The Lifelong ROI of Coaches and Mentors
A few months ago I was having a chat with Kingshuk, our content strategist at Unmistakable Creative about revenue and growth of our business. He said something to me that planted the seed for this article.
“When I think about the times I’ve made the most rapid progress in my life, it always has been when I was working with a coach or mentor.”
I thought about how true this was in my own life. When my mentor Greg started working with me in 2013, all of the following happened in the span of 6 months:
- I self-published a book that became a WSJ Bestseller that eventually resulted in a book deal with Penguin.
- We planned and sold out a conference in 2 weeks
- We redesigned our web site and did a massive rebrand.
When my business partner Brian recently hired Jeremy Miner to be his sales coach, he spent more money on a coach than he ever had before. But with Jeremy’s coaching, he made his money back within the first 2 months and continues to reap the rewards of working with Jeremy. He described the experience of working with Jeremy as follows:
These aren’t just skills that I’m going to use in my job today. These are skills that will have a lifetime ROI.
Often we look at hiring people to coach us purely in terms of short-term expense and short-term gain. But what we fail to see is that the ROI will go far beyond our initial work with them. It’s an ROI that will last a lifetime.
Perhaps the most valuable thing a coach or mentor brings to the table is experience. They’ve often seen much of what you’re dealing with before and can help you prevent reinventing the wheel.
I tend to have a fairly simple rule when it comes to this. If the person you are hiring hasn’t produced the result you’re seeking themselves or helped another produce that result, you shouldn’t hire them.
Even in the case of startups, what a good investor brings to the table is far more than money. He brings experiences, resources, connections and far more. He’s in many ways a coach and mentor.
2. Objective Perspective
If you’ve built something with your own two hands, whether it’s a company or creative endeavor, it’s hard not to have some level of emotional investment in it. This is necessary because if you didn’t give a shit about what you’ve built, it’s not likely you’re going to pour your heart into it. But when we’re emotional, it’s difficult to maintain an objective perspective.
Just think about any situation in your life. When you ask somebody else about it, they simply tell you what they think. But they don’t have all the emotions of anxiety, attachment, stress, fear that you tend to have wrapped up in that situation.
When you have a coach or mentor, they’re able to bring an objective perspective to whatever it is that you’re working on. They care, but they’re not emotionally invested in such a way that their sense of self-worth will fluctuate based on how things are going.
A few weeks ago I started getting prepared for a speaking engagement in Belgium. This talk in particular, was going to my greatest challenge to date for a few reasons. It’s the most I’ve ever been paid for talk and the shortest time slot I’ve ever had. Ironically, it’s much harder to give a shorter talk than it is to give a longer one. I knew that I didn’t have any issues with giving a talk, but I’d struggle with writing a talk.
So I reached out to my friend Tamsen Webster and hired her to help me write the script. In one hour I realized it had been worth every penny. What might have taken me weeks to figure out she had helped me identify in just one hour. Within 3 calls we had an entire talk written. Not only that, she provided me with a process and framework that I can use in all of my talks going forward, a lifetime ROI.
For the process of writing my books, I work with an amazing writing coach. She’s tough on me, calls me on my bullshit, and holds me to higher standards. My first book wouldn’t have been what it was without her. Ryan Holidayhas mentioned in previous articles that he usually hires an outside editor to work with him on his books- and he’s managed to write 6 books in 6 years.
When we hire a coach or mentor for anything, we accelerate the process of whatever it is we’re trying to accomplish. Because they’ve experienced the situation that we’re in before, they’re able to provide us with guidance. They help us to eliminate the guesswork.
The skills that you develop while working with a coach or mentor don’t just give you the opportunity to succeed at what you’re doing at the moment. They enable you to recreate that success at will multiple times over the course of your life. The ROI of good coaches and mentors is lifelong.
On an unrelated note- Next month, I’ll be holding The Author’s Workshop. This is a one-day, one-time, live workshop with me in Encinitas, California, on November 12th, 2017.
This is specifically for the few who are serious about wanting to write, pitch, meet agents, and publish their first book. For more details, check it out here.