dependent!)
In my business I offer all my clients the opportunity to to press pause on our work together if a major life event happens like a bereavement or some other crisis. It’s an important value of mine to be human centred in my business so this feels like a small way I can give people flexibility and understanding when life happens!
When NOT to work with a coach or mentor
I’ve just given you several examples of great times to work with a coach or mentor in your business, and generally speaking I think that most of the time everyone would benefit in some way from working with someone at any point. However, there are a couple of times I don’t think it would be a good idea.
Firstly, if you’re in a financially precarious situation. Yes, coaching and mentoring can support you to create more financial stability and abundance in your business but it’s very hard to take action that gets results when you’re in that place of lack. Getting yourself into a healthier financial situation first, via other means and then accessing coaching would be a better approach.
Secondly, when we are feeling vulnerable and are made to feel not good enough, pressured or shamed into working with someone then that for me is a major red flag. If you feel triggered in that way, take a step back and really consider why coaching is right for you right now, and if a particular coach or mentor is right for you it is important to make sure you don’t jump into a coaching or mentoring relationship that isn’t right for you.
Accessing support that’s right for you
Finally, something helpful to consider is if coaching and mentoring is the best form of support for you, I talk all about the different ways you can be supported here.
To summarise, we’ve covered how important it is to start with knowing what realistic outcomes you’d like to achieve from working with a coach or mentor so you can assess if now is in fact the right time for you. Then I’ve given you some specific examples of scenarios when you’d greatly benefit from working with a coach in your business journey, and the rare occasions when you shouldn’t invest in coaching at all!
I hope this post has been helpful if you’re considering working with someone around your business goals.
If you’d like to chat about how I could support you, then feel free to get in touch and we can arrange a free and friendly chat to discuss the options.
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