One of the best tips that I got about how to choose a mentor was to choose someone that has the life that you want and not just the business that you want.
A little while back my husband and I were attending a live event for entrepreneurs. At this event, there was a very well known speaker, someone who is admired by many and has written several, best-selling books. In fact, if I said his name, you would probably know him. This person has a coaching program where he teaches other entrepreneurs how to grow and scale their businesses
— and I was very excited to hear him speak. Although I’d never met him in person, I had read all of his books.
The morning of his talk, I got up really early and made sure that I sat near the front so that I would be able to hear him. But, as he began to speak, I got really discouraged. Almost immediately after he started speaking, every other word out of his mouth was a curse word. If you know me, I am very conservative. I prefer professionalism. I like things to be done in the right way and, in my opinion, littering a professional talk with curse words is far from appropriate.
So I’m here sitting in the third row thinking, “Oh my goodness. What am I going to do?” As soon as there was a break in the speaking, I made for the door. I didn’t want to stay there and be subjugated to cursing for another hour.
After the break, I was speaking to others who were there about what happened and what their opinions were about the speaker’s language. They agreed that it was unprofessional. It was surprising because this coach was a published author, a household name among entrepreneurs, and very successful. He has a coaching program and thousands of students. And, obviously, he had a problem with cursing. As I was talking, another person said, “And you know he’s on his fourth wife, too.” I was like, “Wait, what? He’s on his fourth wife?” I couldn’t believe it.
That’s when I began to understand that, when choosing a mentor or a coach, you don’t want to choose someone that is only successful in business.
There’s a popular word: hustle. You know where you need to be working, seven days a week and weekends. You don’t have time for a break. You should be working 18-hour days. If you really want to grow and scale your business, then you need to hustle. The truth is, you may at times need to hustle in your business. You may need to put in those extra hours. I’ve done it. But, it’s not a lifestyle that builds a successful life. Life is much more than being successful in business.
There are many people out there that have successful businesses. They’re wealthy, have big houses, and go on dream vacations. But, look at their life, the cost they’ve paid to have this. Look at their families and their children and the toll it took on them. They have paid dearly to be able to have success.
So, when you’re looking for a mentor or a coach, don’t only look for skill and results. Don’t only look at their business to measure if they are successful. Look at their life and ask yourself, “Does this person have the life that I want? Or, are they working 50, 60, or 70 hours a week? Are they always stressed? Do they yell at their team?” If so, they’re not good managers. They are focused on productivity and results and are not concerned about people – those they hurt on their path to success.
When looking for your mentor, find someone that has that life-work balance, who has figured out how to build a successful business. Successful may not mean seven figures or eight, but he has built a business that allows the freedom to spend time with his family.
Why did you get started with your business in the first place? The majority of us say, “Well, I got started because it means more time with my kids.” And yet, what do we do? We end up working at home, and the only thing our kids see is the back of our heads, staring at a computer. Mom is always too busy, and Dad is always too busy, because there’s always something. There’s always one more thing that has to be done.
When you have a traditional job, you get done at 5 or 6 p.m., go home, and that’s it. You don’t work while you’re home, usually. When you’re an entrepreneur, there’s always something new to be done. The list never ends. So, when you’re looking for a mentor, look for someone that is not only going to give you the advice you need for your business, but also, their life needs to align with where you want your life to be.