I was sitting at my desk when the phone call came through: “Christin, now that you’ve finished school, we are calling about your student loan repayment plan, your payments start next month. As of today, you have $250,000 in outstanding loans...”
I was floored. Not only was I just out of school and broke, but I had no idea how I was going to be able to make a monthly payment on $250,000 dollars. I couldn't even afford to pay the interest on it!
Just a few short months prior, I had graduated with honors and dreamed of opening my own business. Now I sat paralyzed with the realization that starting my own business might not be as obtainable as I had once hoped.
Questions flooded my mind. How do I start paying back my loans and try to get funding for a business? Where do I even start? What's my first step? How does this all come together? Who do I ask for help?
Of course, I had heard of all the coaching groups and mentorship programs out there. My social media was constantly flooded with business gurus talking about “how to start a seven-figure business.” They all seemed to say the same thing, and I knew I needed help. My question was, how do I know which one to pick?
Since starting my first multi-million dollar business in 2017, I have spent over $150,000 dollars on coaches and programs to date. I can honestly say that almost every one of them, with the exception of a few, left me with a bad experience.
What I’m sharing with you today is something I wish I would have known when I was first looking to hire a coach. If I would have known this one simple strategy, it would have saved me time, stress and thousands of dollars.
Should I Have A Business Mentor?
This is a question I hear all the time, “Do I really need someone telling me how to do this?”
Yes and no. Let me explain.
The following is according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as reported by Fundera: Out of all of the new businesses that are started, about 20% will fail in the first year. By the end of year two, about 30% more will fail. By year five, half will have gone out of business. By the ten-year mark, only 30% will remain, which is an astonishing 70% failure rate.
For me, failure was not an option. Like Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Life is like a parachute jump; you’ve got to get it right the first time.”
I began researching and studying some of the most influential businesses in the world and the people who started them. What did they all have in common? Many of them came from humble beginnings. Many of them were self-made. And all of them had a mentor.
I then thought to myself, “If all of these ultra-successful people had mentors, shouldn’t I?” So the question really shouldn’t be “Do I need a mentor to help me start my business?" but rather “Which mentor do I need to help me start my business?”
Before you hire a business coach, be sure to follow this simple strategy.
Have They Done It Themselves?
The first question you need to ask a business coach who says they can take you to seven figures is: “Have you done it yourself?”
More times than not, you will hear the answer “No.” They might even try to quickly navigate away from the subject and will attempt to change the direction of the conversation, saying something like: “Well I haven’t, but clients I’ve coached have!”
OK, well, what if those clients were already operating a really successful business to begin with? So again, “Have you done it?”
If the answer is yes, then ask, “Can you prove it?”
Are They Currently Doing It?
The next question to ask is: “Do you still have that seven-figure business?”
If they answer “No,” start by asking yourself why? Why do they not have that seven-figure business anymore?
A smart business person would know that they are only one or two hires away from having their business completely automated and run by someone else. Once they have someone else running the day-to-day operations, they would have complete freedom to step out to do whatever they want, like coaching.
This is a reasonable question: Why would someone shut down or sell a business that was making tons of money? The most plausible answer: It wasn’t ever actually making tons of money.
One Last Question
Finally, ask yourself this one last question: Would you rather learn from someone who has done it, and still does it or from someone who says they’ve done it, but doesn’t have that business anymore, and now they “teach” others how to do it instead?
By taking the time to ask these simple questions, you will quickly uncover the mentors who have actually built the business you are wanting to build.
Again, this is something I personally went through. If I would have known to ask these questions when I was starting out, it would have saved me from several bad experiences.
My hope is that following this simple strategy will help you navigate through the overabundance of business gurus out there, and find the mentor who has done it, is still doing it and will show you how to do it as well.
Image Credit: Photo by Getty
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